Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It All Comes To An End

We’re on the ferry. I’m leaning on his arm trying to get some sleep. It was a very hectic morning. We were late catching our ferry because he forgot his passport so we had to drive an hour and a half back to the house and another hour back to the terminal. I’m cranky because I’m tired. I’m cranky because I’m leaving. I’m cranky because I am leaving him tomorrow. The ferry docks and we make out way to the hotel in silence holding hands to show each other were sorry. I lay on the bed in the hotel holding in my tears and trying not to think of tomorrow.

“Get up, we have a whole day planned, let’s not ruin it,” he says.

“Okay, let’s go,” I reply.

We leave the hotel; I take out a piece of paper from my pocket. It’s our list of

1. Transfer Money

We walk to the nearest Western Union. It’s raining and it matches my mood. I transfer my money over to Thunder Bay, Ontario.

“Okay, so 6200 yuan is 840 dollars Canadian,” Wow, what a difference.

“Sounds good” I say as I sign the piece of paper and hand it back to the man behind the glass.

2. Take Eli to Museum

We walk 2 blocks up the busy streets of Hong Kong. Hand in hand bumping into everyone shuffling by. I see foreigners and my heart begins to ache. To distract myself I think of reasons why they are all here. I see two older ladies holding Gucci purses, dressed up in fancy designer clothing and looking pretty snobby. They probably flew their rich husband’s private jets here for the weekend to shop. Must be nice. I see two men with huge backpacks almost reaching down to the ground. They are scruffy and look like they haven’t seen a shower in months. Exploring Asia, classic. I see a group of guys and girls walking beside each other laughing, talking and taking pictures. They must be English teachers. We reach the museum and as I go to reach for the door I see a sign, CLOSED ON THURSDAYS.

“What? Why Thursday? What’s so special about a Thursday?” I am agitated and not impressed.

“Baby, its okay we can go somewhere else,”

“Urgh, fine,”

2.Take Eli to Space Museum
We walk inside and pay to see a 3D show and take the tour. I’m upset; this day isn’t going as well as I planned.

“Chels, look!” I turn over and Eli is crouching under a globe pretending to lift up the earth.

“Take a picture, look how I strong I am” I smile and take out my camera. We continue on taking silly photos leaving everyone thinking we are completely insane. I have forgotten about tomorrow.

3. The Market
After the museum we catch a taxi. The weather is clearing up and it’s getting darker. We get dropped off on a street where there are people everywhere walking towards the market. We pay the taxi and begin to walk with the sea of the crowd. The smell of Chinese food fills my nostrils and turns my stomach. It smells horrible, the different typed of food mixed together is not a good combination. There are red tents set up with random people selling random things for cheap.

“Okay baby, lets haggle,” Eli says as he grabs my hand and pulls me forward. To the right of me there are purses, watches clothes, boots, and to the left I see pictures, scrolls, Chinese artifacts, hats, backpacks, glasses. I become overwhelmed by all the people pushing past me. I can hear people yelling numbers for prices; people grab your arm as you walk by trying to get you to buy something. I stick close to Eli and we walk over to the t-shirts.

“I need 17 I love Hong Kong T-shirts,” Eli asks the man with all the shirts. His eyes become wide and he rushes to put together our sizes.

“300 kuai” the man asks.

“250” Eli responds smiling.

“Sir, more money.”

“200” Eli replies back, still smiling.

“Okay, okay 250,”

Eli turns to me and smiles. We pay the man and move on. Buying as much as we can for as little as possible.

4. Re-Pack

We return to the hotel exhausted. I see my bags sitting on the floor and my smile fades. I am worried again and I fight very hard to keep the tears away. I empty my suitcase and cram everything I possibly can back into it. Eli helps me zip up my bag as I sit on top of it.
“Where’s my passport?” I ask.

“Are you serious Chels?”

“I think it might be in the bag” I say very carefully. Anger fills his eyes as he opens the bag again and begins to dig through it.

“Shit, it was in my pocket, sorry baby,” I say quickly.

“Wow, Chels,” he slams the suitcase shut and attempts to close it up again without my help. I try to walk over and help but he refuses. We are both mad. My face turns read and I want to cry. I’m mad because he’s a jerk. I’m mad because my things won’t fit in my bag. . I’m mad because I am leaving. I suck back my tears and take a shower. We lay down and try to fall asleep. I don’t want to sleep because when I wake up it will all be over. I am scared to wake up. My heart sinks and I don’t want to close my eyes. They burn as I try to keep them open and fight off sleep but I am too weak.

I hear an alarm and realize I had fallen asleep. We wake up in silence and get ready in silence. We check out and catch the bus to the airport. I rest my head on his shoulder and fall asleep.

Once we arrived we check in and sit down to eat until my flight is ready to board. I hold my tears in. I can do this. We sit in silence waiting…

“Now boarding flight 233 to New Jersey, please proceed to gate 88” I look up and stare at Eli.

“Okay, let’s go.” I say.

We walk over to security holding our hands tightly together. I can’t do it anymore. The tears come flowing out of my eyes and I’m shaking. Trying to catch my breath and talk at the same time Eli grabs me tightly and holds me. I feel his tears on my cheek. He is keeping it more together then me. My tears turn into sobs and I can’t think straight.

“It’s only a few months,” he says.

I nod my head yes because I can’t speak. We separate and I walk to the gate. He grabs my hand and says, “I love you,”

“Love you too” I manage to spit out.

I turn away and walk. Crying my eyes are blurring I cannot see where I am going. I turn around and he’s smiling waving goodbye. “I love you,” he mouths. I smile and walk forward not taking another glance back because it is just too hard. I think about not going home and just turning back to run into his arms. But I can’t. I think about going home and my heart breaks. I think about the past 4 months and how they flew by-it all happened so quick and now it’s over.

This was the last time I saw him.
Febrary 23rd, Febrary 23rd


  1. I liked the overall feeling that this piece had. I can relate to feeling angry when you're really supposed to feel sad. Using your emotions was effective in this post, shown through lines like this: "I’m mad because he’s a jerk. I’m mad because my things won’t fit in my bag. . I’m mad because I am leaving. I suck back my tears and take a shower."
    I was interested because you were fighting with him, even though you were going to be going away from each other, and probably didn't want to fight. But, when situations are so full of emotion, it becmes really tense and it comes out as anger.
    I feel like a lot of stuff was squeezed into this post, so that it required a lot of telling just to cover everything. It might have been even better if you chose only to cover the part in the airport, when you and Eli say goodbye. However, I enjoyed reading the rest and I can see why you wouldn't want to leave it out.

  2. I forgot to comment on something else I thought worked really well!
    "We leave the hotel; I take out a piece of paper from my pocket. It’s our list of

    I think this was really neat, because of the way you spaced it out, the title got its very own line, like we almost got a 'picture' of the list, an we could actually see the list transcibed on to the post. You could have just said "I reached for my list of things to do" but you didn't, you showed the list as it appeared, and that made a difference for me as a reader.

  3. I agree with Whitney that there is alot covered in this post. It might have been cool to start with the scene in the airport, and maybe have flashbacks to the last two days. This way you are starting where the action is, or the crux of the conflict, and than taking us back to give context/to fill us in. I also liked the mixed emotion portrayed in this piece by showing anger and frustration you were making the story more realistic than if you had described yourself as 1 dimensional and sad.

  4. Hello Chelsea!

    I ended up really enjoying this post! It was slow to start, but by the end I was impressed.
    I also enjoyed the list, which I should be focused on more, becoming more of a character throughout the piece, tying in with Eli and your last day together. As well, I think when your plans get changed with the museum (you should also specifiy what museum the orginal one was), I would recommend putting a strike-thru the previous item. I.E. “2. Take Eli to Art Museum (apparently comments don't have a strike-thru function, but it is the thing that puts a line through the text) Take Eli to Space Museum”. It adds alittle more depth to the list as a literary device and helps the reader visualize the list even further. The description of all the types of foreigners was one of my favourite parts. Finally, I liked the image of Eli as Atlas, holding up the world, it made me chuckle because I am a mythology nerd. You cover a large swath of emotions here and pull them off, great work!

    However, I agree with Meghan that perhaps you could have started the post at the airport with the I love you moment. I respectfully disagree with Whitney’s suggestion to just cover the airport though (Sorry Whitney!). I believe those moments add emotional depth to the story and allows Eli’s full character, his charm and also his callousness, to be revealed. Then to end off the piece go back to the final moments of the airport. Other suggestions I could offer are to actually introduce Eli at the start, his name and physical description, and maybe an emotional description of your personal feelings towards him…to kind of set up a base for the later extrapolation of his character. Also, remember that commas are your friend, don’t be scared of them! The first paragraph could have used acouple of them.

    You have made tons of improvement Chelsea, this was really good and has potential to be great!

    - Jeremy

  5. Chelsea,
    When I first read the beginning I felt like you told to much and you needed to show more, but then after re-reading it I realized that stating fact over fact resembled your mood and the tone of the hectic day. The beginning of your to-do list does a lot of showing rather than telling but then as your piece continues you completely switch.
    This piece was extremely relatable and interesting to read. You engage your reader making them want to continue reading on. I could feel the tension and the emotion that you were experiencing which was created through your description.
    Great Post!