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Goodbye (Hello)

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Winry saw the strange ship leave through a blast of blue light – alchemy, of course. It took him away again; took both of them, because wherever Edward had gone, Alphonse went with him.

Once again, she didn’t have the chance to say goodbye. It hurt, especially after getting Edward back again even if only for a few minutes. Sciezca clutched her hand so tight, it went numb. She cried the tears Winry couldn’t.

Mr. Mustang found them and told them the bad news: the boys would never come back to Amestris again. “Edward wanted to make sure Amestris was safe from that world’s predations,” he said and the way he said it, Winry thought he tried to control his emotions so she could give hers free rein.

But her heart had been broken too many times by the Elric brothers. The good thing was, she could put it back together again. She thanked Mr. Mustang for letting her know. She made sure Sciezca made it home safely and accepted the offer of the couch to sleep on for the night. Winry didn’t exactly sleep. A part of her mourned something that might never have been except in her own dreams. She knew she couldn’t let herself brood and turned her thoughts to hopeful things.
She cheered herself by thinking Alphonse was finally with Edward again. No, she couldn’t see them but she knew wherever they were, they were okay. They had each other and really, that was all they needed. Oh, she could pretend they needed her – Alphonse’s promise of them being a team again still echoed somewhere in a broken part of her heart – but Winry didn’t kid herself. Despite the way she felt about the brothers, they had done a lot to keep her separate from their lives.

Now, they’d be separated forever.

But Winry wouldn’t live her life alone. She had friends. She’d made a family for herself. And she wouldn’t let the loss of two people, no matter how important she felt they were, destroy her.

So she said her goodbyes in the best way she could. A trip down memory lane, to all the places she’d gone with the boys. Little letters left behind in hidden places about what those places meant. And when she returned home, she be cleansed. Purged. Ready to go on with whatever the next adventure would be.

Lives are funny, she wrote in one of her letters. You live them the best you can with all the hopes you can but you can’t control other people. You can’t control their hopes and dreams and you shouldn’t even try. Instead, you should do what makes you happy. And yes, you will get hurt. Your heart will be broken, probably lots of times. But that’s a part of life too, so you know later you’ve actually lived.

I miss you guys. I always will. But I think you’re okay and I hope you know I am, too.

This isn’t really goodbye. Like you used to say, ‘see you’.

Winry signed her name and folded the letter, sealing it in an envelope. She wrote a pair of names on it and propped the envelope against a tombstone bearing the name of Trisha Elric. Her fingers on the stone, Winry whispered, “Take care guys.”

Picking up her bag, she started down the road to the train station. Mr. Coyle still manned the station, his mustache droopier and whiter than it ever had been. He smiled at her and touched the brim of his hat. “Done paying your respects, Miss Winry?”

Little towns. Everyone knew everything about everyone else. Winry smiled back at him. “Yes, Mr. Coyle.” She was done with her goodbyes.

Now she’d start on hellos.