Sorrow Swallows My Screams

Chapter Twenty Six

Chapter Twenty Six:

Zacky’s POV:

It was 10:00 PM when I set my guitar down on my bed and traipsed over to the window. I gazed out at the darkness, my thoughts still firmly on what was right and what was wrong to do with Brian. He was just so amazingly wonderful. Looking out at the dark depths of the street in front of me, I made a decision in my mind. I was about to do something I’d never done before. I was about to visit Mikey’s grave.

The reason I’d never done this before was that it just made everything seem so, so utterly final. It was plain depressing. But now, I felt a need to visit it. Now that I had this constant struggle in my mind about Brian, about what I want to do with him, and about what I shouldn’t do because of my continuous loyalty to Mikey.

So, I opened my old window and climbed out onto the notorious branch of the trusty tree in the front yard. I owe the person who planted that tree a lot. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it. Guess I’d have to risk sneaking out the front door. That, or jump to the ground below from the second-storey window. Whatever.

The branch, as solid as ever, never showed any signs of struggle as I made my away across it towards the thick trunk of the great old tree. Once at the trunk, I began to climb down the branches until my feet touched the firm ground. Freedom.

I made sure I was careful, walking along through the dark streets of the neighbourhood. I had people to watch out for. I couldn’t let Gerard see me, because I really wasn’t in the mood for another of his accusatory bashings, and those cops from when I was staying at Brian’s might recognise me if they happened to be patrolling around. And of course there was my father, he hadn’t returned home yet.

My walk came without any extremities, which I was thankful for. Tonight would be hard enough without any obstacles. I steered myself in through the creaky old cemetery gates. I figured they had to be quite old, those gates, judging by the noise of creaking metal that they gave off whenever they were moved, and also by the intricate designs in the metal that looked like they would have been very elegant and popular in the nineteenth century.

I began to walk through the dark, eerie cemetery. It was only then that it occurred to me that I didn’t know where Mikey’s grave actually was, and that I didn’t have a flashlight with me, which would make it oh so fun, poking around from grave to grave in the middle of the night, squinting to make out the names on the headstones with the only source of light coming from the full moon, as I saw it was now, upon looking skywards.

I decided I would stroll around the cemetery for a while, checking on headstones every once in a while, hoping that I’ll fluke it out and stumble upon Mikey’s grave. I walked a few metres on the thin dirt trail that was no doubt forced into its present form by mourners proceeding across its body. I knelt down on the chilly ground and peered at the headstone in front of me. It read:

Here lies John P. Norman.
16.7.1942 - 29.3.1995
Beloved husband, father, and fisherman, whose life was taken from him by the raging seas. Enjoy your fish tonight.

Poor John P. Norman. At least he died doing what he loved.

I continued on through the cemetery a way further before crouching down to read another headstone. This one said:

Here lies Timmy Owen Fletcher, beloved son.
His short life was stolen from him by drunken drivers, who walked freely from the scene.
10.6.1999 - 28.10.2007.

That wasn’t cool. That wasn’t just. He was so young…

I stepped across to the grave beside Timmy’s and read that one, too. To my horror, it read:

Here lies Gregory Halim Fletcher.
Beloved husband who lost his life the same night as his only son who he loved ever so much. Truly rest in peace.
24.7.1980 - 28.10.2007.

How terrible. They’d both died on the same night, just days ago. I checked around the immediate area to see if a Mrs Fletcher had been killed in the collision too, but I couldn’t find one. If there was a Mrs Fletcher, she must be distraught right now. But then, as I peered around these graves, I found Mikey’s…

I couldn’t stop myself from falling from my crouched position. My legs gave way and I collapsed to the ground. Head in my hands, I dared not look at it again. Funny how easy it was for me to look at strangers’ graves just fine, but then see Mikey’s and fall to pieces. I only let a few tears trickle down my face. I had to keep myself somewhat composed, I just had to. Who knew what would happen if I let myself get too upset. After what I’d already tried… well, why couldn’t I try it again, really?

Brian. Brian. Brian. Brian was why I couldn’t try it again. Brian was all I had left now. But I miss Mikey so much!

Tears threatening to pour far worse than they were now, I forced myself up from the ground and made my legs work, carrying me out of the cemetery. The one glimpse of Mikey’s grave that I’d gotten was enough. I never should have come here. It was a mistake. It’s so… I don’t know, so fucking depressing.

But one thing, at least, had come from tonight. I knew what I had to do tomorrow. I had to find Mrs Fletcher, and I had to pay her a visit.