The hardest goodbye is one that goes easily. Softly. One where little is said and the tears shine but never need fall. It is more regret than anything else, tinged with an embarrassed sorrow.
“How did we let this go on so long?” It is in their shy smiles, a sweet ruefulness that they didn’t see the end before now.
All is done: there is no anguish to display, no wistful last words. They turn, as if to the same beat, and walk away. Neither looks back over their shoulder, so no one sees the shared memories splitting gently apart in the space between them and fading in the air. Softly.