New blog story!
Lee Bowers stood at the foot of the grave and let the tears drip down his face. Nothing made sense any more. How could the sky be so bright and blue when his soul was cold and wintry? The love of his life lay beneath the earth and Lee could feel the aching pain in his heart as if the blood and tissue had turned to cold, hard, lead. The largest part of him lay buried in that casket along with his husband.
He felt a hand rub his back and knew his mother stood behind him.
“I’m so sorry Lee.” Mrs. Bowers wrapped an arm around him. He could hear the catch in her throat as if she too was holding off tears. Lee was surprised that he could still feel tears dripping down his face. How could someone so empty have anything left to give? He felt as if everything good and right in his world was scooped out and all that was left was a hollow shell like a jack-o-lantern that someone forgot to light.
Even though his mother wasn’t a fan of Lee being gay, she had genuinely loved Antonio.
Everyone had loved Antonio.
His husband had been the type of person often described as ‘living out loud’. Everything felt brighter, bigger and more exciting whenever Antonio Perez was around, and yet despite his extrovert ways, Antonio had loved no one better than his introverted lover.
Over the years many men and women had tried to lure Antonio from Lee’s side but his Italian love merely shrugged them away. He always told Lee, “why the hell do they think I’d leave my soul mate?” The funny thing was the man was absolutely serious. Never, in all their time together, had his beautiful man ever looked at someone the same way he looked at Lee. Lee held Antonio’s heart and not once had he ever been given any reason to doubt it. Even when others questioned how Lee could hold the attention of such an outgoing, vibrant man. They didn’t understand that Lee was the one thing that grounded Antonio.
Antonio was quick to anger and slow to forgive and to the day he died he’d never forgiven his own father for slighting Lee at their first meeting. Although Antonio’s big Italian family eventually warmed to Lee, he still held the grudge years later when Lee had all but forgotten the look of disapproval he’d received from the head of the family. The same man who, not an hour earlier, sobbed on Lee’s shoulder and hugged him until his ribs made a disturbing cracking noise.
Antonio would’ve loved that.
Lee blinked back tears as he remembered meeting Antonio for the first time.
“What are you thinking about?” His mother’s voice cut through his grief and he answered her absently.
“I was remembering the first time I met Antonio.”
“Really.” His mother gave him a quick squeeze. “I don’t think you ever told me that story.” She invited as they both looked down at the newly turned earth. The other mourners had already left to go to the wake, but Lee stayed behind to have one final moment with the man who’d made a quiet introvert the center of his world. In the ten years they’d spent together they’d few arguments and a lot of love.
“What happened when you met?” His mother prompted, as he’d grown quiet, lost in memories.
“I was having breakfast in the student union. Antonio walked in, put his tray down on my table and then he said,” Lee stopped a moment to swallow the lump in his throat, “he said I’d better get used to sharing my space since he planned to be looking at me across the breakfast table for the rest of his life.”
Mrs. Bowers sniffled. “I guess he did.” She said in a voice that cracked in the end.
“Yeah, I guess he did.” Lee blew a kiss at the gravestone before turning and walking away. His beloved was gone and standing over the body wouldn’t bring him back.
His mother followed closely behind.
Neither noticed the Archangel Michael sitting on the roof of a nearby mausoleum. The angel watched the pair before flying down to the grave site to get a look at the gravestone.
You will be missed.
Michael had felt someone enter his realm and he’d bet all his gold feathers that it was the sad blond’s lover. It happened sometimes when soul mates separated. They made a ripple in the fabric of the realms. It was sometimes difficult to get them to accept their passing. He’d have to meet this Antonio.