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Of all the places in the world this is where I find myself time and time again. For the past year no matter where I go, all roads lead here again.
Sighing, I walk through the small black archway inscribed with the words ‘Bluebonnet Hills’. As I breathe in I smell the same things that greet me whenever I enter this place. Freshly planted grass, flowers, and death. Always lurking is the horrible stench of another soul lost to the hash and unforgiving world.
As if entering a whole new world, once you step though the archway all other sounds fade to black, pretending as if they were never even there.
Then come the cries. I bow my head lightly to the uncontrollable sobbing around me, each individual whimper telling its own story. Some are car accidents; some are cancer. Others as a result of serving their country and some simply from old age. They all mean the same thing though. They are all with a loved one that is just six feet out of reach.
I quicken my pace to escape the cries, for I’ve learned that it isn’t healthy to listen too long to the sounds of a story that isn’t yours, lest it become just that.
The cries fade away as I slow down and approach a lone hill; in fact, the only hill here. The cries are replaced by the silent sound of the summer breeze pushing through the grass and trees. This quiet would be welcome anywhere else, but here creates an atmosphere worse than that of the cries.
At last I reach the place where I have been walking to: a lone grave atop a small hill, sheltered from the setting sun by a single oak tree like a lone soldier watching over his ground.
I sit, sheltered by the shade next to the stone that reads simply “Ellis 1996-2010”. Exactly one year ago I remember this stone being placed. I allow a single tear to escape my eyelid, and let it roll down my cheek and just watch as it falls and is swallowed by the ground under me.
I shift my vision from the dirt to the rest of the graveyard, with the sun shining dully behind me, then back to the ground again. The hill overlooks the rest of this place, but doesn’t tower over it arrogantly at the same time. It seems to announce not that someone famous resides here, but simply that a loved one has passed on from this world.
I look up again, this time to my right at the grave and speak, just to break the silence. “It all happened so quickly,” I said to no one, or someone; did it matter? “I never got the chance.”
Tears start to fall from my eyes once again.
“I never got to tell you…I’m so sorry, Ellis.”
“Please,” I plead, “forgive me…”
Still no answer, but then again, there never is one.
I lay down on the ground as light fades into dark, and day into night. I wonder: am I keeping her company, or is she keeping me company? Perhaps the answer is somewhere in the middle. That is, if she ever knew me, let alone cared for me the way I did for her.
My last tears lull me to sleep, and I dream the ground swallows me up like it did the tears, so I can rest wit her at last without sorrow or pain.
I dream that she loves me.
But it’s only a dream…