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Goodbye

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            The Doctor stared at the golden liquid in his cup. He had watched many humans try to drown their sorrows in a glass before.

            If only it could work for him.

            He downed the champagne in one swig, though it didn’t taste like he remembered. It seemed to turn bitter in his mouth, tracking an acrid trail down his throat.

            The Doctor set down the glass and looked at Jo, Cliff’s arm around her as everyone smiled and laughed. The Doctor had always thought of Jo as his girl, but not anymore. No, not anymore.

            Did history have to repeat itself? A memory tugged at his brain, one of the most potent and painful memories he carried with him.

            Susan.

But he couldn’t think of that now, not here.

He couldn’t stand the happy faces, the well wishes and congratulations. How were they all able to so easily part with such a faithful companion as Jo Grant?

            Quietly, the Doctor opened the door and walked out of the room. No one would miss him, surely, and no one would want his sour face polluting Jo and Cliff’s happiness.

            No, he was better off alone. That’s what the universe seemed to believe, anyway.

            He walked outside and climbed into Bessie’s driver seat. He started the car and almost stepped on the gas, but he just had to hope. Maybe she would miss him. Maybe she would run out to say goodbye.

            The seconds ticked by as he stared at the door of the building. Nothing.

            No, of course not.

            Bessie’s engine revved as he started off down the road, leaving his hearts further and further behind him with every mile. And though he would have never admitted it to anyone, the lane before him blurred in his vision.

            Don’t go too far away.

            Yes, he would see her again. He would go to her wedding and wish her well. He would check up on her and tell her about all the new planets he had seen…

            And yet something, very deep in his hearts, told him that he never would. It was a farewell he could never endure.

            “Goodbye, Jo,” he whispered.