This particular day was sunny, a clear blue sky sat on the horizon and a few fluffy clouds rolled in the slight wind. The aroma of fresh soil and flowers filled my nose, dandelion seeds blew past my eyes and some landed on my shirt as children in the park blew them into the air. The bouquet of daisies clutched tightly in my hands looked lively, they almost made me feel jealous because of how happy they seemed.
I walked past the noisy park and down the worn sidewalk that was in dire need of replacement, I hesitantly walked by older houses, and along the fenced-in cemetery.
She and I used to walk down these very paths, when the cement wasn’t as dirty and worn as it is now, holding hands and only having eyes for each other. I could see her smiling at me, telling me to chase after her as she let go of my fingers and ran helplessly into the park. Now, I wished I hadn’t let go of her fragile, porcelain hand, I wished I would have chased after her a bit more, just to hear more of her laugh.
The houses looked like they were built in the 1900s, no one lived in them and they weren’t for sale. That always confused me. They were just sitting there, life hadn’t passed through for almost 100 years according to some guy who apparently knew everything about those houses. Their roofs were crumbling, windows were cracked or either knocked out completely, and the pastel colored paint slathered up against the wooden panels was peeling.
Those houses were sometimes our little meeting place, just for us. She would often call me in the middle of the night and say, “Wanna dance?” A secret phrase meaning that she wanted to meet up at one specific house we thought was perfect for us. It was a house big enough for a family, painted a pastel blue on the outside and white walls on the inside, located in the midst of all of the other houses.
This house was special because it had a surprisingly working record player and a whole shelf of its sleeved discs right above it, our secret phrase pertained to selecting a random record and then dancing like crazy around the bare living room.
But sometimes, she would have a bad day, or I would have a bad day, and we would just pick a slower song to fit in with the mood. I grasped at her waist and her my neck, my shoulder was her designated spot to rest her head and her head mine. We swayed along with the wind passing through the old house and just didn’t talk about anything, only soft piano filled the air between us.
Those days are behind me now and no matter how hard I try, I can’t get them back. I can’t get her back. My family worried about me throughout the months and months she was in the hospital and when we went to her funeral. They’d always ask if I had eaten recently or if I was alright when anybody with working eyes could see that I clearly wasn’t.
At the very first sign of coming up on the cemetery, I sighed shakily and kept going. I couldn’t back down now, it was July 20th, our 3-year anniversary and I feel like she was expecting flowers or chocolates or something. That’s how it was when she was… Here.
The sweet and stuffy smell of the flowers already surrounding her headstone made my eyes water, I’m not sure if they were watering from the flowers or the fact I was staring at her grave instead of her face.
In Loving Memory Of
Clara “Daisy” Marie Michaels
March 18 1990
May 5 2016
who will be missed
I placed the daisies right next to all of the nearly withering bouquets of flowers, none of the other ones were daisies, and that made me angry. Whoever put these roses, orchids, tiger lilies here were blind to the fact that she loved daisies. She wore them in her hair on some of our dates, to school when she was feeling especially smiley, and brought them with her everywhere. She would give them to anyone who just needed a daisy.
Adjacent to the flowers was a book, the pages under the leather cover were bumpy and rotting a bit. It looked to be worn from a few rainy days but it could have still been written in. I took it up into my calloused hands and opened it, expecting some kind of writing that might have been related to her, but the pages were blank.
After talking a bit to her, I said goodbye and wished us a happy anniversary and took the mysterious book back to my apartment. I was quite curious as to what was inside and when I looked, I swore I could hear whispers coming from the book’s spine even after my friends told me I was delusional. Maybe I was, am.
I knew better than to open the thing, I really did. I’d been warned of its existence since I was a child. Everyone knew of it, everyone feared it. The Necronomicon, or book of the dead, followed people it found “worthy” around like a bloody curse, “bloody” being the key word. The book forced you to do things, horrible things, and the longer it made you do those things, the further you fell. The sad thing was I could already feel myself slipping.
I spent the next few weeks reading the awful thing. It’s not that I wanted to read it, it messed with my head, telling me things like, “I can bring her back,” “I can save her,” I could feel myself falling more and more as I listened to its promises. It promised to bring her back to me, as if the time where I sat in her hospital room listening to the heart monitor drone out never happened. That she was still alive, next to my shaking body telling me it was all a bad dream and to go back to bed. It promised such delightful things and, honestly, how could I refuse?
“Clara, I found something the other day while I was visiting you,” I said excitedly. “It’s a book,” I smiled down at the granite stone sitting over my beloved, I imagined her alive once again: soft and curly dark blond hair that came to her shoulders, the bluest eyes you’d ever seen, and lips that made me shiver every time I kissed them.
“A book of the dead,” I felt my smile stretch under the strain of my excitement. “I can bring you back, love, I can save you from the other side.”
I opened the book a crack letting my eyes roam its blank pages before centering on the gravestone once again. The pale marble with her name on it reminded me of her skin, plush and fair, spots of freckles always covered her nose and forehead. I tried to count all of them once, but she got tired of my poking and just kissed me to end my boredom. That kiss was out of annoyance, love, and amusement, an odd kiss but a good one nonetheless.
“I can bring you back to me.” A wide grin now took up the majority of my face. “It’s a small price to pay: two women your age! It’s a steal, honestly, it’s only two people I have to sacrifice to bring you back.” It really was a bargain, only two people would have to leave this plain of existence but it would have been for a good cause.
A rain drop slowly fell down the length of her gravestone. “Oh, love, don’t be sad, it’s just a tiny price to pay to see you again. Then we can have the fairytale ending we always deserved, it’s perfect.”