I first noticed him standing there and thought he was alone but didn't look long enough to be certain. The next time I took the time to get a better look there was a woman in red standing next to him. They were both removed, maybe a hundred and twenty or thirty feet away, not directly involved in the grave side services but both obviously sneaking glances at the activity.
I couldn’t make out just who they were since I didn’t want to stare and I was trying to pay attention to the words which were being said before the coffin would soon be lowered into the grave. I couldn’t help but notice though that they weren’t dressed quite like what I would expect for mourners. Far from it, in fact.
I think the man had been there first joined almost immediately by the woman. I didn’t see their car but it could have been out of view on the other side of the small hill on which they were standing. My own car was far from visible since it was parked back a few hundred feet from the grave site. The cars of the family and “official” mourners who had traveled in the motorcade behind the hearse were lined up on the road about sixty or seventy feet behind us.
The service began to die down as a few paid their last homage to the person who had taken leave of their mortal shell and gone on to greater, more glorious things. Some of the family were crying, mostly the women which was pretty much as expected. I had a lump in my throat as well but worked hard at not crying since my makeup would likely have run. I should have left it off for the services, wasn’t thinking I guess.
Everyone began to disperse, going back to their cars in small groups as they attempted to console each other. Once most were gone I went over to the grave, “Thanks for all you said and did to make this world a better place. There are quite a few who remember your irascible nature and your gentle care of their more than tender feelings. Now you’ve the opportunity to take on some new windmills.”
With nothing else to say I turned and looked up the hill but the pair who had been standing there were gone. I turned further looking around but didn’t see them nor anyone save the cavalcade of mourners slowly pulling away to return to whatever they had been doing to prepare for the aftermath which follows an internment.
I continued to turn and made my way to the road so I could more easily walk to my car. Walking in spike heels on dirt was a chore to which I hadn’t given much thought. My legs were protesting the added discomfort of trying to remain upright and prevent the heels from sinking into the ground.
When I reached my car I opened the door and that was when I noticed the piece of paper on the passenger seat. I quickly looked around but saw no one. The windows had been up so how anyone got the paper inside the locked car was a puzzle. I hastily checked the back to be certain no one was hiding there before I got into the car. I was feeling very alone out here what with everyone else gone.
After I was seated in my car and the doors locked for a certainty I picked up the piece of paper. It was blank so I checked the other side and found it to be blank as well. I frowned and pulled at my left ear-ring just a little before looking at the small piece of paper once again. As I stared, words began to appear until the paper was no longer blank but held a message. Just as slowly those words faded away once again. I put the paper on the passenger seat as I sat there staring out of the car thinking. When I looked down the paper was gone. I must have spent three or four minutes looking for it but it was nowhere to be found. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. Starting the engine, I continued to sit for a minute before driving out to find my way home; the message gone but not forgotten.
“Tell everyone to keep writing. I’ll keep reading.” Stanman
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