I stood, the dew-tipped grass blades leaving their droplets against the bare skin of my leg. My pants were rumpled and crinkled, exposing my ankle. There was a low hanging, impenetrable mist suspended in the air, the sun's light barely pilfering through in thin rays that threatened to expose the obscured, black thing in front of me.
The rolling hills in the distance were nothing more than a simple outline against a foreground of deep gray. I was aware that trees surrounded me—us—but I could not see them. I could only hear their branches swaying in the wind as leaves were plucked from their limbs, carried away in the fresh winds of October. They were oranges and reds and yellows; a beautiful, little thing I would have picked up on if I wasn't so limp.
I was frozen; paralyzed, with shock. My body was numb and my mind was foggy, my judgment clouded and my thoughts disoriented. I could do nothing but shake and tremble as people around me cried and sobbed, "I miss him"s stifling through the air.
Why wasn't I crying? Why couldn't I feel anything? My heart still pumped blood, and my lungs still inhaled oxygen, so why was I feeling so distraught, so inhuman?
So detached from my surroundings?
I could not bring myself to focus on anything; not the water that trickled down my neck or the words that were being spoken.
"…and he will be missed," was all I heard.
My eyes adjusted to the sight of Amy stepping as a shadow back towards the people, along with me, that lined the field in the cemetery. Head stones and plaques lay scattered across the ground, words of indistinct origin inscribed upon them. I felt so alone here in this place, so torn and in such agony. I could feel now.
Yes, I could definitely feel, but I soon wished I hadn't.
For all there was to experience was a rooted suffering and anguish that plagued my soul. Emotions of all sorts began to bubble up inside of me, releasing themselves in sobs and cries and convulsions. Amy quickly rushed over to me, wrapping her arms around my back just as I began to sink to the ground.
"It's okay," she whispered, "It's going to be okay…shh…"
"No," I croaked in-between whimpers. "No, it's not!" I howled, collapsing in her arms.
The ground was cold against my thin, silky slacks as I continued to weep. My knees were bent up, arms encasing them. I was rocking myself back and forth, Amy kneeling on her heels and rubbing my back. She spoke to me (or tried to, at least), and did her best to comfort me. I tore my hands through my battered and messy hair, ripping out several strands in the process. I clawed at my arms, nails digging through my suit and scratching at the soft flesh. I was still rocking back and forth, and I could sense that all eyes were staring at me.
Enough light was visible and the sight in front of me became clear. A dark, wooden casket was being raised above a deep, rectangular hole in the ground.
"No!" I screamed, racing towards the burial area, Amy trying to hold me back. I skidded to a halt, dirt flying through the air as I almost fell face first, into the pit.
"Please," I begged, "Just let me see him. I didn't get a chance to,"
"Sir, it's too late for that," a man dressed in black clothing said.
"Please" I pleaded, "I just need to see him one last time…I…please…" my voice faltered, fading into nothingness as more tears welled up in my eyes.
The several men surrounding the coffin exchanged skeptical glances before making their way back towards the stand that held the tomb above the ground. They unclasped the latches, lifting the lid high. I peered into the case, tears flowing from my eyes.
"Zayn…" I muttered, bringing a hand to cover my mouth as my heart shattered into pieces. The liquid that poured from my eyes fell, landing on his gray tuxedo and forming a pattern of randomized, contingent dark spots.
And yet he still looked so beautiful, even in his time after the life had been sucked out of him. His hair was down against his forehead, his hazel eyes staring up at me. His tanned skin was paler than it had been, I noticed, and bruises dotted his body.
I couldn't bear to see him like this. Not here—hell, not anywhere—and not now. Not when we had come so close to our dreams, nearly making a life together our own reality. He was the most amazing and astounding man I had ever met. He had the best personality, and the best…everything.
My heart ached as I reached up to my coat pocket, feeling around for the silver ring. I gripped it in my hands, pulling it out of my tuxedo. I twirled it around in my fingers, eyeing its circumference carefully. Strings of remorse tugged at my brain and stabbed at my core.
My entire body shook with pain and an empty hand clutched the edge of the coffin. My head lowered, jaw clenched and legs weak.
I was in that position for an amount of time that was unknown to me. It was silent as I trembled in front of the crowd that had gathered.
I finally regained enough control over my actions to be able to stand without holding onto the box of death that sat in front of me. I stared at Zayn, taking his hand in mine and raising it. I slid the ring over his finger just as I had done weeks before, hardly able to keep my hand steady in the process.
I placed his arms back against his chest, and before turning on my heel, brushed his eyelids closed. My eyes were swollen, burning with misery as I walked past the group of people, looks following and heads turning as I went. Normally Amy would have chased after me, but she only had a hand outstretched, wavering in the distance.
Somehow the sun managed to break through the layering of clouds that covered the morning sky. Light shone at all angles now, casting shadows against the street as I shuffled down the road. Cars whistled by, subtle reminders of Zayn's death.
I held my hands in my pants' pockets, balled up into fists as I carried on, pangs of guilt and anger jabbing at my thoughts.
He was dead, and he was gone. And I was all alone.
Thank you to everyone who read the story, I hope it was enjoyable. Reviews of any feedback/ criticisms, no matter how harsh, are always welcome. :)