A lone tear made its way down the grizzled cheek of Marvin Blonty as he crossed the graveyard. Under the shadow of an immense oak tree was the headstone of his ex-wife. He had, of course, spared no expense when it came to her funeral. Crystal Blonty had been buried in the finest casket lined with the softest of velvet. Her final resting place was a good distance from the rest of the graves, something Marvin thought she would have wanted. Crystal had spent most of her adult life alienated from other people.
The headstone was beautiful, carved out of polished marble, with a little angel etched next to her name. Marvin knelt down in front of it, wincing as his knees popped. He could still smell the aroma of freshly exhumed earth. His mouth began to quiver as his hand closed around the note. There was so much he wanted to say every time he visited her grave, but the grief he felt overwhelmed him too much. As a result, he started writing it down. It also gave Marvin something else to look at other than the slab of stone that marked his beloved Crystal’s only existence in this world. As he read from the note that misery had produced, the tears misted his vision as he began to remember.
Marvin had loved her, of that he was certain. The gruesome scars blotching her face never once deterred him from kissing her. Although the inflammation around her mouth forced her to stammer out words in an incoherent gargle, he always understood every word. Crystal’s good eye, the one that hadn’t been permanently sealed over from an ocular infection, still radiated a clarity that was unaffected by the drowsing effects of the pain medication. There was no mistaking the look of love.
“...I watched another episode of The Truth Seekers last night. You were right, that show is good, I’m sorry I thought that it was stupid...” Marvin continued to read from his list, hoping that somehow Crystal could hear him. “I also heard that song on the radio; you know...the one you really liked. I cried like a baby all the way through it.” He let out a small laugh, his hands shaking uncontrollably. “Um...I guess that’s about it. I miss you a lot.”
Her death had taken him by complete surprise. The autopsy report confirmed that Crystal had managed to swallow an entire gallon of bleach before it killed her. Marvin was distraught, alone with desperation, teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown. There was no amount of alcohol to kill the pain, no magic drug that made him feel better. He had even contemplated his own suicide, but that was before...
“Sweetie, I didn’t mean to interrupt; I just wanted to make sure that you were okay.”
Marvin turned around to see the young woman standing behind him. Her long blonde hair flowed around a face as smooth as silk. The blue eyes glowed brightly with a child-like innocence as they shifted between the headstone and her new husband. She was beautiful, much too beautiful for a man like himself. He would have to fix that.
Marvin slowly rose to stand up, grabbing one of her hands for balance. “Yes, dear, I’m fine. You didn’t have to come all the way out here.”
“I missed you,” she said.
He kissed her on the cheek. “I missed you too. Come on, let’s go home.”
As they walked back toward the car, Marvin tried to remember if he had kept the container of battery acid in the garage, or if he had moved it out to the shed. The rope he would need was definitely in the garage; he had seen it there just the other day. A crow screeched somewhere in the distance, a faraway cry that may have signified the despair of Crystal Blonty from beyond the grave.