“I don’t want to go this year," his son told him this morning.
It broke his heart. He always envisioned her as his son’s partnered angel. She existed, sight unseen, looking over him, watching, guiding, protecting. She, above all, loved him.
He found her tombstone: Infant Williams. He regretted not naming her. Alexis he decided, two years too late. He knelt down, slid his finger over the grooves in the granite, and brooded. She would have been six today.
Tears flowed as memories flooded his mind. He remembered her birth. She was light as a feather. Her lungs pulled in a single breath. Her eyes opened, flashing a sea of blue. A holy spectacle, which he thought would last forever, lasted only for him. In his dreams, she was alive and crying.
She sat across the tombstone from him. Her legs folded, her head resting in her hands, she sank her deep blue eyes into his soul.
Don’t cry for me, father.
“I want to hold you in my arms. I want to feel your face on my cheek. I want to see you play. I want to find you again.”
You will. God is a place. We'll wait for you there. She stood and turned, her wings folded against her spine. Don't worry about brother, I've talked to him. The wind howled, kicking up dead autumn leaves. She ran into the cold, damp air, and disappeared into the fading image of her mother.
He set down half the lilies and walked to the other side of the cemetery. Now he could hear the thunder.
(Inspired by the song Two Headed Boy Pt. 2 by Neutral Milk Hotel)
Many thanks to Cherie Reich for hosting this.