The following is a work of fiction. A short story based on the photography of the beautiful Bobbie-Jade Taylor!
The grass around me is a luscious shade of green.
The branches of the trees are full of mementos left behind by friends and family long gone; teddy-bears and love hearts intertwined with the leaves, moving as one in the gentle breeze.
People walk by me every day, but most don't even look my way, let alone try to find out my name. People mourn, people celebrate life. They laugh, they cry.
They walk in silence as they take in my surroundings.
I see them all. I hear about their lives, their losses. I hear their grief, and the respect they pay to my brethren with whom I occupy the same space.
I am invisible to all that walk by, save for those who know me. And they only visit me sparingly.
Leaves fall and crinkle by my feet. They die and become a part of the earth that surrounds me, feeding the soil, the grass.
There's nothing to do all day but watch them and listen. And when they're gone, I watch the clouds, as I cannot leave this place. Black clouds, grey clouds.
Clouds full of rain, and those that are clean and fluffy, circling the Earth until they find moisture to soak up. And the cycle begins again.
Day and night. Sun and rain. Sound and silence.
Day after day after day.
So in this place, I've learned to take solace. I've learned to breathe in the fresh grass smell through my still lungs.
I've learned to see the beauty in the space around me through my closed eyelids.
Yesterday though, yesterday was different. Along came an angel, dressed all in black. She did not simply pass me by, even though she never knew me in life.
She did not ignore the letters on my headstone that spelled out my name.
This angel, this messenger of God was sent to me for a reason, I know it.
She cleared away the dead leaves that sat idly upon my unmoving chest. She took away the sweet wrappers and the cigarette butts that had been dropped around me.
She took care of me. Even though she may not have known it, she showed me what it was like to be clean again.
A single flower she put behind my ear, and I felt like a child again; running free in that big old world outside of this shallow hole that I now find myself in.
I sang out in joy through the wind that rustled her hair. I cried out in despair knowing that soon she would have to leave me, and the clouds rumbled and rolled above us.
I willed her to lie down next to me; to keep me company with her silent songs.
And so she did.
To my amazement, the angel sat gracefully on the grass beside me, and led down so that her head was next to mine.
She looked at me, with those eyes that were as blue as the sky; with those lips that seemed to plant an eternal kiss.
Her hair spread out around her beautiful head and caressed my face with its tender touch. I smelled lilac and roses as she rolled onto her side to face me.
Oh sweet angel, I wish you would never leave, though I know you must. You cannot die here in this place of darkness and beauty. It will befoul you.
Your grace will be lost into the memory of the earth and the people will sing such sad songs at their loss.
You will be doomed to rot and decay just like me; to stare into the empty nothingness and watch the clouds drift by as the people walk past, never bothering to stop and read your name.
Oh sweet angel. You cannot do this at my will.
Look at you, oh how you fade. Your face already turns pale, and I cannot help but wonder why?
Do you do this for me? Did you hear my longing and my loneliness from afar?
Then, even as I looked, she vanished.
Not a trace of her was to be seen.
The trash and the debris that once surrounded me had now returned, and it was as though she had never come.
Save for the single flower that was still tucked behind my ear.
So now as I look at the sky; the clouds moving idly and the trees swaying in the wind, I see not the teddy bear that had been left hanging on the branch in memory of a child who had been lost.
I simply see the dark beauty that was the angel, sent here to give me comfort.
She did not say a word, though I can still feel her voice on my lips. Her breath that smelled so sweetly is now imprinted on my face.
And now a year has passed since I saw her.
Once again I feel cold and alone.
Sing to me, oh sweet angel. Take my hand and lead me away from this place where the grass grows and the trees whisper. Show me where it is that you hide, and I vow to never leave your side.
And so, I hear footsteps approaching, though I do not turn to look. And there, the sweet angel, she comes!
I watch breathlessly as she kneels beside me, and she reaches out a hand. I take it in my own, and she pulls me from the dirt.
We walk hand in hand down the dirt path, glancing at the names long forgotten, and at once I feel their pain ease in my heart. Hand in hand we walk, then all went white.
And I realised:
Someone prayed for my soul.
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