Slowly, sunlight crept across the dewy grass, softly illuminating the cemetery. A soft breeze made the leaves on the trees rustle and a few fell gently towards the ground. The shadows shifted, and sunlight began to illuminate the gravestones, the grain in the stone glittering.
An old woman made her way slowly through the aisles of graves, limping, her weight supported by two wooden walking sticks. As she got closer to her destination, something caught her eye. There was something slumped next to a fresh stone. The woman strayed from her path and over to the slumped figure. As she got closer, she saw it was a woman, her head resting gently on her chest, blonde hair gently blowing in the breeze.
'Excuse me' the old woman said in a raspy voice from the path. No response. She moved in closer, up onto the grass, an arm outstretched repeated herself. She nudged the sleeping woman again, and this time she moved. The old woman staggered back onto the path, watching, as the woman moved her head up, revealing piercing blue eyes, surrounded by deep purple bags, she looked like she hadn't slept for days. She lifted her arms up slowly, and rubbed her eyes, then sat bolt upright, 'Robert?' she looked around desperately, her hands outstretched, as though she was reaching out for something, her eyes seemed vacant, as though something inside of her had died. The old woman moved further away, 'Who are you?' she asked, in an attempt to gain her attention. Slowly her arms dropped, and a vacant look returned to her face, she turned back to the old woman, 'Where's Robert? I want Robert' She could see a tear forming in her eye, 'Robert' The old woman tutted, she was obviously drunk or on drugs, a lot of that sort around Bristol these days, not like it used to be. As quickly as she could manage, she turned away from the crazy woman and hurried on her way to the other side of the graveyard to pay her late husband a visit.
Alison watched as the old woman left, muttering under her breath, when she was out of sight, she looked out straight in front of her. She felt tears roll down her tired face. She wasn't sure what day it was, come to think about it, she wasn't sure of many things any more, but there was one thing that she did know. Robert was dead, and had been for seven days now. Seven agonising days, and she hadn't left the cemetery for three of those days. They had tried to move her, but she had just hidden where they couldn't see her, and then returned to the same spot. She just sat there for hours on end, looking up to the sky, trying to reach out for him; she wanted him to come back. Tell her it was going to be all right, that she could live without him. She didn't want to leave, she wasn't ready to face a life without Robert, but deep down, she knew she had to, and for the first time in days, she took her first tentative steps to the outside.
It seemed to take forever to leave the yard, the gravel crunched under her feet, the gentle breeze blew her coat behind her, as if it was trying to make her go back, but she knew she couldn't, she had to move forward, without Robert, whether she liked it or not. She walked slowly down the streets of Bristol, so familiar, and yet, so different. She strolled slowly through the park and onto the bridge. She'd been here with Robert, so many times. When she reached the middle, Alison stopped. She took hold of the icy rail. She could jump. It would be so easy to climb on to the strong railing, and let go. Fall forward and down, down into the murky depths of the river. Then she could be with him, and she wouldn't be alone. The wind was stronger, blowing her hair in all directions, she closed her eyes, and she felt the wind against her skin. Cold, exactly how she felt inside, and for a second she heard his voice, 'Don't do it Alison'. Her grip loosened on the rail, and she found herself walking again, moving away from the edge, moving back towards the real world.
It seemed to take forever to reach her home. She fumbled with the keys, her hands numb. When she eventually opened the door, the air was stale, and there were piles and piles of letters on the mat. She stepped over them, and went straight to the kitchen. She opened a cupboard door, and it creaked, she pulled out a bottle of wine. She wrapped one hand around the cork, the other holding the green bottle securely. She gently twisted and the cork came loose. She was about to take a gulp of wine, but something on the table caught her eye. She set the bottle down gently on the table and looked over at the large brown envelope, 'Alison' was scrawled on the front in familiar writing. Slowly she ran a finger across the letters and looked at it for a moment, then picked the bottle up and took long gulps. The warm wine stung her throat as she gulped it down, but the pain didn't fade. In frustration, she threw the bottle at the wall, the bottle shattered into thousands of shards, embedded in the worn carpet, and wine dripped down the walls slowly, and formed a glittering puddle on the floor, Alison watched and picked the envelope up, for a moment more, she looked at it, then collapsed onto the floor in a heap, the pain surfacing, pure agony. It was all she could feel, she felt as though she had been ripped in half. Robert had completed her, and without him, she felt hollow. She needed him, she told herself. 'Robert!' she shouted into the empty house, nothing. She threw the envelope away from her, and it hit the floor with a loud thud. Why hadn't he told her? What had he been afraid of? Rejection? She thought he had known her better than that. She would never reject him, she would have helped. She would have helped, because she loved him. She wiped her eyes, and crawled across the floor to the envelope. She picked it up, and held it close to her chest, it was like a connection to him, a way of holding on to him, he might not be with her now, but so long as she had her memories, he would always be with her.