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Saying Goodbye

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Sybil couldn’t let Gwen go without saying goodbye. At her insistence, she had requested use of the car to drop Gwen off at the station. After all that Gwen had done for them, it felt only right that she should get a proper send off. Sybil watched the back of her head, her red hair standing out against her blue hat like flames. Sybil wasn’t ready to say goodbye just yet.

They pulled up at Downton Station and Sybil and Gwen got out of the car. While Branson busied himself with Gwen’s bags, helping them onto the train, Sybil took both of the maid’s hands in hers.
“Promise you’ll write to me.”
“I will, M’Lady, I promise.”
Sybil pulled her into a hug.
“Goodbye, Gwen.” Her voice shook.
Gwen returned the hug, fighting to keep her voice level.
“There there, M’Lady. It’s not goodbye. We’ll see each other again, I’m sure.”
“I hope so.”
Sybil pulled back and they looked at each other, Gwen brushed a strand of Sybil’s dark hair out of her face.
“I’m going to miss you, Gwen.” Sybil sighed.
“I’ll miss you too, M’Lady, very much.” Gwen’s smile wavered.

They broke apart and Gwen boarded the train. Branson closed the door after her. Steam billowed out of the chimney and it began to pull away. Gwen leaned out of the window and waved to them. Sybil waved back until the train had taken Gwen out of sight; only then did she dry her eyes on her handkerchief.

“She’ll never forget you, Lady Sybil.” Branson’s voice called from behind her, Sybil turned to find him smiling kindly to her.
“I don’t know what I’ll do without her.”
“I’m sure she feels the same way about you, M’Lady.”
“Thank you, Branson., you’ve made me feel much better.” She smiled.
“I consider that my job, M’Lady.” He replied.

Branson offered Lady Sybil his arm and walked her back to the car.