“It’s been a while, hasn’t it?”
He was sitting on the somewhat moist ground. In front of him, two large tombstones. On each grave, an opened bottle of beer. He was gulping his, often toasting with the other two. Just like in their younger days.
“I know, I know. It was the cheapest. What a dirtbag, isn’t that what you’d say, Mark? Well, sorry. I promise I’ll bring something better next time. How you guys been holding up?”
Of course, no response. He had gotten used to their silence by now. Still, once or twice each month, he’d go there. It was a ritual of sorts for him. He simply could not let go.
“You know, Glenn, he’s always been the quiet one. How ’bout ya? Any stories to share from up there? No? Well, who’d have thought…”
He took a large gulp from his beer, emptying the bottle. He didn’t seem bothered. Indeed, the very next moment, he had produced three more from his travelling bag. The cold silence was not irritating, not for him.
“The kids are OK. Carla too. You know her, we’ve been inseparable since the good ol’ days. She says she’s sorry she couldn’t make it. She was crying too. I hate it when she cries. I can’t stand her face being all sad. I promised her, you know. I said ‘you’ll never be sad, not so long as I’m with you’. I guess you had to be there.”
Clouds were starting to gather above the small cemetery. It was a bit chilly. He shrugged it off. Not important, he thought. He had promised them, after all. Every once in a month. And once a year, during the anniversary. What a sad way to use the word. It should only be used for happy things, like marriages…
“She loved you guys, you know that? She once said ‘never let go of them, or your sorry ass will be even more sorry, you hear me?’. I knew she was serious. She never spoke like that. She’s always been the more… sophisticated of the two of us. I was surprised. I have known you two scum my entire life. Yet she could tell you were nice guys in an instant. Oh, well. I’m not here to make you sad. Cheers.”
As he raised his glass, he could swear he felt something touching his shoulders. He turned around, and there they were, grinning, young as they were in school. He laughed and cried at the same time.
“Cheers, you bastards. Make the sky roar your names!”