Without a Sound



I woke up with nothing around me but Mikey’s arms and the sheets on his bed. I closed my eyes, trying to stamp this moment in my memory. I’d been doing that a lot lately.

He was awake. I knew because his thumb was stroking the back of my hand rhythmically. Maybe he’d been waiting for me to wake up. “Good morning,” I mumbled dreamily.

He laughed, and I could hear how happy he really was. “‘Good’ morning is an understatement,” he stated. “I suppose there’s no word good enough to replace ‘good’, so the cliché word ‘good’ is good enough.”

I smiled. “So what are we doing today?”

“Why do you ask?” he inquired.

I shrugged. “No reason, really. I was just wondering,” I replied.

“Well,” he said slowly, “I know I told Celia and Gerard we’d visit them today, but I had something else in mind.”

By the tone of his voice I knew he wasn’t talking about staying in bed all day. “What’s that?” I asked warily.

He hesitated. “I haven’t been to the cemetery lately. You know, to visit Sylvia and Ivy.”

For a split second I was hurt, but that feeling quickly evaporated. I just had to remember he’d never stop loving them. “When are you leaving?”

He squirmed uneasily. “Well, I was going to ask if maybe you wanted to go with me,” he said.

“Oh,” I replied, taken aback. “Yeah. I guess I would.” This was going to be uncomfortable, and I knew it.

Mikey stepped out from under the sheets. “I’ll go take a shower now,” he offered.

I grabbed clothes and took my own shower. Surprisingly, I finished before him, so I went to the kitchen and poured us bowls of cereal. I really needed to ask Celia to give me cooking lessons. Mikey passed through the kitchen to go outside to the garden without saying a word. He came back with three vases. One was full of red roses, one of pink, and one of white.

After putting them safely in the back of his car, he ate his breakfast. “It’ll be a long drive,” he informed me. “If you want to grab a book, I’ll get some music.”

I nodded and went to the library. I found the book of poems lying on a side table, grabbed it, and met him by the car. It was about midnight when we started driving. I opened the book of poems to my favorite and started trying to memorize it.

When we made it to the cemetery, I recognized the gates immediately. This was, of course, the cemetery Mikey had found me in. It only made sense. It was ironic that his wife and daughter’s deaths were ultimately what had brought us together. It was raining when we stepped out of the car. Mikey’s black hair was already plastered to his forehead.

He took me to the gates and led me slowly through. Some of the gravestones were very old and crumbling away. Some were very small and were level to the ground, while others were large and held the names of complete families on them.

Mikey led me down the brick path while I kept examining my surrounding. A couple of trees were spread out in the cemetery. One was straight and perfect, and the other was twisted and forked out in the middle. One gravestone had an elaborate garden around it, whereas another looked completely abandoned. A few mausoleums were scattered about, too. I didn’t want to think about those.

We stopped before a couple of the most beautiful gravestones in the cemetery. One was a slab of stone with a large, intricate ballet show sculpture on the top. On a plaque in the front, I read: Sylvia Way. 1986-1992.

Mikey took me up to the food of the gravestone and murmured, “Charlotte, meet my daughter. She was going to be a ballerina.” I saw his eyes collecting water as he placed the bouquet of pink roses in a little hole that was already there. I put my arm around his waist, trying to comfort him.

We ambled towards the elaborate stone next to it. The stone was a tall cross, made of many different colors of stone rolled in together to create a splotched effect. The plaque said: Ivy Way. 1964-1992. A beautiful ivy plant climbed all over the stone except for on the plaque, as if it knew to avoid it.

After placing the red roses before the grave, Mikey whispered hoarsely, “Charlotte, this is Ivy. She would’ve liked you. I’m not just saying that. Just like you and Celia, Ivy and Celia got along very well. I think you could’ve been friends.” His eyes were getting red again.

I pulled him into a hug, unable to look at him while he was like that. “I think so, too,” I told him. “Too bad we lived in different times.”

“I think she wanted me to find you after all. The hole in the center of the cross on her gravestone… If you kneel right in front of it and look through, all you can see is your mausoleum.”

I didn’t know what to say to that. Mikey pulled away from me and kneeled over his wife’s grave. I took a step back, feeling like an intruder. “You’ll forgive me, won’t you?” he asked her, even though we both knew she was dead. “Not for killing you. I know that’s unforgivable. But please, please forgive me for taking this only chance of happiness without you,” he pleaded. “I know you would want that for me.”

He kneeled there for a long time. Maybe he was talking to her silently for a while before he continued out loud, “You’d like Charlotte. She’s not much like you, but I think you would’ve gotten along great. You’re both artists of some sort. She writes, you painted. I’m sorry I took your life away from you. I’ll always be sorry for that, but I can’t change it. I can only hope that you still love me and respect that I want to be happy.”

He turned away and looked at me. Maybe it was the rain, or maybe he was crying. I couldn’t tell. He walked back to me, and I wrapped my arms around him.

We walked through the cemetery hand in hand. The whole scene reminded me of parts of my favorite poem, which I had memorized. I recited the parts that fit with this situation out loud.

It is the clay what makes the earth stick to his spade;
He fills in holes like this year after year;
The others have gone; they were tired, and half afraid
But I would rather be standing here;

There is nowhere else to go. I have seen this place
From the windows of the train that's going past
Against the sky. This is rain on my face -
It was raining here when I saw it last.

There is something horrible about a flower;
This, broken in my hand, is one of those
He threw it in just now; it will not live another hour;
There are thousands more; you do not miss a rose…

… This is not a real place; perhaps by-and-by
I shall wake - I am getting drenched with all this rain:
To-morrow I will tell you about the eyes of the Chrystal Palace train
Looking down on us, and you will laugh and I shall see what you see again…

… If for only a little while
You will think of it you will understand,
If you will touch my sleeve and smile
As you did that morning in the Strand
I can wait quietly with you
Or go away if you want me to -
God! What is God? but your face has gone and your hand!
Let me stay here too…

We used to pray to Christ to keep
Our small souls safe till morning light - ;
I am scared, I am staying with you to-night -
Put me to sleep.

I shall stay here: here you can see the sky;
The houses in the street are much too high;
There is no one left to speak to there;
Here they are everywhere,
And just above them fields and fields of roses lie -
If he would dig it all up again they would not die.”
~ From In Nunhead Cemetery, by Charlotte Mew

Mikey nodded, knowing what poem I was reciting. When we walked through the cemetery gates, Mikey offered me the third vase, the one with white roses. “For you,” he said, his voice thick with emotion.

“Thank you,” I murmured quietly, taking the vase and squeezing his hand. “You couldn’t have given me anything better.”
♠ ♠ ♠
This is so sad. It's the end... *cries*

Once again I'm going to beg that you don't unsubscribe just because the story is over. I would really, really like to keep that tenth star. And, of course, thanks to all of you who read this story... which was a lot of people. Especially the ones who've been following my stories for a while or even just a little bit.

Speaking of you people, it would be cool if you read my next story, All We Had to Keep us Safe. I just posted the first chapter, and it's a Bob Bryar fanfic. There aren't enough of those out there, and Bob fits the part I need. Plus, he rocks so... yeah.

Thanks so much! Bye!