The town was quiet, oh so quiet. The old woman and the teenage girl moved through the dark streets that eerie midnight hour. The girl with her pretty, long black hair, clumped along beside her great-grandmother.
"I don't see how this answers my question." She complained, her icy eyes glaring at the old woman.
"You asked about your parents, yes?" The woman asked, though she knew the answer.
"Yes, I did. But I don't see how a walk in the middle of the night is going to tell me their story, where they are, and why I've never met them."
"This explains most of it." The old woman said. "Close your eyes now child."
The young girl, though thinking her grandma had gone crazy, did as the old woman commanded. The old lady took her hand gently and led her away. The girl shivered, she had no idea where she was, and even that was scary, but she was shivering with almost anticipation, knowing that soon she would find out her parents story. Hopefully she'd meet them, that had been her biggest dream since she'd found out that she'd been raised by her grandparents, not her biological parents. But the place where Grandma was leading her through gave her chills, a forbidden sense, like she should not be there, and she should leave as soon as possible.
Her grandma stopped and said, "Open your eyes."
The girl's eyes fluttered open, and an anguished cry escaped her pretty lips. Why hadn't . . . why wasn't she told? She stared at the headstone. This is where her parents had been her entire life? Her entire fourteen years?
"Why wasn't I told?" She asked of the old woman, "Why wasn't I?" She screamed, angry now.
"I wanted to tell you, so bad. I didn't believe what your grandparents were doing was right. You had the right to know, after all, they plucked up their measly courage, and told you that you were adopted."
"Can I have a moment alone?" The young girl requested. The old woman left silently making no noise.
After checking that Grandma was gone, she drew in a shaking breath, and hesitantly reached out and touched the headstone. It felt surreal, like this wasn't a reality. She had never known these two people that lay beneath the ground, yet she was more connected to them than most kids were with their living parents. It was so strange.
"Grandma?" She called into the blistering darkness. The old woman appeared, "Tell me their story." The girl commanded.
The old woman nodded, and began to speak, her voice carrying over the graveyard. "Your mother and father had known each other from the time they were two on. The first time they met, you couldn't separate them. Eventually a third joined their group, and he's right there." Grandma stopped for a moment, pointing to a headstone three steps away from the child's parents. "I knew in my heart, the moment I saw them together, that they were destined to be forever. Even if they didn't know it. My son and his wife knew it too, and they did everything in their power to break up their daughter and this boy, even though at the time they weren't even boyfriend and girlfriend.
"When they were about the same age you are now, they finally got together. Everyone knew it was going to happen sooner or later, and the pair were so happy together. They never broke up, you know," The old woman sighed almost wistfully. "Stayed side by side the rest of their days. Most people only dream for a love like that.
"When they were about eighteen, your mom got pregnant. You weren't planned, and it was a surprise to everyone. Of course, my son hit the roof, and demanded that your father married your mother." The old lady chuckled, "You should have seen the look on his face when it turned out that your mom and dad had gotten married last week." Even the young girl cracked a smile. "Of course, then you were born about a month before your mom turned eighteen. She was so proud when she brought you home. They both were.
"You were left with me that day. Your parents and their best friend were going to look at houses, wanted to get out of the apartment they'd had at the time." The old woman's eyes filled with tears, and the girl now knew that the happy ending would end soon. "They took two cars. It was a foggy day, and a bus hit both cars. Your mom and dad were rushed to the hospital. Your dad was released almost immediately-"
"Grandma, what about their friend?"
"Died on impact. They let your dad go almost instantly, but he refused to leave, not while your mom was still in there. I had just walked past the room to head home when my granddaughter flat lined. I ran in, just in time to see her husband fall dead onto the bed. At that moment, I knew that she wouldn't be coming back. She didn't. She died at exactly twelve o'clock at night. Both of her lungs had collapsed or something like that. They never could tell what had killed your dad, but, I know. Not that medical science would agree, but your mom flat lined, and not even half a second later he was dead beside her. His heart broke." The old woman stopped, the bittersweet tale of those long dead lovers still echoing around the graveyard, their tale added to the millions of faded and dusty memories already left there.
"Let's head home," The old woman said, standing.
"I'll meet you there," The girl promised. The old woman just left, understanding.
The young girl pulled a flashlight out of her pocket and spoke to the headstone, "I never knew you all that well, but I do know that you were taken to early, and though I want to see you again so bad, I promise I won't join you soon. Do you hear me world?" She yelled at the top of her lungs. "Do you hear me? I, Leah, will not join you soon."
Her voice hovering at a whisper, the girl walked slowly over to the far headstone and read,
Jan. 12 1977 to Aug. 14 1995
A loving son and friend. Gone From Our Arms But Never Our Hearts
Moving back to the headstone that represented a lost world, she read,
Andrew Swinamer Amy Lake-Swinamer
April 1. 1977 to Aug. 14 1995Aug. 1 1977 to Aug. 14 1995
A loving son, husband, father and friend. A loving daughter, wife, mother and friend.
Gone But Never Forgotten. Rest In Peace
Smiling sadly, the young girl left the cemetery.