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Six Feet Under the Sky

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. I went back to watch them finally lower my father’s coffin into the ground. The machine let him down slowly as the workers observed. The whirling gears provided a metallic soundtrack to my father’s final descent. The rain that blanketed the sky had passed, and the sun had since shined bright. With no wind to move the sky, a wispy cloud was frozen in place. My father’s grave laid at the edge of the cemetery, alone.
I leaned there in the shadow of a tree still in my suit and tie from the funeral earlier in the morning. That funeral was supposed to be my last good bye, a final acceptance of what happened, but I couldn’t find it in me to let go. Silent tears rolled down my face, and I didn’t lift a hand to stop them.
“Why do you torture yourself, David?” A soft voice asked suddenly. Glancing back, I saw Anne’s car parked by the curb, the door still flung open. She walked toward me, taking even steps until she stood beside me under the tree. Her hand found my shoulder giving me a gentle touch of comfort. “I’ll take you home. You don’t have to stand out here.”
I turned to Anne, not bothering to wipe the tears from my face. She’d changed out of her formal clothes from earlier and had slipped into a simple jeans and t-shirt. Her eyes were gentle. Only a few times had I ever seen her like this, so distraught over someone else. I could hear it in her voice too. With every word she spoke, I knew she understood my pain. “We can talk at your house.” She said, “Just don’t torture yourself by staying here. Trust me, it’s better to leave.”
“I can’t find the strength in me to leave.” I replied being completely truthful. “It feels like when I leave then everything changes.” So many thoughts were running through my mind at once, but I couldn’t concentrate on any of them. In a cruel twist of fate, my life had turned into the same rollercoaster ride Anne’s had been when her mother had died. Back then, I couldn’t even imagine what she was going through but now the pain was all too real. And it wouldn’t go away.
“Death happens, but life is what you make it.” Anne said while stepping in my line of vision so I had to stare at her instead of the workers silently filling in my father’s grave. “Your dad wouldn’t want you to waste your life away sulking. Remember him. Do all the things he wanted you to do. Do all the things he couldn’t. Just don’t stand here all day ripping your heart open with the sight of his coffin.” Her words were loud in the silent air but they were enough to wake me out of my slight stupor.
My tears didn’t stop flowing as the wind picked up, shaking a few lose yellow leaves from the tree above. Anne’s words rang true in my ears, but I couldn’t break from the reality of my situation. My mind started to wonder and think about all the people I could lose in the future. My mom. My brother… Anne…

I started to cry, shedding tear after tear of pain and sorrow. None of them were for my dad, no I had shed enough tears for him. But Anne, standing there right in front of me. I found myself crying for her, grieving. I knew all too well how fragile life was but the thought of there ever be a world without Anne in it, was inconceivable. Unimaginable. Impractical. Just … not a world I could be happy in.
I wanted to take her right then and there and start to run. I wanted to run away from Death. I would spend the rest of my life running away. I’d gladly do it. Always looking forward, never looking back. Maybe then I wouldn’t have to feel the pain again. Maybe then I could smile again.
“It’s okay,” Anne said gently into my hair as she wrapped her arms around me. “I’ll always be here with you. Always.” I wanted to believe her but… death catches up to everyone no matter how fast you run.



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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

A_Dreamer said...
Feb. 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm
Wow, I can just imagine how tortured that guy is.
And I like it, you stuck a moral into the story that's barely visible. :)
To all the people who have lost someone, I think they can all learn something from this.
 
DallysGrrl said...
Feb. 10, 2010 at 8:33 pm
That is GREAT!! awesome. inspiring. sad. thought-provoking!!!! great!! i was amazed at how u summed up life in 1 sentence!! (the last sentence, i mean.) so great. u have a talent 4 this!!!!
 
FlyingAlight replied...
Feb. 10, 2010 at 8:53 pm
Thanks so much!! I'm glad you liked it! Your comment just made my week amazing!
Read and tell me what you think of some of my other pieces, please
 
DallysGrrl replied...
Feb. 11, 2010 at 10:12 am
Okay i will!!
 
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