The trees are bare, and the sun is absent from the sky. There are no animals in the woods and no birds chirping from high above. There is only overcast gray and a darkness that seems to envelop your soul. The ground is slightly moist, the grass is mostly dead, and patches of brown plague the ground. There are many flowers though; some fake and some are real. All of these flowers have one thing in common though; they all share the same purpose to mourn the dead. You can smell it. Winter is coming soon; one can smell bitter cold in the air and taste that same bitterness in one’s mouth. There is no life around and I am like a beacon of light, just standing in the middle of a fog. I can’t tell if this is all real, or just a figment of my imagination. Then I touch the head stone, and I know it’s real.
I never know what to say when I’m standing there all-alone, and I never know what to do. So I just stare, with a blank-white face at my best friend’s resting-place. My car is always parked on the side of the road, right in front of him. The head stone is a cool-gray; a color that seems to almost capture the essence of how I feel. The obsidian lettering etched across the gray background seem to highlight the name and date.
I look at his picture and wonder what we would be doing now. I laugh a secret laugh as I pick up the infamous “Scooby Doo” Frisbee. I smile on the inside while at the same time hurting so badly. I lie the Frisbee back down across his resting place gently. I look at the sky as if waiting for an answer. I never get one though, and so I sit down next to him. What joke would he be telling now, what story would he be gloating about? Many years from now I’ll know, when we’re playing catch-up in whatever after-life awaits.
The street across the way is empty; no one is here to visit anyone else. It’s almost like they’ve forgotten. One solitary light fixture remains lit in the early AM, I can’t help but think that’s him telling me he’s listening to everything I say. A single leaf, possibly the last in sight, falls from a tree beside me. Withered, it slowly makes its way to the ground, in some instances getting caught by the breeze that gusts through. Inevitably it finally rests on the ground. One leaf, wrinkled at the sky, on the ground. The leaf must feel the same way I do-lonely. It lies there alone, and I stand here alone, staring off into the distance.
Little trinkets scattered about the headstone seem to have life of their own. The angel is smiling, but not at me. The Frisbee that rests upon the cold stone brings memories of the past fresh to my mind. The things I have left him seem to glow in the dank darkness, like they have an aura around them. There is a small pool of tears beside me. They glimmer, though there is not a ray of sunlight anywhere. I kneel, touching my hand to the freezing ground. I bow my head and a gust of wind blows through my hair, the light in the distance flickers, and a ray of sun breaks through.
It sheds the warmth of the heavens upon my shoulders. I can’t help but smile, because I know he’s with me. The headstone is no longer dark and gray. The cool granite warms and sparkles in the sun, radiantly and true. I kiss my hand and place it on his name. I nod my head as if receiving reassurance from him. I smile and make my way back to my car. I start to drive away, and in the rear view mirror I look back and see a sparkling stone, that seems to smile, wave, and say goodbye. I look back to the road, and say, “Goodbye my friend, goodbye.”