Discolored leaves circled around the cemetery, caught by the soft wind that eased its way through the trees, coaxing the leaves away from their home; the pathway of a few were disrupted by a young girl walking almost reluctantly towards a certain grave, her dark hair providing a shield for her face. She was quiet in her footsteps, moving as if she were a ghost among the other ones already there; no, she was lucky enough not to be. At least, that was the view of some.
Whoever she was visiting was likely buried for less than a month; the girl seemed almost distraught, her hands tightly clutching a white lily in her grasp; one, of course, could not finish mourning the death of a loved one in such a short time, after all. But then again, who knew how long the person she was visiting had been dead; it could take any amount of years to accept someone’s death, perhaps until the mourner themselves died.
Reaching the grave, the girl knelt down, finally lifting her face up, her eyes almost level with the engraved text on the stone in front of her. Tera Kamishiro, it read, September 5th, 1996—December 3rd, 2012.
The brown-haired girl averted her eyes downward, staring at the rose within her fingertips; she was not willing to read any further, the uncaring declaration of Tera’s lifespan, the unfeeling words...she couldn’t stand its lack of emotion. That whoever carved in the letters didn’t even care that someone so important to the girl had died, that it was just another number to them...
Roughly, she bit the inside of her cheek, forcing that train of thought to stop in its tracks; it wouldn’t help anything to add anger to the sorrow that was already weighted upon her. In that vein, though, how would it help for the girl to have come in the first place? It would simply add another helping of sadness to her already-full plate, another reminder—as if the emptiness in a part of her heart wasn’t enough—that Tera was no longer part of her life.
Still, she refused to leave so soon after forcing herself to come so far already. Gently, the girl placed the pure-white madonna lily onto the soft dirt before the headstone, her eyes still focusing on only the flower; those lilies had always been Tera’s favorite, ever since the first day that she had seen them. She...had always said that it was the simple liveliness of them, how they shone with their brightness, the stark contrast to any darkness that could’ve surrounded it... it’s almost like hope, she had said. Just how hope will always break through darkness and pessimism… so will these.
The girl could only wish that she held the same optimism that Tera held. It was a fleeting desire; she knew she could never change so much, yet it was such a beautiful frame of mind… desire wasn’t quenched by the knowledge that it was impossible to attain, after all. She knew that well now.
Finally releasing her cheek, her teeth’s markings ingrained into it, she whispered, “It’s...it’s me, Tera. Katherine. I... wanted to see you, and I suppose that this was the best way I could.” Silence flooded the grave, broken only for seconds when a bird tweeted and flew away from the gloomy site; the girl, Katherine, was apparently struggling for anything to say to break the silence. “I’m…not sure why else I came here, really. I don’t have much to say…I guess that I just wanted to be by myself with you. Reminiscent of old times. I mean, I could’ve come here yesterday, but I didn’t want to intrude on your time with your sisters…it just wouldn’t seem right, you know?”
It was quiet as seconds passed, the world seemingly still as Katherine simply knelt there. Normally, such a hush would seem awkward to her; it didn’t, however. It seemed more as if Tera was with her, patiently listening and waiting to see if Katherine would continue.
Eventually, the silence was broken, Katherine somewhat feebly voicing a wish and taking down her emotional barriers momentarily. “I hope that I’ll see you again someday.” Her voice hitched slightly at the end of the sentence, her tone dropping until it was nearly inaudible as she continued; “I still love you, okay? I…just wanted you to know that it won’t ever change.” A few seconds passes before, hesitantly, she brought her middle and index finger to her lips, kissing it gently before placing it onto the engraved name on the frigid stone, the tips of her fingers shaking from the cold as she removed them from the granite. It was the only act of affection that she could think of that would work in such a situation; hugging the gravestone would be absurd and awkward, and the cold that would seep through her clothes would only damage her further; thus, the lesser of two evils.
She paused, having been depleted of anything to say after the emotional confession, gazing at the headstone in silence before shakily standing up and forcing herself to turn away from the cold grave, its only color brought by the snowy flower lying before the headstone; it was the most melancholic scene one could think of, truly. The season helped this none, either; the crackled, dark-colored leaves only added to the scene, its only other reliever being the infrequent red leaf that floated through the air.
Closing her eyes tightly, wanting to block out the memory of the sight and not willing to see the graveyard further, Katherine promised softly that she would return in a few days’ time; though that implied she could keep Tera out of her mind for so long without beginning to have a desire to see her in some form again.
Wrapping her arms around herself for warmth, she began walking away from Tera’s grave and out of the upsetting cemetery, a small, barely noticeable tear trailing down her face as she began the route back to her house, the path there lonely and consumed by taunting memories and futile wishes.
Whenever we imagine something, it becomes a reality in another world; I’ve been aiming for that place.