He opened his wallet and looked at the picture. Whenever he got time, he used to sit with a beer in one hand and his wallet in the other one. It was his wife’s picture. They were in love. After three years of relationship, they had finally decided to get married. She was the most cheerful girl he had ever met. He was in love with her since they first met. He remembered how her face gleamed when he asked her out. They did not know what to talk about, but then they did not need to. They were young and youth possess ability to talk through eyes; eyes which are not convoluted by ego, self-awareness and morals.
His chain of thoughts was broken by the firing which kept on starting every few minutes. He quickly kept the wallet in his pocket, picked up the rifle and started shooting. It had been two years, since his battalion was fighting the enemy; so far from his home, so far from his country and so far from his life. She could not believe when he told her that he had to leave for the war. She argued and shouted at him, then tried to persuade him not to go. He knew that she was doing this out of love. She knew that he will not stay.
During all these two years, her picture was the only thing which assured him that he has a heart with feelings, that he was still a human, that he has someone to go back to. He had spoken with her only thrice in last two years, last call was four months back. She spoke less cried more. Her tears worked as a reassurance for him that she still loved him. Sometimes he dreamt that he went back and it did not matter to her anymore. He had written her letters, but had not received any replies, but then no mail was delivered for a long time now.
Like all horrible dreams, the war also ended. He was tired and broken. He hallucinated that he was already at home in her arms. It was like starting a new relationship altogether, as if he did not know her from before. His heart pounded when he was finally standing in front of the door. What if his dreams (more like nightmares) came true? He knocked. There was no answer. She was not home. He had no idea how she spent her time, so he decided to wait on the bench outside. He must have waited half an hour when a woman from the neighbourhood approached. He recognised her and greeted. She did not say anything and started sobbing. He knew something had gone wrong. With great pain in her eyes, she told him that his wife was no more. His wife was suffering from acute depression after he was gone and one night she killed herself.
Moments like these are when there are no thoughts, but it is only silence before storm. Only if he had the rifle in his hands right now, he could have joined his wife at this moment. She told him that his wife was buried in Highgate Cemetery. He went there and looked for her wife’s grave. It said “Ashley Hudson – May her soul rest in peace.” He kept his head on the grave. He kept crying. After a point he could not cry. He had no awareness of the fact that he was sitting in a graveyard for entire night. He did not know when he fell asleep. He had nowhere to go. The home was no longer home to him. He spent almost entire day sitting beside the grave. He knew that her soul was not at peace. He kept telling her stories from the war, how he survived by just looking at her picture, how it was not easy for him too, that she should have waited for him and that he still loved her a lot. He knew that she was listening to him. He felt that he had not lost her. He could feel her listening inside the grave. He could feel her sitting with him when he was narrating all those stories and feelings. He had decided to spend his life with her, sitting in this graveyard near his beloved.
It has been almost five years now. He did not miss her anymore. He kept talking to her. He no longer felt that she was not with him. Today morning he decided to pick up white lilies for her. He had carried white lilies for her when he first took her out. It was her birthday today, her thirtieth birthday. He dusted the grave and kept the lilies. Somebody touched his shoulder. He looked back. A man in his late twenties was staring at him. “Thanks for taking care of her grave. I usually do not stay in the country so am not able to come very often. It’s very nice of you to buy her flowers. How do you know these were her favourite? Did you know her?” the other person said. He was puzzled. “Who are you?” he asked. “Oh. Excuse me. Where are my manners? I am Thomas Hudson. Her Son.”