"Sorry I'm late," you say, quickly putting down the things you're carrying with you.
It's only five minutes, I don't mind, I try to reassure you. You laugh a little and shake your head as you lay a blanket next to me and begin to place the items in the basket you brought with on the blanket. I watch patiently as flowers and cookies and books leave the basket one by one.
"I've been thinking about something," you mumble when you are finally done.
Have you? I ask. I lean close to you, but you don't react, you never do.
"I've been thinking about how much you loved April." I laugh a little before I realize that you're serious.
Why have you been thinking that? I ask you for my own benefit, I know you won't answer if you don't want to, and you will answer if you do. It doesn't matter if I ask.
"Did you know the tulips have begun to flower already?" You're looking right at me, but I can tell you aren't actually seeing me. I close my eyes, I wish you saw me the way I saw you.
I could tell; you brought some with you. I whisper, but you don't hear me and look down at the flowers by your side.
"I guess you could tell from these," you point to the flowers. I don't say anything, what's the point anyways. "I remembered that they were your favorite." I nod, you look so proud of yourself for remembering something like that, and I have to admit I'm both touched and impressed that you cared so much.
Thank you. It's all I can say without crying. I didn't even know I could still cry.
"Sarah keeps talking about you." The change of topic is sudden, but I'm used to it by now. You always talk about what you're thinking, so I'm not surprised that Sarah came up.
What does she say?
"She's always talking about when you guys were kids and stuff like that," you brush a leaf off the blanket as if to occupy your eyes to not look at me, "you're pretty much all she talks about with me now."
I'm sorry. I wish I could say more, let you know that I am sorry for ruining everything for you.
"I don't mind, I like talking about you." you pause for a moment, "I'm sorry she still hasn't visited."
It's okay, she will eventually. I'm telling you this, hoping that it will reach you.
"I, um, brought this book to read to you," you hold up one of the books. I reach out as if to touch it, my favorite book of poetry.
I love it when you read. I tell you. You smile one of those smiles that I never saw until recently. It's the kind of smile that doesn't reach your eyes. You always smile like that when you're around me. You turn the pages until you get to the poem we left off at yesterday. I lean back and close my eyes waiting for the rich sound of your voice to fill me up. But you voice does not come, only the sounds of silent weeping reach my ears.
"I'm sorry," you shake your head and cover your eyes with your hand, "I just can't read this today." I look at the poem you chose, "Do Stand At My Grave and Weep". I know you can't do this, even though I loved that poem.
It's okay. I try my hardest to let you know that I'm okay with it; I just want you to be happy.
"I miss you so much," your voice is nearly lost through your tears. You're shaking with sobs and I don't know how to make you feel better, I don't know how to make the hurt go away.
Please don't cry. I try to comfort you. My hands reach out but my fingers fall short of touching your face. I cannot touch you, I have tried so many times, but I never can no matter how hard I try.
"I wish you were here."
I am here.
"I wish you could talk to me."
I wish you were listening.
"Why did you have to leave me?"
"I have to go, it's getting late."
Don't come back, I don't want to see you like this anymore.
"I'll come back tomorrow."
I want you to live your life; you need to leave me behind.
"I love you."
I love you too, so much.
I watch you as you turn once more to look back. I can tell that you're reading the familiar words, even though you have them memorized. Even though each time you read them, it cuts you deeper.
Sara Ann Keller
April 12, 1995- June 26, 2011
April's Most Beautiful Flower