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walk alone


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It was a quiet night the world of day left hours ago and with it went the busy streets, the gossiping crowds, and the on going traffic all that was left was the quiet sound of my foot steps as I continued walking down the sidewalk. Passing house after house and continuing on, following the moons direction. My feet stop at one of the old houses as I watch a family help prepare a diner. “looks like the main course is shrimp.” I say to myself as I continue to watch not yet ready to leave. Watching them was like a Kodak moment captured on film. I laugh as I see a child of five pull on his mothers skirt pointing to where his older sister sat cutting fruit. She looks toward her husband then nods her head smiling, as she opens a drawer and takes out a flat butter knife. She sets him at the table and hands him the knife and a banana to slice. She shows him how to hold it then lets him slice by himself as she silently stands behind him.
I sigh knowing I should continue that visiting any longer would not be a good idea. After walking for ten minutes I stop suddenly. Finally realizing where I was going. I stay there wondering if I should continue. Wanting to but to frozen by the fear of what will happen. Questions run through my head. What it going to look like? Will it still be the same? Will it be there waiting for me? ...”I don’t know if I have the strength.” I whisper. My feet start to move with out my knowledge. My heart hammered in my chest, as I slowly stumbled in to the forest and down the slope. To the place where I had everything …and lost it all in one breathe.
I haven’t been here in over a year yet I still know the route well. The twist and turns you make, the high trees that soared above the clouds, and the rocks my wife and I use to climb. This whole forest is filled with good memories. So how could one bad memory outweigh them all being in the forest was not enough I had to go further. I traveled down the path careful not to lose footing. A little longer and I came to a place where the scenery was too good to be true. It seemed as if something only in your dreams. It was a forest clearing flowers; bloomed all around me the grass caressed my legs. I looked up at the moon stunned in to silence. The beautiful moon that brought me here now had a twin. That twin shown just as brightly as the water made a perfect mirror image of the sky.
I walk up to the water and kneel in front of it. I hesitantly touch the surface of the water watching as the ripples spread out. The emotions that I held in check for so long over took me and I was yanked back into the past drowning in the memories of my wife. The sweet moments we had Together…they were too short. I expected years of happiness with her, myself, and our soon to be daughter. Oh we were so happy we couldn’t wait to see that child of ours to watch her be born in to this world with wide wondering eyes ,for the moment when newly made parents hold their child together and softly whisper “we will protect you” as she gently falls asleep in her mother’s arms. For us to be a family.
My memories, thoughts, and emotions swirl around me smothering me suffocating me. I try to breath but it’s just too hard. When the love of my life and child to be left, they didn’t leave empty handed. There’s a hallow hole in my chest I feel it every day. It’s always there following me, haunting me, a never ending phantom always reminding me of what I had…and what I lost. I can’t hold it in any longer I scream up at the moon expressing all my anger, frustration and, sadness that has been locked inside me.
The locked box on my emotions finally snapped revealing an ugly black anger that was so dark it was impossible to pinpoint exactly where it was from. “Why?” I whisper softly my head bowed, fingers clenched. The wind joins my sorrow blowing around my face and lifting the hair from my eyes showering me with its presence letting me know I’m not alone. It swirls around me the feeling of it almost like fingers caressing through my hair and trailing down my arms. Like arms enfolding me, embracing me.
The wind continues to blow becoming a never ending presence round me urgently wrapping around me as if I’ll become nothing if it lets go the wind becomes stronger as if urging me to understand something “what” I call the wind is so loud now that I can hear the whoosh of the wind. louder and louder and still louder until…I hear a faint song in the breeze like a lullaby being sung by a soft voice. Slowly my hands unclench as I realize that this was the last song my wife sang. The wind starts to die but the song is still strong in my ears. The voice of the wind becomes distant as it takes leave rustling a pile of leaves in the process.
“Wait!” I call out. My hands desperately grasping the air for something I know is not there “don’t go” I stay there on my knees, staring up at the moon as my hand slowly drops to the ground. “Please come back.” I whisper. Silent tears fall down my face, I don’t wipe them away. A hand touches my shoulder holding firm. “Come Andrew…lets go home.” The person says after a long time. “Why are you here Josh?” I say voice empty of emotion. Because no one should be alone, when it’s the death anniversary of a loved one.” He helps me to my feet and together we leave the clearing. As we leave I again hear the sweet sounding song of lullaby …only this time it sounds like the voice of a mother and child.




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