He didn’t return the next day. I spent the long hours of sunlight watching the cars speed past, rarely stopping to drop people off in front of the large black gates.
The old man returned, hobbling over to the same grave as last time. He carried red roses in his free hand, which he placed on top of the grey stone in the same way he had on that day three weeks ago. He sat for a while, then left, walked out with a smile on his face.
I had changed since the first time I’d seen him. I no longer yearned for his presence for I had someone now, someone who smiled and spoke to me in the same manner. I had Adam.
The caretaker came out and walked about in the early afternoon. He came to my grave for the first time and looked around, standing behind me for several minutes and gazing at my tombstone.
Then, with his fat left foot, his disturbed the grass where Adam usually sat, scrutinizing the ground with his beady little eyes. He seemed to be checking for cigarette butts or hypodermic needles.
This irritated–no, infuriated me. How dare he suspect Adam of being a drug-abuser. As the man squatted down a moment later and inspected my tombstone, I loathed him for suspecting Adam of vandalism. Adam had done nothing wrong! He was the only person who had come to talk to me in centuries and this stupid fat ball was insulting him!
I wanted to bite his hands as they dared to touch the stone. Those stubby sausages he called fingers had no right to desecrate my tombstone.
I glared at him as he stood, nodded, and walked away, whistling as he continued his rounds. I hated him more than I could put into words. He had insulted Adam.
I wished I could have done something, could have somehow avenged Adam, but I was powerless. I stood up, at one point, but went nowhere. I didn’t want to see him again, not when I couldn’t do anything anyways.
Not only that, I feared I would forget where my grave was if I left.
When Adam returned the next day, I didn’t tell him. After all, what good would it do? Besides, I didn’t want him to be hurt by the old caretaker’s stupidity.
So I sat there, holding the secret deep inside me until it disappeared, stolen away by Adam’s sweet words and his lovely smile. I could not hold onto anger when he was beside me.
“I’ll be back tomorrow!” he called to me as he walked towards the gates. I watched him exit the cemetery, then, for the first time since I’d met him, cross the street, checking both sides for incoming cars.
He ran up the sidewalk on the other side, disappearing behind me. He must have changed neighborhoods in the move.
I just hoped he’d truly still visit as often.