Alone in the darkness
I open the gate slowly, wincing as it creaks and squeaks. Looking around to make sure no one was following me, I enter the cemetery cautiously and stare in awe at all of the graves. I walked forward and headed to a beautiful headstone, angels carved into it and the name and dates written in old English text.
Leaning over slightly, I turned on my flashlight and read the words quietly to myself. "Here lies Abigail Williamson. Beloved daughter of Oliver and Cassandra Williamson. Born on April 3, 1985, died April 5, 1990." A sob escaped from me and I lay my head down as the tears fall from my eyes. I cried until I couldn't cry anymore. Abigail had been gone for over three years and I could still remember the day of the accident.
It was a beautiful spring day, two days after we celebrated Abigail's 5th birthday. We were having a picnic in our apple orchard, laughing and just plain having fun. After we had lunch and dessert, Abigail asked if we could all play tag. Her mother and I jumped up and ran after her, pretending to catch her and letting her escape from us.
There was a dirt road next to the apple orchard and before we could catch her, Abigail ducked under our arms and ran into the middle of the road. "Try to catch me, mommy and daddy!" she said in her twittering voice. "Abigail, come back here right now!" my wife and I yelled.
We both ran as fast as we could to get to Abigail, breathing raggedly and praying that no cars would come. I tripped over a dead tree branch and fell to the ground hard, the impact knocking the breath out of me. My wife had reached Abigail and held her in her arms.
As they started to walk back over, a huge truck came speeding along and though the driver hit his brakes, it was too late. My wife and daughter both screamed as the truck slammed into them, then right over them. The driver managed to stop about twenty yards down the road and jumped out quickly. I ran over to my wife and daughter, screaming for the driver to call for help. I checked both of them out, and found that Abigail was already gone. My wife looked pleadingly into my eyes and I shook my head.
She gasped and closed her eyes, whispering,"Oh God, please no...." The driver used his radio to call for help and I held my wife and daughter in my arms, rocking back and forth. I prayed as hard as I could, wishing they would both come back to me.
As I held them, my wife took one last breath and then was silent. I shook uncontrollably and the driver knelt down next to me, trying to get me to let go of them. I shook him off and kept holding onto them even when the police and paramedics showed up.
I wouldn't let the paramedics try to do anything to them, I just sat and rocked with them in my arms. They shook their heads sadly and one of the officers came over and forcibly dragged me to my feet. "Come on sir. The paramedics have to do their job. Your family is gone, and we are all terribly sorry. But you need to let them go now so we can take them to the hospital," the officer said quietly.
I let his words slowly sink in and then I started to talk nonsense. I couldn't believe they were gone, I wouldn't let them. I needed them more than I needed to breathe, they were all I had in this world. I fought against the officer as he dragged me to his car and sat me down in the backseat.
The paramedics loaded Cassandra and Abigail onto stretchers and covered them with sheets, then gently placed them in the ambulance and drove off. The officer drove to the hospital right behind them and after that, all I could think about was how we should have been a little quicker, a little more aware somehow.
On the day of their funerals, I sat down on the grass and watched numbly as their coffins were placed in the ground. They were side by side and I had bought a third plot right beside them for when my time comes. I tried every day to cope with them being gone from my life and the more I tried, the harder it got.
For three long and heart wrenching years, I did what I had to do and the day came where I just couldn't take it anymore. I missed them too much and wanted to be in their arms. I grabbed my jacket and my small handgun and drove to the cemetery. Walking in, I winced as the gate squeaked and creaked. As I closed it behind me, I headed straight over to their graves and knelt down, whispering a prayer under my breath.
I knew this was the day that I would be reunited with them. The driver lived a good life and always came by every now and then to place flowers beside the headstones. I would come just about every day to talk with them and tell them how I was feeling. I slowly took the gun out of my pocket and said quietly," Tonight is when I will be reunited with you both. I can't live another day without you."
Tears welling in my eyes, I shut them quickly and lifted the barrel to my head. Saying goodbye to the world of pain, I pulled the trigger. It echoed like thunder and there was a quick pain in the side of my head. I slumped down slowly as everything went black and never woke up again. I saw myself walking down a long tunnel and I could hear my wife's voice at the end of it, telling me to come.
When I reached the light, I saw Cassandra and Abigail smiling happily at me. I wrapped my arms around them both as they whispered,"Welcome home." I was reunited with them and never looked back. This is what I wanted for three years and finally, I got to hold them in my arms again. My body was found the next day by the caretaker and is now laid to rest next to my wife and daughter's bodies. We are together in heaven, and content to be together as a family again.