The depression was like a black liquid seeping through his veins. It made his bones feel heavier, his heart emptier.
She, on the other hand, was feeling weightless, a new light surrounding her. Her bags packed, her things in boxes, it was time to say goodbye to a world holding her back.
The more she looked forward to her new life, the more the darkness took hold of him.
He understood why she was leaving, had even supported her at first, but as this day had grown closer, his smile had struggled to remain.
She tried to hug him but received little in return.
“I’ll call you. And text you. Heaps.” She held onto his shoulders and grinned. Her lips pushed together, her cheeks puffing out.
The darkness receded slightly where her hands rested but persisted to pull at his face.
“I’ll be back for a visit in a few months too,” she said, swinging her arms down to her side before picking up one of the boxes with swiggles of vivid across the side.
“I don’t want you to go.” He hadn’t meant to say it. Had meant to just nod and say OK but the words were out now and her light had dimmed. As his head dropped, the first of the tears leaked.
The box was quickly put down and her arms wrapped tightly around her younger brother.
“I know.” She squeezed her arms slightly, enough for him to feel it in his ribs. “I’ll miss you.”
Another squeeze and then he was let go.
She picked up the box again while her mum grabbed the others. Dad was already loading her the bags in the car.
“I’ll be back from Uni in no time,” she said. “Come on. Grab my laptop for me. It’s time to go.”