It was cold...the way the darkness bended and curled its claws around me sent chills up my spine. I shivered, then the whole reason why I was here came fully back down on me and the waterworks started again.
I always knew life wasn't a crystal staircase, so perfect and flawless, but it just had to come along and take the only thing I loved away from me. Oh how lonesome this feeling is, knowing that no one in this world loves you anymore. How hopelessly alone I am.
He didn't deserve this fate, and it was all because of me.
It was entirely my fault.
He had always been a happy-go-lucky sort of guy, helping me stand my ground when everyone else wanted to bury me beneath it. He was my anchor, my lighthouse that guided me when it was too dark to see my own hand in front of my face and...my love. But it was far too late when I had finally realized and came to terms with the ever-present fact that I had harbored feelings for the boy.
"Callistia? Are you in there?"
The sound of someone else's voice surprises me momentarily, for I had not expected and not heard another creature's voice for a long time. I did not reply...I wasn't in the most positive mood for socializing anyways.
"Callistia whe- Oh. There you are Callistia..."
The figure looms closer, squatting down on the patch of ground in front of me and tries to hold my empty, glassy eyes with her own warm brown ones. A single word tumbles from my parched throat.
She smiles sadly, and brushes away a stray tear that happened to find its escape route without me knowing. Handing me a glass of water, I take it gratefully and drink as much as I could. When was the last time I had drank water?
"Just as I suspected… still sad over him? I'm sure he would want you to move on Calli," she hugs me tightly; as if her embrace could somehow piece back the broken parts of me that made up my lost and suffering soul.
I don't answer. The words don't seem to sooth my heart or make me feel any better than I was just a few minutes ago. Elizabeta didn't know what it felt like and she would have no way of knowing what he felt or what his thoughts were. It's what everyone says to make a person in mourning feel better. It was always like this- the people around you whisper reassurances but then forget the whole event as if it never happened.
When she finally understands I won't be talking any time soon, she lets out a deep sigh and proceeds to open up one of the nearest windows. The sunlight and joyous scenes outside are so different than what is happening inside of me, it slightly disorients and confuses me. Life had moved on without me, the people out there having no clue that someone had just left the world. They move on about their daily lives, working, playing, and living. Yet here, in this little cold place, my heart slowly deteriorates and continues to be eaten up by the sorrow, pain, and misery of his death.
My weary eyes look up to acknowledge her as she had once again kneeled down to look me in the eye.
"Yeah?" I asked, my mind still a million miles away as it currently resided in a corner of a vast barren wasteland.
"I'm sure that Alfred is in a better place."
There it was- his name...his name... It felt worse hearing it out loud, knowing that this wasn't all just a horrible nightmare that never seemed to end. It was real, so horribly and painfully real.
But I knew that much. Once I was supposed to come face to face with reality I had solemnly wished him the best, wherever he was. I was stubborn, but I had learned that doubting what was true never got anyone far.
My reply was short. "I know."
She nodded, and took a glance outside. Before long, she had quickly added-
"Why don't you take a walk outside? The sunlight might help brighten you up a little," she smiled, and you could see the concern as clear as day on her face.
The outside world? It seemed so strange that a world, bustling with normality and cheeriness, even existed. But Elizabeta reminded me that I would someday have to come out of the depressed world I had been locked in for hours, day, perhaps even nearing a week. Elizabeta didn't wait for me to answer. Instead she took the course of action to literally half-drag me to the door and fling it open.
Elizabeta was trying awfully hard to help, so maybe I should take a walk. After all, cooping myself up for so long isn't going to help a bit.
The outside world turned out much brighter and cheery than I had expected. I was slightly unsure about where to go, so I decided to let my feet do the leading.
Realizing after a while just where I was, small pinpricks of pain pierced my heart. It was the park. I walked over to the oh-so familiar bench; it was still the same. The wood was smooth and brought a cool and nice feeling to my fingertips, the memories had rushed back like a flood.
When it was my birthday, Alfred had surprised me at this very bench, presenting me with all different types of stuffed animals in all assorted colors and patterns. I had always secretly had a thing for them, and was slightly surprised and embarrassed about him discovering it...but the feelings inside of me were more happy than bashful. Needless to say, a lot of good memories of him were made here on this very bench.
Taking a seat on the bench, I peered out towards the fountain. The stature of a little boy catches my eye, and I watch him with interest. I did not understand why, but something about this particular child brought up a newfound curiosity in me. The boy soon turns around, and his breath-taking cerulean eyes capture mine in an instant. There was no doubt about it.
This child was a younger form of Alfred. I did not deny the momentary and daring accusation.
"Hello miss, would you like to play a game with me? I'm all alone," he answers, a sad little smile painting his face.
I was still in shock, surprised at the mini-Alfred. "W-Who are you?"
The boy, looking as if he had been expecting the question, merely replied with a simple, "Happy. I am Happy."
He takes ahold of my hand, his small and warm palm resting ever so gently on mine. The action made me burst into tears, laughing, smiling, and just plain surprise all into one. The kind little reflection pats my arm and hands me a handkerchief. After wiping my tears away as to not seem like a weakling in front of the child, I realized that he had disappeared.
My words disappeared like snowflakes on a child's tongue. Fading off into the distance, something told me that that child was a message. A small smile lights up my eyes.
Finally, Alfred has given me my answer. He's watching over me and he's happy wherever he is. The most I can do is move on and be happy, for that is what he must want from me the most.
Raising the handkerchief back to my lips, I murmured some final words before tucking the handkerchief back into my pocket.
The initials: "A. F. J." was peeking out ever so slightly.