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Don’t Leave Me
By: Erika W.


The air was still. Not a single bird was singing, nor was one tree dancing. Vast clouds imprisoned the sun behind their swollen, gray mass. There wasn’t a speck of life to be seen; only me and dozens of aged stones rolling over acres of land.
In the distance, I focused on the marble marker sitting motionless underneath a small willow. My feet turned to lead as sadness suddenly swelled inside of me, but I knew I had to go. I had to see her.

Slowly my feet began the trek across the dying ossuary. The withering, yellow grass crackled with every step. I stopped a few feet away from the gravestone as memories swirled around in my head. My heart became a heavy weight in my chest. I held my tears back, not wanting to submit to sorrow.

Kneeling, I glided my hand over the cold, smooth surface. My fingers traced the rough, engraved letters as a raindrop fell and stained the rock. No longer able to hold in the tears stinging my eyes, I let them roll down my puffy, red cheeks, warm streaks seeped through my lips, bitter and salty, across my tongue. But I ignored it along with the faint rainfall that lightly drizzled on the desolate cemetery.

I didn’t move for the longest time. My body felt stoned as if it belonged in the old, decrepit necropolis. The drizzle turned into a downpour, drenching me from head to toe. Strong gusts of wind howled and loud cracks of thunder nagged me to leave. I refused to move a muscle. I knew I had to stay. I had to talk to her.

With great efforts, I controlled my weeping. I managed to squeak out a few words, but my sobbing took over as a bolt of lightning illuminated the sky. The freezing rain sent shivers down my spine.

My brain told me it was time to go, but it took a few minutes before I am able to pull myself away. Soaked through the skin and chilled to the bone, I made headway to the eerie, iron gate. Reaching the fence, I paused. As I look back over my shoulder, I see the headstone standing silent, silhouetted by a flash of lightning.

I trudged on through and heard the rusty hinges whine behind me. Turning, I grasped the icy, metal bars and pressed my face against them.

“I love you, Nana,” I softly whispered before the night sky swallowed the graveyard into utter darkness.




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