I took her hand as we walked.

Soft, small and perpetually cold, she willingly put her hand in mine,
as she gave me a timid smile. We walked in comfortable silence, we
both knew that this night would be a life-changing one.

We stopped under a huge cherry blossom tree, with its pink flowers
peeking out to look out for the Moon, which was playing hide and seek
with the dark clouds. A few petals danced in the wind and lay down to
rest on the soft grass, to lay there undisturbed, until they were
crushed by passers-by.

I looked at Julia and remembered how lucky I was. We had met purely
by chance, and I kept asking myself what I had done to deserve a ray
of sunshine like her. She had come to my house, and knocked on my door
asking for a Mr. Holloway, saying she had a very important letter to
give him. She seemed scared at the time, and her nose was red. I still
remember thinking how adorable she looked.

When I told her that there was no Mr. Holloway living here, and
explained that this was the Marshall residence, she looked
disappointed and hastily put the letter she was holding into her coat
pocket.

I was equally disappointed that she didn't have a reason to stay. So
I hurriedly asked her if she would like some hot chocolate, and to my
delight she accepted the offer.

She was beautiful, without even trying. Her gray eyes were always
gentle and reassuring. Her lips always in a half smile, that had
fascinated me. Her auburn curls framed her face so beautifully, like
an elegant frame for a masterpiece.

We had spoken for hours that night, about everything. I had told her
within three hours of meeting her, things I had never told my friends
of ten years. My mother's death, the way it destroyed my family,
killed my father, and left me angry and distrusting. Her reaction to
my words didn't disgust me, like everyone else's did. She seemed to
understand, and she looked so sad, that I felt like consoling her,
instead of the other way around. She always took others' sorrows as
her own.

When she was about to leave, I asked if I could see her again, and she agreed.

This little trip to the cemetery was her idea as well. She had never
brought up the topic of my mother...until yesterday.

She stood at the door of the house as I was looking for my keys. I was
telling her about my day at work, but she didn't seem to be listening.

"Greg," she interrupted me mid-sentence.
"I was thinking, I mean I know you have never done it before, and I
know you probably really don't want to, but I was hoping that you
would anyway.."
She was nervous. She always rambles when she's nervous.

"What's wrong?"

"We should go see your mother. "

I didn't say anything.

"Greg..."

She looked scared as I walked tward her. I looked into her eyes,
filled wiht concern. I could hear myself whisper, " Tomorrow."

She seemed relieved, and smiled the biggest smile I had ever seen. I
knew then i would do anything to make her happy.

So here we were, standing in front of a marble tombstone that read, "
Angela Marshall : Loving wife, Devoted mother"

I hadn't seen my mother in nine years. I didn't know what to say right
now. Even at the funeral, I had not spoken, I couldn't even bear to
look at her like this then. Now, I wished I had said goodbye then.

Julia seemed uneasy.

"Dear, I'll give you a moment."

I held her hand.

"Stay."

Like a schoolboy walking into the headmaster's chamber, I stepped
forward hesistantly. I felt awkward and all these emotions were
confusing me. It was like nt a day had passed.

"Mom. I miss you..." I started unsure of what to say. I was horrible
at behaving human. Before I could even think, the words came out of my
mouth.

"I'm Sorry. I never treated you as I should have, I was a horrible
son. I failed you when you were alive... I failed you in death
too. I couldn't come to terms with ...everthing... to fulfill my
responsibility as a son. I was angry.

"They didn't catch the...thief..the murderer."

I closed my eyes as the familiar anger and unfamiliar tears
overwhelmed me. I felt Julia press my arm gently, and she embraced me
protectively, as if shielding me from myself..

"Right now..somebody is out there, someone who destroyed our life! And
is living their own, without any punishment!"

Greg's voice lowered to a menacing tone, so soft, but so intense it scared me.

" If I ever see that monster, I'm going to make them pay for
everything they put us through, Mom. I promise that."

He calmed down and took a few deep breaths. He turned white as if in
pain. It killed me to just imagine feeling like that.

"Julia, I can't do this anymore. I have to leave."

I nodded. "Of course." I whispered, I had been selfish in asking him to come.

Greg, turned away and walked down the path, getting away as fast as he could.

As he walked away, I felt the familiar guilt embrace me again. I
welcomed it. It was, to me, the only sign that I was human.

I laid the flowers on her grave, and walked to towards Greg.

If only he knew that the somebody he was looking for was me