I Will Remember You
This is my sequel to 'When October Goes'... it's not really a funeral story (as a couple people suggested it be), but I think it comes pretty close...
I will remember you
A woman sat alone in the chilly spring air. The lights of the city nightlife lit up the dark night.
The guards of the cemetery knew this woman well... For she came to this place every night... Every night for the past fifteen years. As far back as these men's memories went, this woman had never missed a night.
She always came alone, carrying with her a single rose. When she walked by, the guards could feel the sadness draped around her as if she was clothed in it.
They never said a word to her... There was never any reason to. They simply watched, and sometimes worried about, her as she sat on a simple stone bench for hours at a time.
Dressed in black, she would pass through the entrance every night when the visitors left for the night... She had special clearance... she had a special purpose.
She never said a word to anyone... She didn't seem to notice anyone else. When it rained, she would carry with her an umbrella... When it was cold and snowing, she would bundle up as tightly and as warmly as she could.
But always in black... always in black.
She was known as the Lady in Black to the men who patrolled the grounds.
And she would sit. She would sit and stare at the grave. Sometimes she would tend to it, although it wasn't necessary. She would arrange the flowers and brush off the stone monuments.
And sometimes, she would talk to someone only she could see...
But... most of the time, she would sit and watch... And it seemed to some, wait.
She looked as if she was waiting for someone.
Maybe she was...
The guards were watching over her now... as they always had. None of them content to have her out of someone's gaze.
And they watched...
They watched as she tumbled over onto the ground from her place on the bench. They watched as she hit the cold ground.
They ran to her side; all wanted to provide whatever assistance they could. They stayed with her as they waited for the ambulance to come for her.
They watched as some men loaded their Lady in Black into an ambulance. And they watched as it drove away.
The guards in the cemetery watched as the funeral procession trickled out. They had buried their Lady in Black...
They had grown used to her daily presence... they had grown protective of her...
And now she was gone.
In fifteen years, they had never spoken a word to her. But she had known they were there watching over her. And they had known that she knew they were there.
Words had never been needed.
And now... they watched as the cities stars came out to do honor to the woman in black.
And they watched the lone man now standing in front of the memorial and grave that now held the bodies of two souls.
The elderly man stood in front of the graves... One was filled fifteen years ago, the other had been filled just moments before.
Both were fresh and painful wounds in his heart.
He had known about her nightly visits to this spot. He had known about how she would sit and stare at the grave that held the body of her husband.
He knew she had been waiting.
She had been waiting to join him. And she had wanted to be here when that happened...
The woman that had once been so vibrant and independent had been broken beyond repair the night she had lost her husband and her child... A child that was buried five feet away.
So many people died that terrible night, so many years ago... But for some, the dying had just come more slowly...
As it had for her.
The elderly man took a deep breath and, with one last look, turned and walked away from the graveside. He nodded to the young men who stood at their posts nearby. He started to walk past them, but suddenly he stopped and turned to face them.
"Watch over them..." he told them. "Watch over them."
The young men nodded as the Chief of Staff to the late President Bartlet walked away from the grave of his best friend and that best friend's wife and walked out of the cemetery without a look back.