I watch her cross the well manicured lawn, taking the same path she takes ever first Tuesday of the month. She has not missed a first Tuesday in a long time, nor as she changed the path she takes from the parking lot, down the paved path, then the diversion down the lawn and between the little stone monuments.

Just as reliable, I am always here to watch. I have never missed a Tuesday since the Tuesday’s started.

I can’t remember exactly when. My sense of time is heavily skewed. Sometimes it feels like it is never moving and I am stuck in place, other times it feels like it is going far too fast. Today she looks the same as a month ago, but it was probably 6 visits ago I noticed the grey hair at her temple.

“Hello, David,” she says, her voice sounding soft and tired. I take note she is wearing scrubs. She had told me about her finishing her nursing degree. I hadn’t been there to see it, but I had heard all about it on a particular sunny Tuesday where she had been so happy, and then cried so much.

“I can’t believe it has been 10 years,” she murmured, and I feel surprise ripple through me. 10 years? Has it really been that long? She is looking up at the sky, at the passing clouds with her hands in the pockets of her scrub top. What I wouldn’t give to put my hands in that familiar place where her waist flared into her hips.

“I had something I really needed to talk to you about,” she says, and I am listening intently, looking at her profile as she stares down at the ground now, “I always wondered if maybe you already knew, but I didn’t want to say anything before I was sure… but I have met someone, David.”

I just stare at her. I know I can’t say a thing, and as I move around to face her while she is still staring down, I notice that she has actually aged more, like the 31 years old I know she is. She is still talking but I am not quite hearing it anymore. Something about the guy being very kind to her, about having so much in common, but how it is the most loved she has felt since me.

I reach out to touch her, but I know my fingers will never reach. She is wrong. I have not seen her life. Only here, on the first Tuesday of every month, for almost 10 years without fail. I wasn’t aware it was 10, it had felt like 1 and 100 all at once.

Let her go, hold on, those are my only options. Something tells me though no matter what, that Tuesday might be over. I don’t have to let her go; she is letting me go.

 She is asking me to bless it. Bless her and this man named Tony.

I move as close as the cosmos will allow, so we are standing a foot apart facing each other, with only one thing between us. I look down at what she is looking at, a flat, slightly raised stone with my name clearly etched on it, and my birthday which marked me as a Leo, a stereotypical one according to her, my Pisces.

I am reading it upside down, but she crouches over it and touches me name.

“I love you, David. I will always love you. I hope you can forgive me for trying to be happy,” I hear her whisper before she sighs, looks at the stone, and walks away from me.

I can’t follow her. I have tried. Instead, I look down at the stone where all our Tuesday meetings have taken place at. At what might be our last Tuesday meeting, or the last for a long while.

David Michael Horton
August 10, 1995 – December 1, 2014
Loved by All. Young Forever.

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