|Ten Feet Underground
Author: Emily McDonald PM
When visiting Leslie's grave, Jess meets someone he knew, but doesn't recognize. Bad summary, but if I say more it'll give it away! Oneshot.Rated: Fiction K - English - Hurt/Comfort - Words: 1,321 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 2 - Published: 06-01-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4293938
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Just a one-shot I thought up after seeing a rather depressing Youtube video.
TEN FEET UNDERGROUND
He walked towards the cemetery. You'd know that place if you ever went to Lark Creek, Virginia. It was the only place that wasn't muddy or over-grown. The only place that was cared for.
All but one place, that is.
One tombstone, at the very back of the property.
One belonging to a very special person, who died ten years ago, on February 15th, 2007.
Only he knew the exact date that accident happened. The accident that changed him forever. The accident shut him down, tuned him out. He was like a walking zombie, without hope or peace, no rest or final happiness, only knowing that you are doomed to this cold, unhappy existence that life can become if we do not have inner peace.
And Jesse Aarons certainly did not have inner peace.
She took it with her when she died, all those ten years ago.
When she left him all alone.
He made his way numbly towards the back of the crisp cemetery, eyes only for that one small stone, the weedy one. Not that he expected for it to be neat. He hadn't been here for ten years, Maybelle moved to Washington the day she turned eighteen and never came back. And as for her parents…well, he didn't know what happened to her parents.
Plunking himself rather sullenly in the weeds, he allowed his index finger to trace the rain-worn inscription he knew so well.
LESLIE SOPHIA BURKE
December 3rd, 1993-February 15th, 2007
ADORED DAUGHTER, BELOVED FRIEND, EXTRAORDINARY PERSON
May Your Spirit Remain in the Hearts of the People You Touched.
GOD CAN NEVER SEND ANGELS TO HELL
He had written the last part himself. He thought it was pretty good, especially since Leslie had always been the writer, not him.
"Hey Les." He whispered softly. "How are ya? Sorry I haven't been to visit you in a while, but you know…"
"Excuse me, boy?" A voice of a very elderly woman entered the quiet atmosphere of the cemetery.
Jess found himself facing a woman about eighty or so, with white hair and a wrinkled face.
"Yes, Ma'am?" He asked, getting up off the weedy ground and brushing the dirt from his pants.
"I'm looking for my best student. Have you seen her anywhere?"
Jess cocked his head, confused. "Uh, no Ma'am, I haven't." He said slowly. "Sorry."
"Oh drat!" Said the woman, slowly ambling towards a bench not far from Leslie's grave.
Moving carefully, Jess made his way towards the old woman. Something, he didn't know what, but something pulled him towards the lady on the bench. It felt as if they felt the same pain.
Of course we feel the same pain, stupid! He thought. We're in a CEMETERY, for crying out loud! She lost someone, I lost someone. We're both missing the ones we lost. Maybe she's visiting her husband, or mother or father, or maybe her best friend, like me.
By this time he had reached the bench. Sitting down, he put his hands on his knees and sighed. After a few minutes of nervous-like silence, the mystery woman spoke.
"Who you here for?"
It took him a moment to realize what she was saying. Once he did, he opened his mouth to say: "My best friend". But instead he said:
"The love of my life." And I can tell you, he did not mean to say that at all.
"Ah." The elderly woman said with a smile. "I come here to visit my poor husband once a year. He's been dead twenty years now, he has, but I still like to visit him once a year, on his birthday. I usually come with my daughter and her son, but today I had to come alone, because I remembered my best student today. Why, I don't know, I quit teaching ten years ago. After I lost my best student and her friend. Oh, her friend…her poor, poor friend. They were both loners, you see, and she gave him something that no great writer, not even one as good as she was, can write with a pen. I wanted to visit her today, find her, so I could, you know…well, I honestly don't know. Possibly, apologize to her for not keeping better track of her friend. I never saw that boy again after I quit teaching. I didn't see much of anyone, actually, after my student died. The only ones I saw were my daughter and grandson. My daughter finally got so sick of me that she stuck me in a home, in hopes I would make some friends. I never did, I'll tell ya. And I won't, until I find that student of mine. The trouble is, I just can't seem to remember her name."
All of a sudden, footsteps were heard in the quiet cemetery. Soon after, a flustered young woman in a white hospital uniform approached.
"There you are!" Cried the woman. "I've been looking all over for you!"
Jess squinted at her nametag.
Lark Creek Elders Home
"Who are you?" The old woman asked Marianne Elwood.
"Don't you remember? I'm Marianne. From the hospital."
"Oh." Said the woman, though her expression was vacant.
"Come on now. Time to go home. Your daughter will be there soon. Remember, Lisa, your daughter."
"Todd loved the name Lisa. He told me that if we ever had a little girl, he wanted to name her Lisa. We never did of course."
Jess was bewildered. Hadn't this woman just told him she had a daughter? And a grandson, at that.
"Thank you for looking after her." Marianne told Jesse.
"No…no problem." He said slowly, trying to puzzle the strange turn of events out.
As the elderly woman and her caretaker started to walk away, Jess jumped up.
"Wait! Miss! Miss Elwood!"
The nurse turned.
"Does she have Alzheimer's dezesise, Ma'am?"
"How sick is she? Because she just told be about her husband and daughter and grandson, and how she was a teacher, and she was looking for her best student, and she had a loner best friend, and that she quit teaching ten years ago."
As for Marianne Elwood, she just stared at him, and uttered only two words before taking the strange old woman away.
TEN YEARS LATER
Jess was back to visit Leslie again. When he arrived at her grave, he noticed a new tombstone had been added, only about five feet south of Leslie's. He went over to read the description.
Mrs. Gussie Myers
August 6th, 1940-February 22nd,2017
ADORED WIFE, TRESURED MOTHER & GRANDMOTHER, TRUSTED TEACHER
Jess smiled softly. "Hello again, Monster Mouth. Wish I could've seen you before you went to stay with Leslie."
Little did he know, he had seen her before she died. He just knew her as the elderly woman, looking for her student.
Gussie Myers never got the relief of finding Leslie Burke's best friend. At least, she didn't feel it. But she had found him.
She knew him as the boy from the cemetery, kneeling by the weedy grave.
The grave of the missing student.
The one that drowned now twenty years ago.
The same one that boy was missing, the one who had no name in her mind.
The angel known as Leslie Burke.
A/N: Hope you enjoyed that! I am still writing Daughter of the Dead, it's just a very long, hard chapter.