'As I walked through the meadow, I heard a twig snap next to me. "I knew you'd be here," I said. Benjamin glanced at me through the corner of his eyes, his shoulder brushing against mine. "Why wouldn't I? I like taking walks with you here. But something tells me you're not here just to chat."
I took a step towards him. "I think I'm ready."
He cocked his head, one eyebrow raising. "You mean a race? Really, Sara, I thought you'd finally realized that I will kick you butt every time. But if you insist..." He grinned and bumped me with his shoulder. The late afternoon light fell across his olive skin, making his emerald eyes glitter.
I shook my head. "We can't race, Benjamin."
I stopped walking. "Because... Because...this isn't real, is it, Benjamin? You died... the day before we were liberated...I was there... you wouldn't wake up..."
He laughed. "I'm here next to you, aren't I?" His smile faded and he walked back to me. "Sara?"
I gestured to the small cross that stood in the green switch-grass and bluestems. He looked at it for a moment, his hands stuffed in his trouser pockets. Finally, he sighed, shifting his gaze from the grave marker to me. "Does... does this mean I can't come back to visit?" His voice, his sad, gentle eyes, it was too much. I ran to him, throwing my arms around his neck and burrying my face in his shoulder. "Every night, Benji, promise me." I whispered, my tears soaking into the cotton of his shirt. He drew away from me, holding my shoulders in his shands. "Cross my heart, Blackbird." He smiled and ruffled my hair. "But can you promise me something, too?"
I nodded vigorously. "Anything."
"Just... try not to forget about me, okay?"
I can't help rolling my eyes. "And you always said I was the dramatic one. There is no way in hell that I'll ever forget about you."
He grinned that crooked grin of his, and kissed my cheek. I stroked his hair as he did so, the golden strands interlacing with my fingers. I leaned into him, closing my eyes and inhaling his sweet scent. He looked up just then. "I think it's time. See you soon, okay?" For a moment, everything grew lighter, and then he was gone. I straightened, gazing out at the meadow. "Yeah, soon, Benji."
"Did you say something?"
I jumped, but relaxed when I saw Saul standing next to me. He began to bumble. "I'm sorry, I saw you walking out here an I just wanted to-"
I reached out and took his hand in mine, and he fell silent, our eyes meeting. "Are you sure?"
I looked away from him for a moment, looking at the cross. A soft breeze tickled my neck and I smiled.
"I love you, Sara," Benjamin called.
I squeezed Saul's hand tighter. "I'm sure."
Art, character, writing (c) me