Continuation... (From Tell Eddie: Collision)
When he opened his eyes, the lush greenery unfolded before his view. The breathing green, freckled with dead gray, was asleep beneath the placid blue. The sky was devoid of clouds, so pristine and clear, save for the few sparrows flying in perfect serenity. All around the cemetery, marble mausoleums stood in dignity. Amos bent down and laid the flowers on the grass. He wiped with his palms the stone epitaph that said “In loving memories…”
“Linda,” he murmured.
She only stayed few hours on the hospital. She lost so much blood and her head was crashed badly that the local doctors could not extend her life. While he, being less harmed in the accident, suffered only minor fractures.
“It has been months now,” Amos said, “but the pain remains. It is so hard to move one. I’m still grieving inside me, Linda.”
Amos had no one to blame but that truck driver, that suicidal drunk, who was now also resting beneath the ground. It would have been better if he was dead, too; better still, Linda was also alive. He wanted to look again into those sad eyes and hear her generous laughter. She was such a good soul, such image of a fulfilled simple life. But never could he do that again.
“Who are you?” a boy of thirteen broke his reverie. He placed his basket of flowers beside Amos’.
Amos looked up at him and stared straight in his little eyes. He saw Linda in them. His demure face in many ways resembled her.
“Mom’s now in heaven with Dad,” the boy said. “I believe so for she had been the best mom and the most wonderful person she could be. I miss her”
Amos sat transfixed for his heart ached more, not for himself but for the gentle innocent soul before him. The boy reciprocated his stare and asked again. “Who are you?”
“I’m Linda’s passenger that awful night,” Amos said with a broken voice. He swallowed a lump in his throat and bit his lower lip, suppressing the emotions that willed him to break down. “My name’s Amos.”
“I’m sorry for you and Mom.” He stopped looking at the man. “I’m Eddie.”
Her son, Amos thought. He forgot Linda and focused on Eddie who then began to breathe laboriously and whose shoulders began to shake. God, he is so young to lose both parents.
“You mom loves you so much,” Amos managed to say.
“I know. That’s why I am very sorry. I love Mom so much. But I was – “ he faltered. Eddie sank beside the stranger and started shedding tears. Amos put his arms around the boy.
“She knows how much you love her,” Amos assured him. “You were her last thought.”
“But she’s gone.” He struggled between sobs. “She’ll never – “
“Hush.” Amos felt Eddie’s little muscles quivering beneath his embrace. “I tell you, Linda loves with all her life. In your heart, she will always live.”
Then he cried along with Eddie.
After some time, Amos and Eddie stood up and left the grave. Amos felt whole again, with a new heart, and a new friend – someone he would really care for. He looked up and saw the sparrows. He felt their freedom and peace.
“Where shall I take you, Eddie?”
“Oh, take me to the gate. Somebody’s waiting for me there.”
Amos smiled and lugged behind the boy. Eddie was now walking briskly, with a short hop every once in a while. Amos sensed the change in him, as if the boy who had entered the cemetery miserable had left full of bliss and hope. Was it Eddie? Or me?
“Auntie!” Eddie called.
From a distance, a woman turned around and beamed at the approaching boy. Her light green blouse matched her floral skirt. Amos saw her and instantly studied her – her hair, her face, and all.
“Hey, Amos, meet my mother’s younger sister Esther. I am living with her now. She is a schoolteacher and she is really smart.”
The two shook hands and started to know each other. Later, Amos rode with Eddie and Esther home. Along the way, Amos was no longer thinking. He was smiling.
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