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I have dealt with my share of goodbyes. One goodbye involved my mother leaving our home in Mexico to come to the United States. Another memorable goodbye came a year later as I followed my mother's footsteps, waving goodbye to my grandmother, relatives, and friends.

Those goodbyes were painful, as all goodbyes are painful. With time I was able to cope with each one, and adapt to a new way of life. Now, at 23, I must deal with yet another goodbye. I must now assimilate to a reality devoid of the woman I thought I'd grow old with: my first love, my Enid.

How I met my Enid no longer matters. How I lost her, even less. I met her; I fell in love with her; I lost her; I continued to love her; we said goodbye; end of story.

If only things were that simple.

This latest goodbye isn't our first. We had given goodbye a chance before; not once, not twice, but several times. One of us would always contact the other, asking if the right decision had been made; if we could handle living the rest of our lives one without the other.

The question would go unanswered, for we were too busy rejoicing on each other's return. Having her back in my life would always give me a sense of being reborn, if only to die again. My awareness that I would not be able to cope with more spiritual deaths brought forth this latest goodbye.

Everything I ever wanted in a girl, she possesses. Anything she possesses, I admire in a girl. She's simply too desirable, and that keeps me from appreciating her full worth as friend. It's just not possible for me to look at her without wanting to travel back in time to the days when I held her in my arms, with her own arms around my neck, sitting on my lap, as she'd say "hey... I love you."

Caring so much for her, it was my concern that one day I'd have to walk away and leave her with the wrong impression. I wouldn't want her delicate heart to be under the misconception that I no longer wanted her as mine. I wouldn't want her thinking that my dream was over; that of us growing old together.

For that reason, before we said goodbye, I had a few things to ask. I asked if she knew what I felt for her. I asked if I had made myself clear those past two years that we remained in touch past the duration of our relationship. She said she was aware of what I felt for her. That was all I needed to hear. "Bye bye my Tomás" were her last words...

While my dream remains unfulfilled, each passing night I'll observe the sky and name the stars after each of the things I loved about her. Once a star has been given its name, I'll plead it to join the others in forming a cluster so that they illuminate her path, wherever she's headed. If she ever feels unloved, she must only look to the stars to be reminded of what I felt for her, and they'll guide her back to me, where I'll be waiting, ready to submit my heart to her again.

Perhaps one day she'll find herself out in the dark, months, years, or decades from now, looking up at the never-ending sky, thinking of the guy who loved her in infinite ways. I bet I'll still be busy naming stars, thinking of her, smiling, remembering our very first hello... "Hey, I know an Enid..."

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