Greyson's Light | Teen Ink

Greyson's Light

June 18, 2011
By CJ3838, Williamston, Michigan
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CJ3838, Williamston, Michigan
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Favorite Quote:
"It's a big big world with big big hearts, got so much love to give"

Author's note: i wrote a short scene about a funeral (which is now the prologue of this book) and it inspired me to keep going.

“Greyson?” I knock on his door and open up. I see the tawny haired, brown eyed, fabulously freckled twelve year old brother of mine sitting at his piano, plunking out a sad cantabile melody.

He turns around on the bench. “Yeah?” he gives me a little half smile, and turns back around to his keys.

“What are you playing?” I ask, coming over and sitting on the bed next to the piano.

“ Oh, just something that’s been in my head for a couple of days.” He answers nonchalantly. He places his hands on the long row of black and white, and seems to enter another world as he plays that deep and melodic sound, the right hand so poignantly sad, the left backing it up with dark, mysterious long notes. “Clea?” He asks, turning to face me. I raise my eyebrows in response. “I love you.” He smiles and turns back to the piano, as if he hadn’t said anything at all. That memory is so clear in my head.

The funeral was simple, plain, and short. There was a long, dark casket, its shining black lid looking like the top of a piano. We stood in silence, and the wind whistled the low branches of the weeping willow, and rippled the surface of the clear glass pond. A small and lonely grave marker stood below the old and knotted roots of the tree.
Greyson James Malette, 1997 to 2010.

“Here.” I put Stephen’s old and worn copy of To Kill A Mockingbird on his bed. The room was a mess, half packed boxes and suitcases were strewn about the room in a tornado. He was packing up for college, he had been let into Syracuse and would be leaving the next day. I had forced him to pick a college near our house, I couldn’t bear to be all by myself in this mansion every day.
“You won’t be all alone. You have Aunt Charlotte.” Stephen said, reading my thoughts. We live with our Great Aunt Charlotte in her old and creaky three story house. We have a whole wing to ourselves, my room on one side of the hall, Stephen’s on the other, and one door in the middle that hasn’t been opened in a long time…I shook my head.
“Yeah, but, she’s never around. We’ve practically raised ourselves for the past ten years.”
He let out a long sigh. “I know, and…I’m sorry, but there’s nothing else to do.” He looked up at me sadly from the floor.
I looked over at his beautiful antique Gibson guitar, with the swirling designs on the body. It was our mothers. “Your taking Lucy, right?”
Stephen looked over at Lucy propped up on his desk. “Um…”
“Take Lucy!” I screamed at him, hitting him on the head with To Kill A Mockingbird playfully.
“Okay, I’ll take her.” He said, giving in and smiling at me.
Thursday, September 2nd, Stephen left me behind for a fabulous new college life. It took us about two and a half hours to get him all set up in his dorm room, twin bed with the brand new sheets, brand new night stand, brand new alarm clock, brand new water pitcher with the built in filter, brank spanking new mini fridge. He’s got a roommate named Alex, he seems like a pretty nice guy, leather jacket on the outside, kind heart on the inside that you can see in his blue eyes. When I sense that it’s time for me to go, an embarrassing collection of tears starts to well up in my eyes. I try not to show it, blinking them back hard. I don’t think Alex caught on, but Stephen saw right through me. He took me out to the hall.

“Hey, don’t worry. I’ll be home a lot. You were always kinda emotional.” He said, giving me a hug as a tear runs down my face. “So was Mom.” He added.

I nodded, gulping. “Yeah…so I’ll…see you soon?” I looked up into his eyes under his long tawny bangs.

“Definitely.” He said, giving me one last goodbye hug.

“Dance with me Greyson!” I call over to him. We’re in my old dance studio, three months before I quit dance for good. Three months before the accident. I’m having the time of my life out there, pirouettes until I’m so dizzy I can’t see straight, leaps high in the air until there’s no floor left to leap on. He joins me and we laugh, laugh so hard, and dance, I twirl him around, and he spots me as I spin until everything gets blurred together. “Your turn!” I wiggle my finger at Stephen, and run over, pulling him out on the floor despite his complaints. We dance, and dance, and dance, having the most fun we’d ever had in so long, Greyson screams with delight as Stephen lifts him up and throws him over his shoulder, I hear his laugh ring out in an echo of happiness, of content.

I nearly jumped out of my skin as I woke, I’m lucky I didn’t jump out of bed as well. The remnants of a favorite memory loomed over me like fog. “Dance with me Greyson!” I could still hear his tinkling happy and carefree laugh. I closed my eyes and took in a long deep breath, and let it out 1 2 3 4 5. I suddenly threw my quilt on the floor, springing up and throwing open the door. A silent and sleepy house regarded me skeptically. My shoulders sagged as I trudged down the steps, barley glancing at that closed door in the middle of the wall.

When I got down to the kitchen the phone rang, nearly giving me a heart attack. It’s my friend Melanie.

“What do you want?” I said into the phone doubtfully.

“Good morning to you too. I just called to ask if you wanted to go to a concert with me this weekend.” Melanie said.

“Uh, who’s playing?” I walked over to the fridge and stared at the contents inside.

“Owl City. Come on, it’ll be fun. I’ll pick you up at six, okay?”

“Yeah sure, whatever, see you then.” I shut the fridge and walked over to the cupboard. I’m pulling out the corn flakes when the phone rings again-this time it’s Stephen. I eagerly picked it up on the second ring.

“Hey Stephen! How’s college life?” I brushed the hair of my forehead and sat down with my cereal.

“It’s going great.” He laughed. “But it looks like I’ll be eating Pop tarts or Froot Loops for dinner every night.

I laughed. “I’ll have to bring you some of Jill’s casseroles.” I said. Jill is our housekeeper, and she makes the best food ever.

“Ha, sounds good. Hey, do you want to hear this cover I’m working on? It’s Give Until There’s Nothing Left by Relient K.”

“Yeah! Get playin.” I can hear the scuffling noises of Stephen grabbing Lucy and putting the phone down next to him. And then Stephen starts to sing.
No one told me the right way
The right way to go about this
So I’ll figure it out for myself.
‘Cause how much is too much to give you?
Well I may never know
So I’ll just give until there’s nothing else.

“That’s all I got so far.” Stephen said.

“That’s great Stephen! Keep learning it, I expect to hear the chorus next time we talk.” I smiled.

“I’ll try. Hey, I’ll talk to you later, Clea okay?”

“Yep, talk to you later.” I hung up the phone and set it down on the cold marble counter, and looked into my soggy bowl of corn flakes. Today would be a long and boring day.

“He-ey! You ready to go?” Melanie said when I opened the door Saturday night.

The Owl City concert! Crap! I thought. “Yep, I’m all set. Let’s go.” I tried to act nonchalant.

“You forgot all about it didn’t you.” Melanie said skeptically.

“No; no let’s just go.” I walked out and shut the door behind me.

“Okay, whatever you say. Hey, are you okay? You’ve been acting weird about this since I asked you.” She unlocked the car and I got in.

“Oh, yeah, uh, I’m fine.” I buckled up and turned on the radio to end the discussion. Melanie gave me a weird look, but drove us to the venue without a word.

The pulsating lights, the loud, energetic blasting music, the tightly packed seats, I nearly started hyperventilating. Melanie grabbed my elbow and pulled us toward our seats, and I calmed down a little when we sat down.

I sat in boredom while the two opening bands played, Melanie must have thought I was acting like a real killjoy, but she didn’t say anything. When Owl City came out I actually got up and yelled a little bit with everyone else, and Melanie gave me a look like yeah, you’re glad you came after all. I laughed. They played Fireflies and then Strawberry Avalanche, and then a beautiful, simple and sweet piano melody in B major started playing. I gasped as I recognized it. Fuzzy Blue Lights. I don’t know what overcame me, but I jumped up and ran, pushing past everyone in our row till I got to the aisle, and then I made a break for it, running until I pushed through the door to the bathroom, and the door was shut behind me. I lowered myself onto the floor and started to cry. I knew it would come, but it had still taken me off guard. Melanie rushed in, a look of confused panic on her face.

“Clea! What happened back there!?” she knelt down next to me. I couldn’t bring myself to say it. Greyson had covered that song, he’d played it at his school’s talent show. He had been working so hard for it, playing it for hours until it was memorized. He’d made me and Stephen clear our schedules for that day weeks in advance. I knew the simple B major melody by heart. He’d practiced it in front of me countless times on the gleaming upright piano in his bedroom. “Clea…” Melanie couldn’t bring herself to say anything either. I sniffed, wiped my eyes, and managed a weak smile to her.

“I’m okay, let’s just go.” I picked myself up and Melanie followed.

“We’re going home.” I started to resist, but she just said “Come on, you’ll just spend the night at my house, let’s go home.”

My shoulders sagged and I gave in. I felt like I’d ruined her night, but she didn’t show it. we walked out to the car and drove home, no radio, just sad silence.

“Hey Stephen. First day of school was lame. How was yours?” I sat on the couch with my book, reading glasses still on, as me and Stephen caught up on each other’s lives.

“Classes are pretty tough. There’s this girl Emily in my English lit class that’s pretty cool.”

“Oh, did you ask her out?”


“That must be ‘no’ in German.” I said, laughing.

“Yep, you’re right.” He laughed along with me. “Hey, I was thinkin about coming home this weekend.” He said.

“Oh my gosh yes! It’s already been too long!”

He laughed and said “Cool, oh, and I forgot to tell you, my roommate Alex plays drums, and we’ve been playing some stuff together. I showed him a video of you singing and he thinks we have like, band potential.”

“Oh, that’s cool! Yeah, that sounds good, let’s talk about it later. And I’ll see you this weekend! Okay, I gotta go. Bye.” I smile and hang up the phone. A band, huh?

“Clea! Clea come here!” Greyson beckons to me. It’s about nine pm on a Saturday, and I’m doing my homework on the couch.

“What?” I look up at him over the rims of my glasses.

“Come on.” He runs and grabs me by the wrist, laughing and pulling me towards the door. He tosses me his old black Northface and takes me outside.

“What are we doing?” I ask, laughing and playing along with it.

“Just follow me.” Whatever it is, he’s keeping it a secret. He leads me to a grassy patch on the lawn surrounded by trees, and sits down on the ground. He gestures for me to do the same. We lay back on the grass.

“Aren’t they beautiful?” he asks, looking over at me. I shiver in his Northface and look back at him. He’s staring dreamily up at the stars, the billions of constellations, and the perfect harvest moon above our heads.

“Yeah, they are.” I smile and put my hands underneath my head as a pillow, and he does the same, our elbows touching. We lie there in the grass and stare up at the stars a long time. Finally, my eyelids start to droop and I look over to him. He’s falling asleep too, so I get up and help him stumble sleepily into the house and put him to bed. The following morning, he’s sitting back at his piano, writing a song entitled ‘Stars’. I can hear his voice through the walls
10 Million stars shining down
Sweet dreams all around
10 Million stars shining down
Spreading sleep throughout me now

My eyelids fluttered open to the sound of someone cooking in the kitchen downstairs. Was Aunt Charlotte actually making breakfast? I sleepily got up and went downstairs, walking into the kitchen.

“Stephen!” I shouted happily. I ran over and gave him a hug. He’s making omelets, that’s the breakfast smell.

“Hey, little sister.” Stephen said with a smile in his voice. “how’s it going?”

“It’s way too quiet with you gone. I can barely stand it.” I answered, peering into his pan of eggs. “And also, I’ve been having these dreams.” I said at a lower volume.

“Bad dreams?” Stephen asked.

“Well no, they’re actually memories. I dream about my happy moments with…Greyson.” I said sadly.

“Oh, Clea.” Was all Stephen could say. He wrapped his arms back around me as I shed a single tear. He laid his cheek on the top of my head as more fell.

“Clea…it’s been eight months.” Stephen whispered.

I suddenly pulled back. “Don’t you dare tell me to move on! Greyson was too good a person to just be forgotten as we move on! He was our brother!” I sank to the floor and sobbed.

“Our remarkable, amazing, loving, caring, cherished little brother.” said Stephen quietly as he knelt down beside me. “I don’t want you to forget him. But I don’t want you to let his absence run your life.”

I looked over to him and he smiled. “If you don’t mind, I think I’ll just eat up in my room.” Stephen nodded his okay, and I scooped an omelet onto a plate and walked back upstairs, pausing for a second at that closed door.

“Hey Stephen, are you ok?” Alex asked. Stephen lay quietly on his bed, staring up at the ceiling.

“Yeah, I’m just thinking.” Stephen replied.

“Do you always look so sad when you’re thinking?” Alex asked this a little bit sarcastically, but he still meant it.

“Sorry, I’m just…thinking about my brother Greyson. He um, died in April.” Stephen said almost inaudibly.

“Man, I’m sorry. How old was he?” Alex asked.

“Twelve.” Stephen said solemnly.

“Oh, that’s terrible.” Stephen nodded. He knew Alex was just trying to be nice, but he really didn’t feel like talking about it.

“Um, I think I’m gonna hit the sack, if you don’t mind.”

“Kay, goodnight.”

Stephen turned around to face the wall and closed his eyes.

“Stephen, this is the best day of my life.” He heard in a faraway voice as he was drifting off to sleep. He couldn’t be sure, but he was pretty certain he’d heard Greyson’s laughter.

“Hey, do you want to go shopping tonight?” Melanie was asking during 5th hour Social Studies.

“Sure.” I replied casually. I was copying down the day’s assignment into my notebook.

“Well, I’ll pick you up at 5:00.” She said. I nodded in reply. I guess she gave up talking to me after that because I was being so unresponsive. Oh well. I thought.

“Oh my gosh, this store is so tacky. Look at that top.” Melanie said. We were in a vintage shop that I had forced her to come into with me, and we had just passed some kind of disco 70’s button down.

“Yeah, but look at this lace dress. This is cute. And they don’t sell them in normal stores.” I said, defending the little shop.

“Sure, whatever.” Melanie replied, pulling back a chunk of clothes on the rack and eyeing things skeptically.

“Hey, let’s just go to the bookstore next door.” I said, tugging on Mel’s arm. She agreed, and we walked over to Bryce’s Books.

I found myself in the Paranormal Activity section, lost trying to find the Realistic Fiction, when a book caught my eye. Talking With Spirits by Grant Parks. I picked it up and looked at the back cover. after reading something like ‘Spirits can be channeled quite easily, all you have to do is channel your own spirit inside you first’, I shoved the book back onto the shelf.

“How stupid.” I muttered. I walked over to the romance section to where Melanie stood, looking at a book entitled The First Kiss. I wondered which book was better, that or Talking With Spirits.

“Can we go?” I asked, my voice starting to get a little whiny.

Melanie put the book back on the shelf. “Sure.” She said.

“Hey Clea, can I sleep in your room tonight?” Nine year old Greyson stands in my doorway as the last of the twilight disappears. It’s Christmas Eve, and you can see the lights on the tree casting their glow on the walls.

“Sure, go get Stephen and we can have a campout.” I reply. He leaves for a few minutes and comes back with Stephen.

“Hey.” Stephen says. They’ve retrieved their sleeping bags, and start to spread them on the floor by my bed.

“We should do this every Christmas.” says Greyson happily.

“Yeah, we should.” Stephen says. We stay up till about three telling stories and sharing memories. Greyson talks about a new song he’s composing, and then Stephen adds in about a new guitar rhythm he’s working out. It’s summed up to the best Christmas Eve in the history of Christmas Eves, and its starts the trend for the next years to be the same.

“Clea? Clee-aah, Hello?” I find Matt Burgess waving his hand in front of my eyes.

“What? Oh, um, sorry, I guess I just spaced out a little bit.” I said.

“Did you just hear any of that? We’re going to be lab partners.” He’s saying.

“Oh, okay.” I said shakily. Matt just shakes his head.

On the drive home it started to pour down rain heavily. My windshield wipers were back-and-forthing frantically, and water droplets splattered noisily on the roof. It started putting me in a depressed mood. Going home to an empty house made it all the more gloomy. Aunt Charlotte was out running errands, her car gone from the drive way. I grabbed a vitamin water from the fridge and walked up the steps to my bedroom. Suddenly I stopped. I wasn’t sure how, and I wasn’t sure why, but something made me come to a halt in the middle of the hall. In front of the closed door. “Don’t be afraid, Clea.” Greyson slips his hand into mine. I took one slow step after the other until I reached the door. “Good Luck!” we stand narrowly concealed by the curtains of the auditorium, I’m about to go out and sing my solo. I reached out slowly and took the cold door knob in my hand. “Clea! You were amazing!” one twist, and the door creaked open. The bottle of water dropped from my hand as I went into shock.

I stared in astonishment into the room that had been shut up for eight months. It was exactly the way he had left it, blankets tossed to one side of the bed, a heap of clothes on the floor. Books lined the built in shelves, and the navy bean bag chair had a crease like it’d just been sat in. I floated up to the ceiling as I watched my body enter the room and walk to the piano. I felt as if I wasn’t controlling my movements, just watching it happen. My fingers grazed the smooth shiny black paint. What really broke my heart was the music propped up on the stand. Clea’s Song it said, written in pencil. The whole thing was hand written on staff paper, each penciled in note stabbing its own little dagger into me. My hand flipped the page over, and all of the sudden I came crashing down from the ceiling back inside myself. A note, written in my favorite handwriting was scrawled onto the back. I squinted to read it.
Clea, happy 17th birthday I hope you like this song as much as I do, it’s really special to me. We love you! Always remember that.
Tears welled up in my eyes. I hugged the page to me as I let the tears escape and cascade down my cheeks. I turned around and walked out of his room, stepping around a pillow and some clothes. I turned back for a final look before leaving, but I made sure to leave the door ajar.

That night I had happy dreams, just snippets of old memories that had been stashed away in my mind, swinging in the park, Easter egg hunts, family trips to the zoo, Greyson as a little two year old with Mom pushing him in the stroller, right before she had died. I woke in a nostalgic mood and decided to pick up my guitar. Mine’s not as nice as Lucy, but I still love it. lately we haven’t been the best of friends, but I decided to change that this morning.

I strummed a few chords, occasionally turning a tuning peg here and there. I played a little melody, and then suddenly I got an idea. I reached over to my nightstand and grabbed the paper I had stolen from Greyson’s room the night before. The intro was simple and smooth, and soon I got it down. I looked down to the chorus. My eyes welled up with recognition. This was the song. My clearest, best memory. “What are you playing?” “ Oh, just something that’s been in my head for a couple of days.” I jumped about a foot into the air when my phone rang.

“Hello?” I said shakily.

“Hey what’s up?” Stephen asked warmly.

“Um, not much.” I didn’t know why I didn’t want to tell Stephen about the song, but some part of me wanted to keep it to myself.

“Well, me and Alex are going to a party tonight and we wanted to know if you wanted to come.” Stephen said.

“Oh, okay, that’d be cool, thanks. What time?” I asked.

“I’ll pick you up at 7:00?”
“Sure. See you then.” I hung up and let out a big breath as I looked down at the song in my hands.

“Clea, do you think I’m any good?” Greyson sits at his piano and is starting to get frustrated as he stumbles through a book of Bach compositions.

“Of course, Greyson I think you’re amazing.” I reply.

“You sure?” Greyson gives me a sad glance.

“Positive. You’re going to do some great damage to the music world by the time you’re done with it.” I say. This makes Greyson smile and he turns back to the piano, starting up on a song he’d written a while ago called Find The Light. I let his voice lull me to sleep.
Take a chance, follow the light, shine into the black of night
Pick a star, chase it down, you will win the fight somehow…

“Hey Clea, ready to go?” Stephen stands in the doorway, wearing a rumpled dress shirt over his graphic tee and jeans. I can see Alex sitting in the car over his shoulder, wearing a slight variation of the same outfit.

“Am I too dressed up?” I asked, looking down at my green dress and leggings.

“No, you’re good.” Stephen said, leading me to the car. I’m pretty sure he just said this so he wouldn’t have to wait for me to change, but oh well.

“Hey, Clea, what’s up?” Alex asked once I had gotten into the back seat.

“Nothing much, how are you?” I smiled.

“I’m great.”

“So, whose party is this anyways?” I asked, buckling up.

“It’s um, that girl Emily I told you about’s birthday party.” Stephen said, blushing a little bit.

“Ooh, fun.” I said, wiggling my eyebrows and punching him on the shoulder lightly. This made Alex laugh and Stephen stare fake angrily out the car window.

Stephen drove until we got to a little house in a quaint neighborhood with the porch lights on. You could already tell that the party was in full swing after opening the doors. Live music poured from over the backyard fence, and a hundred voices competed to shout over each other. I followed Stephen through the gate into the yard, where he spotted Emily standing and greeting guests.

“Hey Emily, this is my sister Clea.” Stephen called above the noise. Emily greeted me, and then Alex, smiling happily. She had a deep tan and long brown hair, cut in such a way that it gave the appearance of a mane. She was wearing a ruffled blue dress with sparkles all over it, and five inch booties that still didn’t make her look all that tall. I followed Alex to the deck, where a band of four punky leather jacket college students were rocking out. We danced with the crowd for a while, until the band took a break, and then I decided to go look for Stephen.

I found him over by the food table with Emily, where they seemed to be getting along quite nicely.

“How’s your first college party?” Stephen asked loudly.

“Great. The music’s good.” I yelled.

“Don’t worry, I’ll only make you stay til like 9:00, then we can go home. Sound good?” he called.

“Yep, I’ll find ya at nine.” I waved over my shoulder and walked back over to the deck where the band had started back up again. It reminded me of a concert me and Greyson had gone to for his 11th birthday, I’d taken him to NYC to see Paramore, who he’d been absolutely nuts over for a couple of months.

“Isn’t this amazing Clea?” he looks over at me and smiles with such passion and energy. I had gotten seats near the back, but that doesn’t stop his excitement at all. He screams and cheers with 5,000 fans as Hayley Williams runs onto the stage and starts singing That’s What You Get. When the first chorus comes around he shouts it at the top of his voice. “That’s what you get when you let your heart win!” he was having so much fun. We bounce around and scream until we’re hoarse and the show is over. On the drive home all he can talk about is all the fun. “And did you see when Zac broke his drumstick! And when Hayley threw the mic stand!” he talks so long until he falls asleep in the backseat, thirty minutes before we’d reach home. Stephen had to come out in his pajamas at one in the morning and carry him inside. As we’re walking up the steps, I hear Greyson stir. “This was the best birthday ever.” He whispers.

“Clea, Stephen says it’s time to go.” I didn’t realize I’d been dancing with my eyes closed until I had to open them to see Alex.

“Kay.” I answered, my throat dry. I followed him to Stephen standing at the gate of the backyard fence. We walked out to the car, and I suddenly became exhausted as I climbed into the backseat. We got home at ten, and using all my last energy, I climbed into bed and turned out the light.

“Clea, what’s wrong, you seem really….jittery.” Melanie said. I had been tapping my foot and my pencil all day, and I had been spacing out.
“Yeah…and I think I got it. Dance. I need to dance.” I said.
“Dance? You quit dance eight months ago.” Melanie replied, a confused look on her face.
“Yeah, but I feel like, if I dance, I’ll, I’ll feel more whole or something.” I got up and grabbed my stuff, slamming my chair into the table and rushing out of my last class of the day. I started walking quickly down the hall, determined to get to the studio before I lost my nerve.
Melanie was running up behind me, trying to catch up. “Clea! Clea wait!” she called. Finally she caught up to me just as I was walking out of the building. “What do you think you’re doing?” she asked, like a mom who had just found their kid coloring on the walls.
“I just have to dance.” I answered as I crossed the street to the parking lot. Melanie gave me a worried look, like she was letting a blind person walk freely into the road, but she didn’t say anything as I determinedly closed my car door and sped off to my house. I only stopped to grab my worn down shoes from under my bed and get my leotard and tights from beneath a heap of discarded clothes in my closet. I drove to the studio twenty miles over the limit, feeling alive.
“Can I use one of your studios for maybe an hour?” the lady in the office gave me a strange look, almost of recognition, but just nodded her head.
“Studio three should be empty.” I thanked her and rushed off, eager to stuff my toes inside my worn out Grishkos.
I stand alone in the center of the floor, ribbons tied tight. My hands shake, as I rise to my toes.

The next day I made it a point to get out my guitar and write something. I hadn’t playing in so long, I felt that a new song would give me a fresh start.

I stayed up late that night writing lyrics. I had a trash basket full of them, and a blank piece of paper in front of me. And suddenly I got an idea. I wrote quickly for a long time, as if what I had in my mind would vanish if I didn’t get it down fast enough.
There are broken lines behind me
But there’s no broken lines ahead
I’ve found the strength inside me
I’ll never hide from fears again…

Saturday, April , I rose slowly from my bed and walked down the steps in a zombie trance. I expected Stephen to come sometime today, but before he arrived, I wanted to do something privately.

I shoved my feet into boots and slipped my arms through jacket sleeves. I walked out to the car, and drove away without a backward glance.

I found myself at Springfield Cemetery outside the town border. Parking on the side of the road, I fumbled with the keys to lock the door, and slowly walked underneath the iron archway and into the rows and rows of inscribed stones. The wind whistled the low branches of the weeping willow, and rippled the surface of the clear glass pond. A small and lonely grave marker stood below the old and knotted roots of the tree. I knelt beside it, my scarf billowing out behind me. Suddenly a gust of wind sent it flying out behind me.

“Excuse me, miss, is this yours?” an old man holding a rake hunched over and picked up the scarf from the cold ground. He slowly walked over to me and held it out.

“Thank you.” I whispered.

“A relative?” the man asked, changing the subject and pointing down at the grave marker.

“My brother.” I replied. He nodded and turned his head to the side, as if to hear more. For some reason I felt like I could tell this friendly stranger anything. “He was a piano player, and a singer, and a year ago he was playing his very first show in New York City, on the night of a bad blizzard.” He nodded his head as if he remembered this night. “On the drive home his bus got into a terrible accident, and well…” I started to cry, and the man put his hand on my shoulder. “I loved him so much…he told me to be his light.” I wiped my nose. “I spent hours thinking about it. And now I know what he meant by that. I’m going to live life to my full potential. That’s what he wanted for me. It’s what I’ll do. I’ll try my hardest.” I looked up determinedly at the man. “That’s what I’ll do.” I whispered. “I am going to be Greyson’s light.”

A whisper of April wind blew through the trees. I love you Clea it seemed to say.

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