The Wind
by atrum infractus

He has always loved the wind, ever since he was small.

He could clearly remember going to the park when the summer heat started to fade, his mother sitting on a bench as Don would push him around the small jungle gym, racing Charlie across the monkey bars, or just running through the mulch, yelling nonsense that matters only to children. He could recall Don grabbing his hand and teaching him how to feed the ducks by the pond, then gaining a life-long hate of ducks when one nearly bit his hand.

But his most vivid memory was the see-saw, sitting across from Don and being lifted up in the air for one glorious moment, feeling the wind ruffle his hair playfully as he closed his eyes, but all to soon, his feet would touch the ground again. He never forgot how that felt, to be higher then the playground, the sun warming his face and the wind.

Right now, the wind is blowing, and he is glad. It somehow seems fitting that the wind is blowing now, not warm and welcoming, but cold and bitter. He shivers, drawing his coat closer around him, but still, he is glad for the wind. It feels like an old friend, showing him the way.

Soon enough, he comes to the grave. His face doesn't betray much emotion, but inside, his heart is breaking. He tried to distract himself- look at how green the grass is over the grave, but this hurts. It reminds him of how much time has passed since she he tries to look at something else. The flowers. He examines them, blood running cold again.

Dad has been here recently, he thinks with a pang of regret. Dad must come here a lot, these flowers are fresh...and I haven't come since the day we burried her.

It's not only the wind that is chilling him now. He is suddenly haunted by memories he wants to dissapear forever, to sink into the grave with her. He wants to sink into the grave with her, be forgotten by all, dissapear forever...

Embarrassed, he lays his gift down by her grave. He didn't buy her flowers; the thought had never crossed his mind. Instead, he sets down a bar of Hershey's Dark Chocolate by the tombstone. "Your favorite," he whispers, his voice going a little throaty. He knows she can't eat it, much less even know it's there- the ants will enjoy it later. But it feels good to give her this, though he doesn't know why.

"I'm working with Don now," he says aloud, not sure why he's speaking out loud. He's not sure what to do, to be completely honest, but talking felt pretty good, so he continues. "I help him with cases. You were right after all. We really did need eachother someday." He pauses, then kneels awkwardly by the grave. He feels more comfortable, right at the same heighth as what was left of his mother's memory. "I think we're actually friends now, Mom. After all these years..."

He gives a funny kind of laugh, the kind he forces out when he's faced with something difficult and can't escape. "Dad's doing okay. I think he comes and sees you-" He suddenly holds a hand to his mouth. Why is he speaking these things? This isn't his mother. It is a stone, a common stone with her name carved on it.

But maybe...maybe she's out there, somewhere, listening. In which case, he should speak. He should speak his heart before he feels foolish again. The wind seems to softly murmur words of comfort to him, telling him this will soon be done.

"I'm sorry," he whispers, feeling ashamed. "I'm sorry I abandoned you. I swear I'll never make that mistake again, Mom. I let everyone down. You, Dad...and Don."

He swallows, tears burning his eyes. "Has Don ever come out and seen you? Talked to you?" He gives a small sniff, wiping his eyes hurridly. "I'm scared, Mom. I'm scared of Don's job, that it might be too tough on him. His friend...she committed suicide. That's not like Don, is it? Dad worries enough about the both of us, I don't want to, but I don't want...I can't lose Don like that...

"I've also been afraid...maybe you know, but I've been the middle of gunfire before. Mom, I just don't know...I don't like being scared like that. I'm a mathematician- I was supposed to talk my whole life and solve problems. I wasn't meant to do this."

He finally gives up. There. All his true feelings and worst fears are in the open air now, lost in the wind. It plays with his hair, stings his eyes with the raw cold. He can't speak. The wind has stolen all words from him.

So he sits, head in his hands, waiting to be able to speak again. What wouldn't he give to hear her comforting him? Is this how Dad feels whenever he comes here?

It's beautiful here. It's the only thing he can notice now. He wonders if she would have liked to compose music here, but he will never know. Even if she was alive, he wouldn't have known about her music. She kept it secret, but he knows that he'd like to work some math here. It was silent, only the leaves on the tree rustling. It was just like one of those old paintings of cemeteries- not the gloomy idea most people possessed of them. This one was different...nice, almost.

He smiles to himself. Again he wonders if his older brother has been here; has Don seen this place since the funeral? He makes a mental note to ask him sometime, then adds it to a large list of things he will probably never get around to asking him.

He checks his watch- it's time for him to go. Dad would worry if he didn't come home for supper and wasn't with Larry and Amita or Don. Some things never change, no matter what.

No matter what.

When he finally speaks, his words are but a soft whisper on the wind, hardly audible, but he hears them, and he's pretty sure that the only other person who mattered did too.

"Good-bye, Mom."

Edited 8-24-06. By the way- hot off the press means riddled with errors. Let me know if you find any, I will be extremely grateful- and as always, please review, love or hate!
And a second thing. I can't use rulers, or else this would be more structured. I apologize for this.