Leona, Pt. 5

by twofiftyorless

Elaborate Wooden Box

In my new white shirt, black pants and neck tie, I crouched under a hemlock tree, hiding amongst the dead thistles and rotting cones. The sky was grey. The clouds were heavy; crushing the treetop from above. Only the crows dared fly this day. The air was damp, but there was no rain. The soil would not need it.

My tears fell to the ground.

All she had wanted was a hug. I had watched from the door frame as, with all of her available strength, she labored to sit in bed. The blinds were closed, the room poorly lit; I could still see how difficult it was for her to move. Struggling to maintain her balance, she reached out for me, begging me to come to her. Her arms were slight and they shook as she held them up. More than ever, in that moment, she had needed me.

I turned my back and walked away, unable to cope with it all.

Now, men lowered her into the ground. I would never see her again: an aunt in name, but a Grandmother in my heart, she was gone.

I had killed her.