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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Death · #2133082
I thought I'd lost her forever, but clues led me to her final resting place...
It was a new moon when I began shoveling dirt; totally breaking the law because I was not a cemetery employee nor did I have a court order to exhume the body.  But I didn't care.  The soil was impacted and I wasn't halfway down to the coffin before I was completely drenched in sweat.  I felt like giving up.  Was this even worth it?  What did I expect to find?  Did I honestly expect to get closure from this?  I needed to just move on, move on to the next phase of my life.  But something kept nagging at me and insisting that I dig up that body, disturbing the grave and defiling the sanctity of most, if not all, major religions.

When my shovel finally struck a hard surface, my heart dropped into my stomach. I almost chickened out, and I wanted to replace the mounds of dirt back on top of her final resting place.  But I thought to myself, Well, you’ve come this far, so just see it through and then you can get on with it.

As I hopped into the hole, I wondered what she would look like.  I didn't even know when she passed so I don't know how old she was.  I don't know what circumstances she was going through and how much she suffered before she transitioned.  I felt guilty for having been so far from her in the end.  Not only were we not close but I completely lost touch with her.  I feel like I didn't even know her at all when we stopped communicating, and I really missed her.  I've felt lost without her all this time which only makes this gruesome act I committed all the more offensive.

I paused to stare at the coffin, pensive.  I looked for her, you know.  She was my favorite person and when she disappeared, it took me a while to get the guts up to go searching for her.  I guess you could say I've been an empty shell ever since.  When I finally found out that she died, I couldn't believe it.  Didn't want to believe it.  I couldn't believe it because I couldn't make sense of how she could be gone and I'm still here, because we were inseparable.  It felt like a crime against nature to think that she was dead and I wasn't.  Like someone losing their identical twin, it's just wrong.  But we were more than identical twins, if you can believe that.  And when I reminded myself of that, I then felt like I owed it to both of us to find her and say a proper goodbye, even if she couldn't say it back. 

I'm really not a glutton for punishment but I felt like I had to know.  I had to know how old she was and then feel bad that I got to grow older. I had to know what she looked like and if she was sick in the end and then I would feel bad for not being there for her when she was sick. But I needed to go through these motions.  And through the emotions.  I needed to properly grieve.

So when I wiped off the layers of dirt from the top of my own coffin, I had to pry it open with hand tools because the hinges were rusty and the lock was pretty solid.  And when I finally cracked open my own casket, I found that I was still alive; just barely hanging on, but alive nonetheless.  And as I cradled my soul in my arms, her listless limbs drooped at her sides and I couldn’t even tell that she was breathing.  Yet when a flicker of movement from her eyelids indicated that life persisted, I felt a whole new wave of emotions.  Still guilt, but for different reasons.  I cooed and hummed as if cradling a baby, and when she finally opened her eyes and smiled up at me, I whispered, “Hello, you.”

And she squeaked, “You found me.”

“I’m here now.  I got you.”

We had work to do.
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