Navigating my way through the dark is not an issue, as this is the place that I know like the back of my hand.
My feet themselves dragging me to the place which is the source of my every pain, every anguish, yet I try to find my solace there.
With each step taken in the direction of that place, the ache in my heart increases. I clench the front of my shirt in a tight fist, trying to claw the pain out of my chest. But I know whatever I do, it will not be enough to put out the agony in which I am burning from inside.
A small whimper escapes my lip when my eyes land on the stones, beneath which lie the two most important people of my life.
Mom and Dad.
My whimper is replaced by a scream, as I look up the sky and scream with everything I have to release my pain. Tears prick in my eyes but clenching my eyes shut, I don’t let them fall. Even though my heart feels like it will burst from anguish, but I do not let my eyes shed any tear.
How can I let myself cry when I am the reason they are dead? I don’t have the right cry over their death.
Falling on my knees, I keep on screaming till my throat is raw, my hands fist the grass on the ground. If someone walks now, they might think I am crazy, but I don’t care. I just want this pain to end. Although I am aware it will never be possible, I have to live all my life with this pain.
Silently, I curl on mom’s grave, facing my father’s grave, trying to feel her. But there is nothing but just the cold grass, no warmth of my mother. Still, it doesn’t stop me from closing my eyes and relishing the fact that this the closest I could ever come to my mother in my life.
With each breath, a pang of hurt passes over me, piercing straight through my heart. Every word, every pitiful glance, flashes through my mind, tearing me from inside.
I see the stilled form of my dad, behind my closed lids. I remember the missing of his warmth when I held his hand for the last time. The first and last time I kissed his forehead, as a silent goodbye, knowing that after this I will not be able to see his face again. I recall sitting beside his grave for hours until I fell asleep and Pops carried me back home. Because I don’t want him to feel alone. Although he wasn’t the one who was alone, I was the one who was left alone here. Because he was finally reunited with the love of his life...my mom.
I remember clutching Pops’ hand all the time, afraid he might also leave me. Tightly hugging him while I sleep, fearing when I would wake up he would also be gone.
The sound of footsteps makes me open my eyes. But I don’t move from my position, at this point I don’t care whoever the person is. Even if it is some murderer, I don’t give a damn. I hope they will do their work quickly, allow me to rest in peace.
The person sits behind me and lightly run fingers through my hair in a calming manner, instantly I know who it is. If I was not drowned in my sorrow, I would have already guessed it by now.
I allow myself to be comforted for a few moments, then turning my head I find Kris sitting down on the grass beside me in her pajamas. Her face filled with sadness and at the same time, an understanding expression is also present in her eyes.
She knows when I need to be left alone and when I need someone to be there for me. I don’t know how, but she always understands this even when we were kids. And I am so grateful to have her in my life.
She was the one who found me here when first I had a breakdown after coming back from the boarding school.
We stay there for some time, not saying anything, then taking a deep breath I stand up and she follows my action. Before I can say anything, she embraces me.
“Let’s go home, ” she says pulling back from the hug, but still, she kept her arm around my shoulders.
“How did you come?” I ask suddenly becoming aware of the fact, it is quite late in the night and the idea of her coming to get alone is unsettling.
“Jake drove me here,” she says, trying to hide her betraying mischevious smile.
“I called you but when you didn’t answer your phone, I figured you might not be at home and probably wandering off into woods.” She lightly laughs but then turns serious, “It wasn’t difficult to guess, Avery, that I would find you here. I could see how much you were bothered after that Maddox incident. So it was obvious for you to come here.”
I sigh and nod.
“Well, since you know much of a brave person I am.” She playfully rolls her eyes, “I called Jake and told him that I had a nightmare that my grandma came to take revenge from me for washing her dentures with toilet water, so now I am scared that she is coming to get me. I have to make sure that witch is still lying under the soil so that I can sleep peacefully. So ta-da here I am.” She winks and snaps her fingers. This brings a very small smile on my face, even though I had a hard time smiling.
It is true her grandma was not the nicest person I have ever met. Honestly, she was horrible, so when she died Kris had the nerve to celebrate saying that she is happy the evil left this world.
Walking outside I watch Jake dozing off in his car while he waits for Kris. Kris walks to him whereas I walk towards my car. A few seconds later Kris comes and orders me to move to the passenger seat claiming she is going to drive us home and she has planned a sudden sleepover.
Not bothering to argue with her, because it is just going to be waste of time, I comply and let her sit behind the wheel.
Next day when I wake up, Kris has already left for her house in the morning, as she has to go to work.
Last night, when I came back home Pops was already waiting for me. One look at his face and I felt like breaking down again. Seeing Kris threatened has brought all my fears back, fear of losing the only people I have in my life. If it is in my hand I would tie both of them to me, and never let them out of my sight. Just the thought to something happening to any one of them shakes me to the core.
“Get a grip, Avery. Kris is fine nothing has happened to her, Pops is with you, and you will not lose anyone,” I loudly say to myself, as I walk into the shower, desperate to feel like myself again.
Even though I want to stay in the comfort of my room all day but the feeling of not wanting to be alone wins over my need for isolation. After taking the shower, I get ready to go to the garage although it is almost afternoon and half-day has passed.