Wisp

A garbage truck jangles over the bridge behind him. He nearly leaps off by reflex.

No.

It must be a decision.

It seemed a difficult decision moments ago, but now exhaust clogs his lungs. The biting of concrete saws pierces his ears. She swore she would never leave, and he buried her.

He stares down into the abyss, wondering if it holds any more comfort.

She had been different, like him, a perfect pairing. She had told him she would go, yet remain. He had not believed.

Copyright Ben ReiersonSource; Creative Commons License

A light breeze brushes his cheek, and his gaze follows a blue butterfly away from the pit, toward the horizon. The wind brings faint whispers, a language foreign to him, though she had claimed to try to teach him. To prepare him, she said.

He had played along, knowing it to be just one of her eccentricities.

Was it?

The butterfly disappears into the boughs of her so-called sisters, and for a moment, the construction crews cease, the traffic stops, and he strains to listen.

The rustling tongue is still unfamiliar, but somewhere in the hissing, he almost hears beckoning, urging. Pleading, even.

The lives of those around him resume, and yet he still hears the almost-words. A scent of honeysuckle drifts over the stench of burning oil.

A tear slides down his face. She had taught him to taste the sweet flowers.

He closes his eyes and basks for a moment in the soft wind, the sunlight embracing him.

With a sigh of resolution, he heaves himself over the guard rail and walks back to his home, his garden, his love, who – though now only a sapling – will keep her promise to be with him forever.

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