My feet took me down familiar paths as I meandered through a town that I had once been a part of. All of a sudden I became aware of my surroundings. Subconciously, I had come to the cemetry. There was a large gathering of people by the sweeping maple tree that was at the centre of the grounds. I smiled, tears in my eyes. I'd always admired that tree. Jake had remembered that. I wanted to see him again. The urge was almost as overwhealming as the bloodlust earlier. My feet began moving before my mind caught up. Even from a distance, my razor sharp senses picked up the sound of smothered crying, the low but steady voice of an old friend giving a eulogy. The smell of freshly turned earth.
I realised that they could not see me. That I would have to hide. I changes course slightly, going round the back of the tree.
I hope this works..
I pushed off as hard as I could, overshooting where I had been aiming and landing high in the tree branches. I clung on for a few moments, startled, then climbed to the lower reaches so that I could be closer. I settled on a broad branch and there, about 10 feet away, Jake was stood, head bowed, looking utterly broken. He had lost a lot of weight and was pale. He had clearly not slept in a while and his eyes were rimmed with red. A lump rose in my throat, bringing my own tears with it. I ached to be able to hold him just once more. To say I loved him. To say goodbye.
Seeing the grief of my friends and family and hearing their kind words, things they wish I had known, messages and prayers finally broke my resolution. Tears cascaded down my cheeks unchecked and silently as they all said their peice. Then Jake got up to speak and my heart nearly stopped. He paused a moment beofre looking at each of the people there in turn. When he did speak, his voice was low, full of pain but strong and the depth of love I heard in that made me close my eyes breifly, twin tears streaking down.
"There isn't much I can say about Asha that hasn't already been said." He began, "But as you all know, she was more to me than a best friend, a fiance or even my soulmate. She made me whole. She brought beauty into life in a way I think very few of us appreciated until she had gone. She was incredibly kind and feircely loving. She would never give up on someone, no matter how far they would fall. Asha was not however, perfect. She had problems like everyone else and she was certainly no angel. But it was these flaws that made her so amazing. Despite her problems, despite what she suffered despite how far she herself fell...she would always find that little bit more strength for someone else. She would always have a moment for you-no matter what the cost to her was. She touched each of our lives in ways that we did not even realise..and in more ways than we know even now. I know that no matter how many amazing people and experiences I may have, none will ever change me in the way that being with Asha has. She brought out the best in me and saw the goodness in me where others saw none. She never once set out to hurt me.. But if there was one thing I could change-it would be that I had gone after her and held her. That I had run down that street, taken her in my arms and never let go. That I had been able to say 'I love you' to her just one more time. Becuase I never told her enough, though they were the truest words I ever spoke. Asha, I am sorry. I'll never forget you..." He bowed his head again, looking to the grave. Then he whispered, so softly I barely caught it and the audience missed it.
"I love you Asha. Please come home. I love you..."
Then his eyes flicked up to where I sat, widening when they met mine. I flattened myself against the truck, my heart racing.
Asha? Asha! I saw her, I'm sure- shes here! Wait..there's. Nothing. Just shadows.. Face it Jake, she's gone for good. Whatever happened to her, you chased her away and she's never going to come back. She's either dead or far away-never to return. You are never going to see her again. Start living with yourself for chasing away the one thing in your life that actually mattered. Nice one, Jake. Congratulations, you killed her.
I sat, thunderstruck as Jake's voice echoed in my head. It was as though something had clicked and settled into place. Instinctivly I knew that I was hearing his thoughts. There was a bitter look in his eye as he sat down below me, leaning against the tree dejectedly. The others offered words of solace. I waited until the cemetry was empty, save for me and Jake.
I looked down at him, feeling the love I had for him burning.
He sat bolt upright, looking around.
"Asha?" he sounded almost winded, painfully hopeful.
Jake..its me.. Somehow I was able to project my thoughts to him. The love we shared served as a connection and a link. Jake, I haven't got long here. I just wanted to say that I am so sorry for all the pain I have caused you. And.. Jake I never stopped loving you. I still love you. But Jake, please-be happy. Let me go and be happy. For me. I paused. Jake, I love you. Always.
All the time I had been talking, Jake had grown still. When I had stopped, he stood, facing the tree, tears streaming down his face.
"Asha! Please, please don't go. Asha, I can't do this without you. Please, I need you so much. I love you. I love you Asha with every fibre of my soul. Please...please don't leave me now."
I promise you, as long as you remember me, you will never be alone. I love you Jake. Please be happy... Goodbye Jake.
"No.." he muttered brokenly, dissolving into tears. I brushed a hand over my eyes for it to come away wet also. I smothered my sobs with more difficultly than I had imagined.
"Goodbye, Asha. I will always love you." Jake finally murmured, all traces of pain gone from his voice, only love remaining. He then placed a single white rose on my grave before leaving, his head held high.
"Thank you Jake." I whispered.