There he was again sitting with him on the grass looking up
at the stars while listening to the wind whistling, toying with their hair as they linked hands. It was prefect-it was all so terribly perfect. That day, Jake remembered it perfectly, that day- he still choked up with emotion as he remembered it all to well. It had been a few years since then but he remembered it well. The last night that he had with Dirk; the last night he would ever hear that voice of his. The one that made him feel safe, wanted, needed but most of all loved.
He remembered Dirk being rather clingy that night, to say the least. He had been sticking close to him all night and had asked if they could retire to bed early.
"Jake, I'm tired." Dirk muttered into his hair as he held him close.
"The sleep, love." Jake whispered back into his chest.
"I don't want to fall asleep. I'm just tired" he paused and pulled back to see Jake's face. "But not sleepy tired….just tired."
Jake smiled warmly. "Don't worry, it comes with being old."
Dirk scoffed. "No shit, but seriously." he paused and lightly kissed Jake's lips.
"I feel like you're saying goodbye, Dirk." Jake voiced his concern to his lover. "Stop it. You're seriously scaring me."
"I'm not saying goodbye Jake. Just goodnight." Dirk replied tenderly as he caressed the other's face.
Then they had gone to bed, Jake sleeping in Dirk's arms; the last warmth he remembered from him. The last kiss and the last goodnight that escaped Dirk's lips as he drifted off to sleep. One that he would never wake from.
Jake awoke in cold sweat with a start. He had dreamt of that night again, that night that Dirk passed away in this same bed while he slept in his arms.
Jake rolled his head to the side and looked at the alarm clock. Great, he woke up an hour before he had planned. Beating his alarm clock for what felt like a million times now. He signed and a large grin spread across his worn visage as he remembered the date, that same charming smile that his husband had loved so many years ago.
He climbed out of bed stiffly from old age, being old was always a challenging adventure; and being a true gentleman he never turned down a good chance adventure. Jake hobbled over to his closet and began to dress in his finest clothes, leisurely and without haste. When he finished he turned and looked sadly across the room. Slowly and painfully he walked over to the other side and picked up the picture of Dirk. He looked absolutely smashing; he chuckled lightly but brought it up to his lips and kissed it lightly.
"Morning love," he told the picture as he became misty eyed, but he rubbed the tears away and put his glasses back on.
He slowly walked down the hall deciding that he might as well skip breakfast. Going directly to the closet to obtain his coat which he promptly paced on his forearm, grabbing his hat and cane on his way out as well.
The day itself was cold and cloudy with not an once of sunshine to be seen. Dreary would be a prefect way to describe the day. Cold permeated the day causing the ever present breeze to feel a little colder then usual. Jake smiled momentarily as he felt the wind hug his face and remembered how John use to do that to him too. He sighed deeply and walked down to the florist a little way down the street.
He walked into the little florist shop and almost instantly his nose was assaulted by the wonderful smell of all the flowers in the shop. The place had a nice vibe to it, very homely and inviting to the people that set foot in it. Jake shuffled slowly and was met by a middle aged man. He was a nice man from what Jake had gathered after many frequent visits.
"Morning Mr. Strider. What can I get for you today?" he asked Jake cheerily as he practically bounced over to Jake.
"65 chrysanthemums, please."
The man stood there with his mouth agape after hearing the number. "That's a rather large number. Can I, um, know the occasion or should I simply not know?" he questioned as he immediately set off to work.
"Visiting a departed loved one," he told him tenderly as he looked at a yellow chrysanthemum and handed it to the man.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have asked."
"Its fine ma' boy. He was old too so no need to get worked up."
The man gave him a sympathetic smile while he looked at Jake and spoke not a word as he continued to work.
Jake exited the florist shop with this his 65 chrysanthemums. A slow smile appeared on his face, he had bought a chrysanthemum for every year that he and Dirk were married. He smiled sadly as he admired their beauty and felt tears threaten to break. He then paused to purchase 24 white cyclamen, a box of chocolates and some of Dirk's favorite wine. He let out a heavy sigh and proceeded to his destination.
Once he was there he looked first at the heavy old iron gate that greeted him with a seldom creak of its hinges. He then looked over at the green grass on the rolling hills sloping gently and gracefully. He took his time as he walked taking in every bare tree, every signing bird, and every crow cawing as he walked onward. Finally, he stopped atop the hill barren except for the old oak over head and the lone tombstone protruding from nature. Jake sat there
in front of Dirk's grave. Jake smiled and placed his belonging on the ground proceeding to cleaned the tombstone reading:
Here lies Dirk Strider
Wonderful husband and friend
He shall be missed by all.
Rest in peace
Jake smiled sadly as he remembered engraving those words
on the tombstone. He did not do that when Dave and John had passed away from a skydiving trip to New Zealand gone wrong. They had been cremated and their ashes scattered to the wind of the pure air of New Zealand. That same place that had claimed their lives. It had been a long standing joke between John and Dave that if they had to pass way they were going to do it together. If either died first they were to be cremated and their ashes kept until the other passed away so that they could go together. Go together and stay that way, forever. No one thought that their joke would be have to fulfilled that early in life.
It made Jake shed a few tears as he recollected the information in his head. It had been a sad day, they were only 23 years old...far to young to loose their lives. They had done nothing with their lives yet. No family to raise, no wedding from each other to crash, no raising children, no heart breaks from lovers they would never be able to do any of that.
He sat there in front of Dirk's grave after having picked up his belongings and gently placed the flowers on the grave with 12 cyclamen on each side with the chrysanthemums in the middle.
"Hey Dirk, I brought you some chocolates and wine like always," he told him through a heart wrenching sob that escaped through his lips. "I know this is utterly platitudinous, but will you be my valentine's again?" He sat in silence and finally smiled. "I knew you'd say yes," He leaned forward and kissed the tombstone. "Thank you love." he told the stone through tears.
How long had be been doing this again? Five? Six? Seven? Maybe eight years now? Always the same, save for the extra flower representing a new year.
He sat there all day by Dirk's grave talking to him; retelling old stories from their youth. It wasn't until the sky had assumed its dark hues that Jake returned to his house. The same one that he had once occupied with Dirk. Jake sat down at his regular seat and ate dinner quietly. All the meanwhile, listening to some of Dirk's old "sick beats" while smiling as he was reminded that he had written them for him. He checked the wall clock and got up only to see Cal seated in the shelf in the living room. He smiled gently and patted Cal on the head muttering a goodnight to the puppet.
Jake slowly changed into his sleepwear. He slowly climbed into bed turning to the nightstand where Dirk's picture stood. Reaching over he kissed the picture of Dirk one last time muttering "Night love, I'll see you in the morning." before falling asleep in his old cold bed.
Jake awoke the next morning in Dirk's arm like he use to before he passed away.
"D-Dirk? I-is that you?"
"Shit's legit man." Dirk retorted.
"You wish." Jake stated as he leaned closer and kissed Dirk with all the passion that he had stored in him after all those years.
"You idiot. I was so scared. So lonely. So-so-so. I love you Dirk. I love you so much. So fucking much." Jake sobbed into Dirk's chest.
"Sh, It's alright English. I'm right here with you right now." Dirk whispered quietly.
"Why did you leave me alone Dirk? Why'd you have to be such an asshole about it?" Jake demanded through tears.
Dirk shock his head." Hey I didn't plan it alight. Shit happens."
Dirk smiled and pulled Jake closer until he leaned his forehead onto Jake's. "You stole my heat English so I think I'll steal yours."
Jake threw his head back as he laughed. "I'm up for a fist-cuff over that."
So they stayed that way even while Jake's body was buried next to Dirk reading:
Loyal husband until the end
may be find what he seeks
Rest in Peace