He realised that he had not, until that moment, said goodbye. It was months, or maybe even years, as time had become of little consequence lately, and he’d only just said goodbye. Everyone assumed that was what the funeral was for but she had stayed with him after that day. It was strange really. Her death had drawn them together like nothing else had. No therapy, no holidays, no big gestures. It took the death of his love to show that it was still just that.
He loved her. Of course he did.
But now he was ready to say goodbye. It was the sight of her with another man, in the supermarket, that prepared him for this. It wasn’t really her. He knew that – it was just someone who looked like her, in that she had hair, and legs, and arms, and was humanoid in shape, though sometimes those things weren’t essential. Just the other day she was a dustbin. A large, black dustbin, like the bins one would find in a back alley of a Victorian terrace in the 70s. Why would she be a bin? No one could say. But right now she was a woman, holding the hand of another man. Glancing back over her shoulder with a sad look in her eyes as if to say “why did you let me go?”