Aki- Hear is a little one-shot I've had saved up for a while

Goodbye. It was a simple word said at the end of many a conversation, but for Jess it meant something more.

He didn't like saying it. It was too final. Too infinite. Goodbye, to him, meant forever, and Jess didn't like to live in extremes.

Extremes were too hard and rough to live by, for extremes could be broken. Jess liked the idea that he didn't know what tomorrow held. He preferred life to be unpredictable and spontaneous. Thus he avoided locking himself in spoken extremes like he would never do that or he would always do this…or goodbyes.

Strangely, goodbyes are what most people, particularly she, want to hear.

Rory always wanted goodbyes, something that Jess never quite understood. She came all the way to New York for one. He still remembered perfectly how she answered innocently, 'You didn't say goodbye,' when he questioned her on why she had come. He remembered letting a small grin touch his lips as he replied, 'goodbye Rory.' But when he said it then it wasn't a goodbye forever. It wasn't an extreme goodbye. It was just simply a goodbye, no, a goodbye with hope.

That was the only goodbye that Jess had with her though. He left her in ruins without even telling her he was leaving for California. That goodbye was very intentionally evaded. Right then he didn't want to believe it, or face it. He didn't tell her goodbye when he told her he loved her or when he begged her to run away with him.

He didn't even tell her goodbye when he showed up years later with his life together and hers in shambles. He yelled at her, asked what was wrong with her life. Asked what was wrong with her. She didn't know. He calmed down. Told her he'd see her around and wished her a happy birthday. But he didn't say goodbye.

Goodbye to Rory meant security, meant finality, it meant stability.

Goodbye to Jess meant forever.

To her it was romantic.

To him it was an ending.

To her it was a necessary courtesy.

To him it was a thing to avoid at all costs.

To her it was the thing that she cried about on the phone on her graduation day when he could not say a word. Because Rory didn't know how Jess felt about goodbyes. She didn't know that he thrived in the spontaneity and the un-assurance of its absence. The reflexivity it's never existence left behind, the mystery it held.

Jess knew that if he had said goodbye at any of those times Rory would have found appropriate, it would have killed him. The walking away was hard, but it was easier than staying, unless you have to say bye… but he had to leave no matter what.

See, if he didn't say goodbye, if he left their relationship hanging, open. Even if deep down in his psyche he knew it was over, it was done, he had had his chance, he damaged it beyond repair, he didn't want to make it final. Thus, he didn't say goodbye, never to her, never but that once.

It wasn't denial that kept him from saying goodbye.

It wasn't really even hope, because he didn't have much hope for them. It was for something else.

It was the thought that he never ever wanted to make anything end completely for them. It was the idea of being able to let his daydreams honestly play out in his mind.

And mostly it was because he knew he could always go back, just as long as he didn't say goodbye.