The rain begins to fall again
The rain, the only constant in my life
Wind reaches my ears, mourning softly

The skies are dark, gloomy.
The clouds hasten
Thunder boom. Lighnting cracks
Illuminating the subtle shades of gray

It is almost the end of the day
Dusk comes and with it darkness

I am standing in what seems to be an entrance to old cemetary. An old one from the looks of it. Weeds, brown and decaying, cling to rusty gates, bars bent because of age. Brown leaves scatter before the wake of the wind. I don’t remember getting here. The last thing I knew was falling to the ground. I’ve been to places before that I don’t know how I got there. I must’ve wandered off again. I feel the sides of my coat, finding an empty bottle. It feels cold to the touch. My face reflected strangely on the bottle revealing lines of despair. The bottle slides off my hand and I look towards the gate. There is no other shelter here except for the
copse of huge trees inside the cemetary. Brown leaves start to
fall off as rain begins to fall steadily. I open the gates,
its hinges, abruptly put to work, groans. The rusting bars are cold and sharp. I hasten my stride as the last of the dying
light fades. The wind blows, bringing mournful cries to my ears. My footsteps appear to be out of place in this desolate place. Where the dead lie. Where they put their worries to rest. Where they leave their lifeless shells to await an unknown fate. Fate. Fate has been unkind to me these past few years. Bitter and painful. Life and death.

I pass tombstones and mausoleums, all of which are gray with age and death. A number of them, their carvings and inscriptions faded, time, the elements etching away the names… memories. I finally reach the grove of trees. It offers little respite from the cold rain and wind. The branches appear like hands groping for whatever light the heavens give them. Reaching to whatever light or salvation from this dark and desolate place. Why am I thinking like this? I vainly wipe away the rain pouring down on my face. The whole place is draped with a gloomy cast, a faint mist covering the ground. The sheet of rain making it more dark than usual. At the edge of the copse, lies a hundred more tombstones, appearing like silent gray sentinels to this place of the

I notice one that is beyond the reach of whatever shelter the grove has. I approach it without even thinking. I look back to see that the rain has hidden my steps quickly. The tombstone looks quite old, rough gray stone, with weeds clinging to it. Darkness begins its walk. Yet why do I still see my hands and the tombstones. I shouldn’t be able to see anything. Yet there must be light somewhere. I put that out of my mind as I get rid of the weeds clinging to the tombstone. I kneel before it, not minding the mud and puddles of rain. For some weird reason, somewhere within my mind, a voice screams out. It seeks to stop me…from what? My hands begin to tremble as I rid the tombstone of the last remaining weeds. The rain is steady drone to my ears, the wind bringing mournful cries. Words begin to form. Every moment passes and the scream in my mind intensify.

In loving memory of our son

May he find the peace he has been seeking

My name.

My name? My name. Oh God. No. No. Dear Jesus. My name.

Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!! My scream pierces, shatters whatever silence the darkness was holding in its embrace.

Memories then rush in, like a mad river, flooding me with memories, both sweet and bitter.

I had a life once. A life filled with love and happiness. My family and the love of my life. Parents that loved and cared for me. A woman that I would willingly live with for the rest of my life. Helen. My world revolved around them. My plans, my future. I met Helen when we were in college. We shared so many things. Philosophy, music, movies. She found this other side of me. A passion to live out life. It was perfect. The pieces of the fragile paper puzzle of my life finally complete, then fate opts to take in breath and blow. Scattering the fragile peices, tearing and sundering the world that I know.

My mother died of cancer. The only woman that had the most care-free laughter. A wit and uncanny way of telling what’s wrong with you. A loving and caring mother. My life was incomplete. The cycle in which I lived in broken. Helen was there to temper whatever anger and rage that I had within.

I wasn’t religous. But I gave due attention to my God, thanking him for the graces he has given me. Going to church and all. But when my mother died, I began to question him. Weeping I asked him. Why? There are others there, evil and despondent, befitting sickness and death. Why my mother?

But there was Helen. She consoled me in my dark moments. My life was starting to get back again with Helen at my side. Then fate breathes out again, further scattering whatever order that I had in my life. Helen died in a car accident. My world is sundered beyond repair. The bitter and painful memories fade. I see my hands clutching the tombstone, my knuckles almost corpse white. Rain drops fall steadily like a drone that drowns my hearing.
Now tears mixed with anger and pain I cry out to my God. I let out all the pain and misgivings I had. Why her? She was my anchor to you!!!! My hold on life. My heart and soul!!! She was everything to me!!!! And you took her away!!! You are not a kind God!!!

I lost myself to hate. Lost myself to pain and grief, drowning and wallowing in self-pity and sorrow. Liquor was my friend.
Its pleasure brings some measure of respite from the despair that I was feeling. I cursed life. Cursed the life which I lived in. My father at that time, saw the path to which I was leading. He told me that I should accept life. Accept it? Why the hell should I? There are hundreds of people who deserve to die!! “Why the people in my life? Why not them,” I ask my father. Do you not ask father why mother was taken away? Do you not ask why I should accept it? There is no God, father! If there was a God, then he would not have taken away the people that we love!

My father left with a heavy heart and I continued my ways. I tried everything. From alcohol to drugs. I was killing myself slowly. But I didn’t care. This was better than remembering.

Then I died. Overdose? I didn’t know.

I clutch at my head. Tears mingling with the cold rain. I hold my face in my hands. The tears that I shed were colder than the rain. The darkness, my pain, my grief my companions. I died and this is my punishment. To forever remember my mistakes, to relive them and remember them.
Then I look up to the dark skies, seeing nothing but night.
Is there salvation for the likes of me? Those who have cursed his name and cursed life. I look up to the skies. Lightning crackles and thunder boom. The wind mourning in my ears. Those are my answers. Anger, rage and despair. I close my eyes trying to stop the tears from falling yet that was in vain. I cry out to God. Please mother. Please forgive me. I lost myself to hate. To my pain. I let it rule my life. I let my anger and rage rule my life.

The man lets out a shuddering moan. Sobs wrack his frame and his cries mingle with wind and rain.

Forgive me Helen. Forgive me for not remembering the love that you gave me. Forgive me…

Forgive me father. Forgive me God. Forgive me…

The man holds himself as if the sobs would tear him apart.

Then he feels something. A hand upon his shoulder. He looks up to see Helen. She appears to so serene yet sad. I hold her hand and feel it warm. I hold her hand to my face and cry out my pain. Please forgive me… I love you so much…

Then he feels the hands bringing him up. And he sees Helen now smiling. He rests his head on her shoulder and embraces her. He feels the warmth spread throughout his body. He remembers the memories that he once had. And he closes his eyes and he sees his mother, smiling at him.

Forgive me mother… Forgive me…

Forgive me father. Forgive me God.

Dawn begins to break. Darkness gives way to light. The rain has begun to lessen and then it stops. A cool mist surrounds the cemetary. There is only silence except for the faint rustle of leaves as it is being carressed by the wind. There is a faint sheen of life in this place. A blade of grass begins to grow in the weed riddled ground. And there in the tombstone, gone are the weeds, the marble is clean and a single white rose at its feet.