He stood there, silently staring at her grave. The bouquet of flowers clasped tightly within his left hand. A cold winter wind blew. Had he been the one to die, would she have gone through the troubles and come this far for him? He doubted it. Would she have even come to his burial? He also doubted it.
Pleasant, yet heartbreaking memories come back to him as he lies in bed, still awake although it’s past midnight. He was talking to her, one of those rare times, and she smiled.
“What?” he asked jokingly.
“Haha, nothing, your phrasing was just funny.”
That was two days before she died.
“Hey, we should hang out a little more often, you seem like a really great guy.”
Those were the last words she ever spoke to him. Then she died.
Until that day, he was the kid that stared at her from the back of the class, who would never have the courage to go talk to her, who was often self-absorbed, often thoughtful, but thinking of meaningless thoughts. She probably didn’t know he existed. He’d often raise his hand in class, as he often knew the answer. Now, on the other hand, teachers would seldom hear from him. He was too busy festering in his dark thoughts.
That Monday morning, the first thing he noticed as he walked into class was her empty seat. His friend leaned over and whispered in his ear, “Look who’s missing, Romeo.” He sighed. He was hoping very hard that he’d get to talk to her again. The Principle and a bunch of teachers knocked on the door and walked in.
“Good morning, boys and girls… We have very bad news for you…” They announced.
That was how he learned of her passing. His friend remained silent and eyed him sadly.
She made a birthday party list and her sister showed it to her friends. He was not on it. He sighed and went off into a self-induced and sombre depression. He looked at her empty seat every class. He thought he saw her sitting in it, but on second glance realized his mind had been playing games.
He had bought flowers for the funeral, and he stood here as the preacher spoke. He glanced over at her family. They all looked incredibly sorrowful and dark. Her mother looked just like her, except for the couple wrinkles and lines of age. When she was her age, she must have looked the exact same. He saw what her life might have been with him dash by in his head. From the first dates, to the marriage, to their first child, and then finally to their last days together. Up on a hill on a pleasantly warm and sunny summer afternoon. She held his hand and he held hers. Their eyes locked, and hers seemed to say “thank you, thank you for this wonderful life…” He was quickly brought back to reality when the earth thudded against the coffin. He stood there, staring at the grave long after her family departed, tearfully, to say the least. He put the roses down and remained crouching in front of the tombstone.
“I love you… You honestly meant everything to me… It wasn’t just teenage hormones. It wasn’t just a crush… It was genuine true love… There are none like you in this world. None come close to what you were, and still are in my heart. I was finally getting things moving, trying to make something out of you and me… But you were taken away, claimed by another. I just thought of what we would have become. I’ll tell you how it would end. We would be the happiest couple on Earth, and just as you’d breath your dying breath, you’d hold my hand and look me in the eye. Your look would tell me more than what words can describe… And I would understand that no one, not you, not I, could have been happier with the lives we led.” He whispered to the tombstone. He started sobbing. He got up and slowly walked away.
Attached to the roses he left a card, upon it written a poem which was dedicated to her.
“I wanted you to be my Valentine,
I wanted you to be mine…
You blew upon this flame,
This flame only you could tame…
You started a fire burning in my soul,
A fire turned out of control,
And all I’m left with is this pain,
I’m left here standing in the rain,
Alone I stand and alone I cry.
The rain blends with these tears,
And time goes by,
And so do years.
Alone in bed I will lay,
For this love I must now pay.
You were my one and only,
Now I’m left sad and lonely.”
Sure enough, years passed on. he was older now, and remained unmarried. He climbed up a hill on a sweet summer afternoon and sat beneath the shade of a tree. He looked on in the cool breeze, lost within his thoughts. He felt a hand squeeze his own. He turned to look and there she was, sitting by him, looking on. She turned her face towards him, with a loving and happy smile. Within her eyes, he saw and felt a feeling indescribable. He squeezed her hand and looked onwards into the sunset, in a flurry of great joy and happiness.
C. Sophie Coulot