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They Never Leave
Rays of sunshine lightly kissed the light green grass covering the rolling hills. Birds flew overhead, singing songs to greet the new morning. Leaves whistled as wind breezed easily through them, singing their own little songs in tune with the birds. A river bubbled past, moving in rhythm to the music being created around it.
The air felt damp, having it just rained the night before. Dew drops melted into the ground, after sliding down the curve of each bland of grass. Clouds sprinted across the sky, still dark from the dank night before.
Sammy plodded up the path she had taken so many times before, but unlike all those other times; her grandfather was not there with her. She had loved taking the slow journey through the gorgeous trees, listening to his stories from past times…
She stopped as hot tears crowed in her eyes. Wiping her hand across her face, she noticed a small cloud of smoke rising in the distance, close to the old tree stump she and her grandfather had stopped to take a rest. Leaves blew around Sammy as she sprinted to see what was causing the rising smoke.
Coming up to a large clearing in the cluster of trees, she saw a battered old tent that was poorly patched with different colored scraps of old cloth. An old man with long, wiry white hair and a short, patchy beard slowly tried hoisting himself to his feet. Running over, Sammy helped him up and gave him the large stick he used as a cane.
Helping him wobble over to a bulky rock, he gently lent against it, letting the “cane” fall to his side. He wheezed, each breathe a battle for him. She watched him, a sadness aching in her heart. Seeing him, she imagined her own grandfather, lying in his bed dying.
“Why are you doing this?” Sammy exclaimed, her voice a shrill. She watched as he struggled to breathe again, and every bone in her body went limp. She thought of her grandfather, his breathe whistling as he inhaled, winded as he exhaled. It was awful to remember, the light in his eyes slipping farther and farther away.
“My heart tells me were to go,” he puffed, leaning against the rock heavily, “I do what I want, when I want.” She stared dumbfounded; she was amazed at what spunk came out of the old, seemingly lifeless man.
“But why,” she cried, tears overflowing from her ice blue eyes, “can’t you see your killing yourself!? You are in no condition to be doing this!” Looking into her eyes, the man just told his whole story from that one glance. Knowing he knew what he was doing, Sammy burst into fiery sobs.
He turned away, plodding up the path, silent. Sammy watched in silence as he disappeared into the forest, leaving everything behind. Sighing, she slumped against the rock that had just supported the old man.
She saw the same fire in his heart, glint in his eye, and soul to live that she had seen every day with her grandfather. They were alike in almost every way, the similarities endless. Maybe that was why she had reacted the way she did, she didn’t want to see that awful fate happen twice.
Going over to the poor campsite, she began sorting through his things since she knew he wouldn’t need them anymore after this afternoon. Picking up backpacks packed full of cloths, a note fluttered out of the open flap. Picking it up, she read :
I love you, and never forget it. I will always be with you, in heart, and mind.
Love, Grandpa Jay
Staring down at the note in disbelief, she knew one thing was for certain. Her grandpa had written this note to her, but how, and when, she did know.
Smiling from behind a tall, beaten tree, Grandpa Jay made his way back down the path, a light song playing in his heart. He knew that Sammy could rest easy now, and stay forever peaceful with his absence on earth, and be able to look forward to seeing him again.