3 Stephen's Story

Stephen Myer nodded at the officer after taking a while to lipread him then asked him if the officer who was in charge of the burnt corpse's case returned or not. He was referred to the officer who talked about the weather earlier. He had returned from the marching band right after Stephen left the police station. Stephen was introduced to the officer whose name that Stephen knew now was Georg. He explained to Georg the reason why he was here and showed the papers he got back in London to him.

A while later, they were waiting by the crematory as Stephen's sister's corpse got burned into ashes in it. The moment that Stephen saw his sister's corpse a while ago was heart-moving. He felt tragic just having to look at her burnt corpse that looked so feeble and weak that he could sense and visualize the process of his sister's burning. Watching his sister's corpse burning in the crematory somehow gave him a feeling of security, that his sister finally found her way back to somewhere she supposing belonged to.

After the process of the cremation was done, Stephen held the urn of his sister's bone ashes and tried to walk out of the building into the stormy and chilly atmosphere. He had to stay one more night here for the ships to London were out of service due to the weather and would have to wait till the weather gets better to leave Iceland. Stephen felt his stomach growling in hunger. He had forgotten that he hadn't eaten in the whole day but he doubt that he would have the appetite to finish a meal. Just across from the street, there was a restaurant. Its outer design seemed quite special to Stephen. He went inside it. The atmosphere inside the restaurant was pretty cozy making anyone liking to stay in it especially in a weather like this outside. He made an order to a waitress. Somebody else went into the restaurant and Stephen noticed that it was Salas Raven. The old woman's long silver hair had been blown all over her face and she tried to push her hair back behind her ears as she entered the restaurant. Stephen nodded at her as he caught Salas's eyes on him. Salas nodded back and took a seat at the same table Stephen was sitting at.

"There was something I forgot to give you a look at," she said in front of him so he could lip read her.

"It's inside of my house, I didn't bring it with me. Would you like to come by my house again to see it?" she asked.

Stephen asked her what it was and Salas answered that it was something that might had belonged to his sister, abandoned inside the house after she died.

"You can even stay the night at the house if you can't find a place to stay for the night in this weather. You are most welcomed by me," she said warmly.

"Is that okay? Then I would most likely do so," Stephen said. He had not brought enough money for a night at a hotel and banks were closed at this time of the day.

"Of course."

After they finished their meal, they waited until the wind seemed a bit weaker to go out again. After a while, they were walking back to the house together. Salas Raven got out the keys to the house and opened the front door. As Stephen went through the front door into the house after Salas Raven, he felt a breeze of wind which blew onto him from the front door to outside of the house. A sense of odd familiarity came to him and he turned his back to look at where the wind blew at. Seeing just the air and the front garden of the house, he turned back to the house and stepped into it.

That night, Stephen had a shower before going to sleep in the room where he and his sister used to sleep in. The memories that were left to him in this house seemed to be recalled while he lied on the bed with his eyes closed. Stephen thought that he wouldn't be able to fall asleep but he did after such a hectic day.

Stephen was having a dream. In the dream, he saw his sister and his childhood self walking through a very long path. Trees alongside the path changed from season to another season as they walked. He and his sister were playing with autumn leaves then with snow. They saw at the end of the path a train station. Then Stephen woke up. He remembered that he had a dream but couldn't recall what had happened in it at all. He realized that it was already morning time so he went out from the room and saw Salas Raven cooking breakfast in the kitchen.

"Good morning," said Stephen.

"Oh, you're up. Good morning. Mind to have some fried eggs and ham?" said Salas.

"Sure, I won't mind," replied Stephen.

After they finished having breakfast, Salas got out the item which she said might had belonged to Stephen's sister. She handed it to Stephen. He realized that the item was a music box that he had never seen before. On the rear side of the music box carved the words: For Nila Rovers, our first child.

"I think you should be the one to keep it now," said Salas.

"Thank you," said Stephen.

"Don't mention it," said Salas with a smile.

* * *

Stephen Myer waited at the pier for the ship back to London. The cloud seemed heavy in the dark sky and there was no snow falling. He gazed into the horizon. Light from the sun over the horizon reflected onto clouds covering it in a bluish shade. He felt comfortable with his own heart, like a teenager who had finished crying out repressed tears from wounds created in a long time ago which most of the events he may had long forgotten. The forgotten events in his memory that were recalled few days ago in the house where they were given. He tried to open the music box he received from Salas Raven. The music box opened and showed a figure of a dancer and a piano with another figure playing on it. Melodic chimes came out from the music box. Stephen Myer couldn't believe his ears. He had heard the music coming out from the music box, despite his thirty years of deafness. It was the most beautiful music he had ever heard. A drop of tear fell down from his cheek onto his lap.

* * *

It was a cold January day in a cemetery in London. Leafless tree branches seemed blacker than usual amidst the grayish white sky in the cemetery. A funeral was being held in there. Stephen Myer was standing next to his sister's gravestone. Letters carved on his sister's gravestone read:

R.I.P.

In Memory of Nila Rovers

Beloved Sister

Stephen Myer stepped towards the grave then placed a white flower next to the gravestone; police related to the case and the new owner of their old house who attended the funeral followed along after him. He had never forgotten the night when his sister, Nila Rovers, burnt herself. Why it happened was a secret in his heart and would be buried along with his sister's bone ashes into her grave forever.

A suicidal and depressing little boy he was in his childhood, that was what Stephen Myer never wrote about in his non-fiction book which he wrote about himself. Burning himself was what he felt he always wanted to do at times when he was being abused. His sister and him had always felt each other's feelings ever since they could remember. What he was feeling at that moment his sister would feel it too, vice versa. She was a kind sister who loved her only remaining family in the world. When she went into the basement of the house because of the fear, she knew that her brother wanted to burn himself in the abuse session of the woman who adopted them. Therefore, she lit herself with the speck of fire glimmering on the candlestick she was holding. Fire began burning on her body ablaze; her brother two floors above her felt it as though it were burning his skin, meat, and bones. She was dying and he felt like death was coming near him. Blood was trickling down from his ears. And then it was over. His suicide wish had been fulfilled by her, so he would wish no more for death. Light shimmered into his eyes for once again in a few times. Two years later after he had moved to London, his name was changed to Stephen Myer and had used it ever since.

The memorial funeral of his sister was finished. Stephen Myer waited for everyone else to leave the funeral then knelt in front of the gravestone.

'Goodbye, my dear sister.'

That was the last time he felt what his sister was feeling.

He left the funeral last and walked down into the pavement from the cemetery.

* * *

Nila turned her head around. She thought she had felt Alan somewhere around her for a second, but the train was all empty except for herself.

"Goodbye," she whispered to herself, then the train traveled into an space of pure white light where no one else other than those who been there knows what place it is.