The sun was setting behind the hills and the sky was inflamed with colors of pink and orange as we walked across the grass. My hand was tight within hers and she was squeezing it back. I ran my thumb over the ring I had placed on her finger not more than two months ago and grabbed strength from it as I recognized the marble stones we passed. We found the giant oak tree at the back of the lot and Macy stepped forward ahead of me to kneel down in front of the modest headstone that sat beneath it. She reached forward and arranged the flowers she brought in the small plastic vase.
"Hey Amy," she said softly.
I stepped up to her and put my hand on my shoulder which she laid her own over.
"I know I was here not too long ago to tell you we got engaged but, I came to tell you we set a date. October fifteenth, your birthday. I know you always wanted an October wedding. We're having it outside, and the bridesmaids are going to carry bouquets of roses, pink like you wanted."
I listened to her spill all the details of our wedding, which Macy was adamant on planning just as her sister had wanted with of course a smaller guest list. She wanted to make sure that even though her sister didn't get to have one herself she'd be able to live through hers. I raised my eyes as I looked across the lands of the graveyard, finding the two stones I had forced myself not to look at for years now. I swallowed the lump in my throat and turned back to Macy who was now standing at my side, still looking down at the headstone that had been in place for over a year now.
"You okay?" I whispered in her ear.
She nodded, "Yeah. She would have wanted me to have things my way but, to be honest her way always seemed better."
I smiled and kissed her forehead, "I'm sure she'd love it anyway you planned it."
She leaned her head against me and started to make her way back to the car. We walked back over the lawn again and as we walked further and further away from the two headstones I couldn't help but wonder why I wasn't feeling my usual sense of relief. We reached the car and she put her hand on the handle but I looked back over to them and stopped.
"What is it?" She asked softly.
I looked back over at her, "I'll be right back okay?"
She nodded as I made my way back over to the grey lingering shapes in the distance, shoving my hands in my pockets.
I stood in front of them for a while in silence before I actually spoke.
"I don't want to thank you for what you did," I looked back over at Macy, "But unfortunately I have no other choice because if you hadn't of done it. I would have never met her." I sighed, "So I guess in some sick twisted way, thanks dad." I felt the words tumble through my throat with the slightest choke and smiled a bit after they were released. I started to turn around but then I turned back to my mom's stone, "And mom? Look after Amy. She's a good kid."
When I turned back around I saw Macy leaning on the side of the car with a small smile on her face and her hands in her pockets, looking more beautiful than the first day I ever laid eyes on her. I pulled the keys from my pocket again and drew closer to her, planting one long kiss on her lips before I finally smiled and slipped into the driver's seat of the car. I looked through the window one last time at the twin stones in the center of the lawn and exhaled one last breath of foul air before we drove off through the open gates.