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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 16 page 05



Good Morning, I am Leaving

by Hamid Asiayee

Just about an hour to the station — all that is left for me here! You are staying on the train, aren’t you? Look, I am not going to tear up this last letter I’ve been writing. All these years I wrote many letters but not a single one was read. This one, I am going to leave it here on this seat in this train. You don’t have to read it, but I’d be happy if you do. I wish I could talk to you, but I know it is a weird thing to do, and let me tell you, I don’t want to be that stranger making you uncomfortable in this last hour.

If you want to know why I write letters, it all began with a joke. It was my first year here and I was feeling desperately homesick. We used to meet in the university café with some fellow students and I was whining about not being able to talk to people because of the distance I feel between me and others. My friend jokingly said “then write letters” and so I humourlessly started writing letters and tearing them up and kept doing it up to this day.

Here it is, my last letter:

Dear Stranger,

Good morning.

I am leaving.

Well, if you ask, it is very difficult to say how I feel at the moment. I am not angry, that I know for sure. A bit sad maybe, scared, excited, and happy. How about you? Just kidding. I know you don’t want to talk about it. It is personal, right? But let me see! You seem to be doing fine. May I ask a question? You sure? It is even more personal, I warn you. But I am leaving, so you can make an exception. Does it make you happy that I am leaving? Do you care at all? See, I don’t want to be mean or ungrateful, but I was so concerned when people were talking about the harms we may cause. We? Of course, it is just me leaving. I am not taking anybody with me. But still I, for one, am leaving.

I remember those days that I was desperately trying to make it clear to everyone that I am not a refugee, that I came here to study long before the war and I work and live here like any other normal person. Stupid, eh? After a while I gave up. I was nobody anymore. I was not you and I was not them, I was not even me. And that was difficult I should say.