(It's... an exceptionally small monument, isn't it?)

The wind is blowing but he does not hear it. It is cold where he is, and the frost on the ground is chilling his feet despite thick soles and layered socks. If he notices, he does not give any indication. His thoughts are not on himself, but on the marker before him.

It really is an unexceptional affair. It's a form-stamped block that barely rises from the ground in which it's set, with little on it other than the name of the deceased. There is a small symbol--a SeeD symbol. No other decoration breaks the smooth surface of the stone.

He has been told that it is hard to dig graves as it approaches winter, and he wonders if it was hard to dig this one. He wonders at the attitudes of the people who performed the task--did they do it in silence, with respect to its future occupant? Did they laugh and joke to pass the time? Did they resent the job as it was handed down to them? He does not know.

There are a number of things which he does not know.

There are a number of things which he will never know.

He will never know much more about this person than what an academy transcript and a few words with his adopted daughter will tell him. He will never know what he liked to do on his off hours, or what courses he enjoyed, or who his friends were. He will never know if he had it in his heart to forgive.

The only things he will know are the sounds of words left unspoken,of apologies left unmade. He will know the ache of hindsight, and become one more in a family destined to be unable to change the past.

Beneath the headstone lay someone who had changed the future. Perhaps it would have been possible to change it again, but the time has passed.

He had come here to bury the hatchet with his son. But he has found that his son is buried, and the hatchet is all that remains.