Into his grave I draw his face
I flipped through the pages. The pencil in my hand snapped as my grip on it tighten. I did not bother getting myself another one. I can still draw using what’s left of this five inch pencil. This flimsy little thing... is already enough. Just like his lingering image in my brain...is enough to draw his sketch.
I sat, sprawled across the lush green bermuda grass. For three hours I worked on his portrait. And at last, his face took the exact replica of how he looks like. My fingers lingered at his bright playful eyes. As if touching could bring me the warmth he used to gave me.
I held my sketch book over the sun, smiling approvingly at my masterpiece. Even in drawings, he’s still beautiful. The look in his eyes radiates warmth and full of life. Just the right match for his cheery dimpled smile. I held it close against my chest, feeling the soft breeze of my surrounding. as if it’s his gentle spirit embracing me deeply.
A snap of branch nearby came into my ears. Someone’s footsteps, and it’s heading in my way.
First instinct was to be afraid. But I’m not. At least not in the cemetery. I know I can keep bad guys at bay with the rumored ghost sightings the groundkeeper spread across town.
I heard some took courage and ventured inside without permission. Taking this into account, the groundkeeper dressed me in white sheet of waterproof cloak and put a black long wig in my head.
So on the night they crept in, their heart almost burst out of their throats seeing me kneeling. Plus the gruesome horror props the groundkeeper set up in every corner, they left with their sanity barely hanging on.
I couldn’t care less. I did not let all these people distract me. I’m too engrossed in the smiling face I see in front of me right now I just need to make a duplicate in the paper. Capture everything, not missing the tiniest detail.
Because it was only in the sheets of blank paper, I could keep the him whose no longer with me...to stay at my side always.
I leaned my body forward it almost touched the ground. I started forming his gorgeous cupid bow lips.
Everyday now I’m visited with evocative dreams of him. I daydream of his smile in front of me, beside me, behind me. Every corner, every nook, in every crowd, in every side of our apartment... I see his face in all of them.
So vivid, so realistic, I can hear his voice calling my name in my head. I’m torn apart by my two worlds. The reality where there’s nothing of him except the memories and traces he left behind, and the illusion I put up to reject that harsh reality.
And I’m more inclined to the latter.
I breath the danky upturned smell of grass as I inclined my pencil to shade the flawless shape of the pout of his bottom lip.
Another slight touch in his messy unkempt hair and it’s done. I heard the cat meowed beside me.
It’s voice a thousand distance away. Like an echo. Deep down I realized, it was the two of us alone now. Me and the cat Kenneth and I found in the side street one snowy evening.
Him, is no longer a part of newly bonded family. And without him...I don’t know how am I gonna survive this useless pathetic life of mine.
Alice, what are ya doin’? Hm? - Kenneth.
Drawing. - Me.
Ya love that? Drawing? - Kenneth.
Yeah. I love it. - Me.
Why? - Kenneth.
To capture beautiful scenes in a whole blank sheet of paper. - Me.
What about me? Will you trap me in that white paper of yours? - Kenneth.
I will. - Alice.
Soo meaan! Alice I’m not a scenery you draw okay? I’m one hell of a super hot cop! Not some boring stony craft statue or a painting! - Kenneth.
Water droplets drip at the side on my drawing of his face. Drops resembling tears. I brush my cheeks, felt the damp skin and exhaled.
Statues or paintings can never be compared to you Kenneth. You’re as beautiful as nature itself. You are my world.
You always were.
You told me through the good and bad and all in between, you will always stay beside me...So why are you letting the cold hard ground embrace you beneath?
I desperately need you here with me right now. I’ve been a good girl. I’ve been doing my best not to blow up our kitchen again. I’ve been doing my best to battle my nightmares at night. I’ve been trying to be strong. Like how you always told me to....
I’ve done everything you ask... So won’t you come back to me now?
I won’t ask for anything else... If you come back and hold me once again.
Three familiar footsteps approached me from behind. Still, it wasn’t enough to shatter me out of my own makeshift world.
“Kid, I see you haven’t moved from your usual spot huh.” The old groundkeeper greeted. As he always did every morning. His voice is barely audible. Like there’s a big glass wall separating me from him, contorting his voice like a distant whisper.
“Will she always kneel in front of this grave? Doesn’t she have parents? ” Another man asked. This one I don’t recognize.
“Lad, the kid’s orphan. From what I heard, she lost her memory and this cop who died here took her in. Now that he’s gone...she’s left alone again.”
The sound of plastic unwrapping food filtered the quiet graveyard. The groundkeeper is kneeling beside me with two other men I don’t recognize. Could be visitors or new assistants, I don’t know.
And I don’t care much to find out.
“That’s so tragic. How many hours has she been kneeling here?” Another guy asked. This one has square shabby glasses with sleek black hair.
“Three months I think? Or maybe four?”
“What?!” Both new two faces stood up abruptly.
“For crying out loud, what’s wrong with ya lads? That’s nothing to be surprised about.” The groundkeeper is setting up the usual brown basket and starts to break down the food he packs as my breakfast into bite sizes.
“Of course there is! Wait, I’m gonna call the cop or the local orphanage to take the poor girl-”
Before glasses guy can finish what he has to say, groundkeeper snatch his phone from his hand and turn it off.
“Believe me, it’s useless. I called the local orphanage two days after I see her in the same spot, they came and tried to take her but never succeeds. Next is the police, same result, can’t take her away either. And you know why?”
“Because she’s vicious as a wild tiger. She bites people off until they let her go. Believe me, not even the toughest guy in town succeeded in separating her from this grave.”
“Then what about talking? You tried talking her out of it?”
“I did everyday. But it’s like talking to a statue. You’ll only feel stupid yourself. Best advice, leave her alone. Whether she dies or move on is up to her. But as long as she stays within my territory, it’s my job to keep her feed at least. Now, come on, I’ll show you how to handle her well.”
The ground keeper put the basket beside my closed book. I tried not to move a muscle when I have company. So far, I found myself excellent at it.
“Hey, little girl. How are you today? I bet your hungry now don’t ya? I have some pancakes with honey, toasts with jam, cookies and other excellent treats. Which one do you like?”
I blink once, after each second comes another one. A total of three.
“I see, you want cookies. Do you want me to feed you with a spoon or would you rather have your cat do it?”
I blink twice.
“Okay, we’ll wait for him here.” Kind old groundkeeper bowed his head lower and push his two companions three paces backward.
“Sir Hamon can you please tell us what’s goin’ on?”
Hamon? Ah, yes, that’s groundkeeper’s surname.
“Shh shh, be quiet. Very crucial moment. Don’t move so suddenly or act in any kind of threatening. I told you she’s vicious right? Wait till you see the cat.”