"It will be fun. Just me, you and a bunch of dead folks singing out to the moon." says Alec
"In a cemetery ? There are much saner ways to celebrate an anniversary. Like going to the park or movies or something like that" Jane exclaims
"I know but it's October. The month of the spooky and spookay" Alec says jumping and making weird signs with his hands. Jane laughs and shakes her head in refusal. Alec sighs and jumps on the ratty couch in the room.
"It's not ideal, I know. B..but I just want to make new great great memories with my favorite person" He says nuzzling her neck.
"Alec, we have all the time in the world" Jane says while stroking his head.
"Just trust me. It will be fun"
She tossed and turned on her bed. No matter how much she tried, it was impossible for her to sleep. She contemplates waking up her friend sleeping next to her but she doesn't.
Her twelve year old son was having a sleepover at a friend's house. He had begged to accompany her but she had refused adamantly. Children shouldn't be obsessed with graveyards like their mother but knowing him, he must have gone there before going to his friend's house.
"Hurry up, we are going to miss the best part" Alec says dragging their overnight bag behind him.
Jane laughs at his childishness. He always acted like a child whenever he was excited.
"I don't think anything special happens in a cemetery, honey" She shouts after him.
It was funny how one thing that scared a person could be a comfort to another. How one thing that repulse a person could be a source of joy to another. She stands up from the hard and begins to pack the necessary things they would need for their trip. Afterall, she wouldn't want to miss the best part.
There was a certain calm in the dark. You could feel invisible. Like no one could touch or watch you. Like your friend's inquisitive eyes weren't following all your movement.
"Rose, I know you're awake. Get ready, we wouldn't want to be late" she says without removing her eyes from the clothes she was currently pushing in a duffel bag.
Rose stands from the bed and stretches "Jane, I wouldn't be awake if you weren't prancing the floor like a lion".
Jane doesn't respond. She walks to the wardrobe and brings out more clothes.
Rose looks at her and sighs " why are you packing so much clothes, We're just spending a night in the cemetry. We don't need all these stuff"
Alec runs around the house, picking up various things and throwing them insides bag. Candles, needles, books, Anything his hand could find went into the bag.
"Oh my God, Alec what the hell are you doing ?" Jane says rushing towards the duffel bag and unearthing everything in it.
"A encyclopedia, a tin foil,. W..what is this ?" She says squinting her eyes at a container she brings out from the bag "it says a pocket cotton candy maker. What are all this things. Why do we need all this things ? Where is the bug repellent and mosquito swat and the camping equipment you promised to pack." There's a Stern look on her face as she throws everything in the bag on the floor.
"Woah, calm down. The camping stuff is in the car. These, my lady, are the important things." He bends and begins to pick the item on the floor.
"Nothing in that bag is important"
"Jane, have you ever spent the night in a cemetery before ?"
"No one in their right mind would do that"
"Then how do you know what's important and what's not. You should always be prepared" He screams while taking a stance on the table.
She smiles and sits on the floor. Picking the little things, he left behind.
"We need to be prepared for anything" replies Jane as she sat on the bed.
At eleven, they both set out to the cemetery. The drive is quiet. The only noise that could be heard was the far away voices of children moving from one doorstep to another in a bid to collect candy. She looks at Rose who is reading a Bible. She wonders if the Bible could bring people back from the dead. She would have to check.
"You should stop this" Rose says abruptly.
With a look of confusion, Jane looks at Rose "stop what".
"Stop all this, for ten years you've been going to that cemetery" Rose throws the Bible to the backseat. Jane doesn't say anything, she keeps on driving.
"Jane, you can't keep ignoring me. Alec wouldn't want you to do this" Rose continues in a patronising tone.
Jane scoffs "oh, really ? He wouldn't want that"
"I'm serious. Look at what you're doing to yourself. This isn't healthy in anyway. You're not doing yourself or Aidan any good. It's like this is the only thing you look forward to throughout the entire year"
"How do you know what Alec would want ? How the hell do you know what Aidan wants ?" shouts Jane "I knew bringing you along was a bad idea. If you're going to annoy me throughout the ride there. You can go back, before it gets too dark"
"Jane, you're my best friend. I am only trying to..." Jane screams as the car stops forcefully.
"Get down" Jane says without removing her hands from the steering wheels.
"Jane, You need to listen. We're just trying to help you"
"Get out of my car. I don't need your help or anyone's help. I'm not sick or mentally retarded. Please, tell everyone to leave me alone. I don't need their help".
Rose sighs as she steps out of the car. It was already dark. It was a good thing, their other friends were trailing them slowly from behind. "Jane, if you need our help, you know you can always count on us" She says as she moves slowly away from the car and walks down the road.
Jane doesn't look at back. She starts the car and drives away.
The notion of friendship was always one that brightened up her day. Having people you could rely on and trust. People who were ready to help you no matter the circumstances. Recently, they had become a bother. They were everywhere, always trying to 'help' her and criticize her for not living correctly. Rose and her mum would always tell her that moving on was the best recipe for a broken heart. They didn't understand that she didn't have a broken heart.
Before Alec, she was a broken woman with nothing and nowhere to go to. Series of abuse ; mental, physical and sexual, had destroyed her. All she had was a mother who didn't care enough and a father who cared too much. Friends who used and abandoned her. Lovers who pretended to care but left marks on her body and soul. Children whom she bore but was never able to save. Her life started when she met Alec.
"Alec, what makes a person good or bad to you ?" Jane asks abruptly discarding the book she was reading.
Alec raises his head from the newspaper and shrugs " I don't know" .
Jane looks at him sternly "I'm serious, Alec" .
Alec stands up and stretches " well, I am also being serious. I really don't know" Jane continues to look at him. He walks to the television, switches it on and sits in front of it.
"Let's say it's like this. A good guy is actually a guy who isn't drunk enough. So he is held back by emotional constraint and stuffs and a bag guy is one who had too much to drink. This excessively drunk guy has no constraint" he says
"So the difference between a good guy and a bad guy is how much they have drank"
Alec looks away from the television and looks at her "There's nothing like a good guy and a bad guy. Everyone just makes different choices on based on their situation and most times we don't have the right to judge them. The question you want to ask is why don't I hold a grudge towards the world like you do ?"
Jane stiffens and makes an attempt to leave the room.
"Jane, to you, everyone is a bad person. When you look at a person the first thing you see is their flaws and imperfections. So when you look in the mirror and see yourself, the first thing you see is a woman filled with imperfections and sins"
With anger in her step, she walks out of the room.
Alec never judged her or criticize her. Even when other people tried to bring up her past, he would smile and wave them off saying he already knew. He lived in a world of his own, a world where nobody could touch or go to. A world where she was privileged enough to be a member of. To him, there was no good or bad person.
After hours of driving and exhausting minutes of dragging meaningless items into the cemetery, they were finally settled. Their sitting spot was near an empty grave. Unsurprisingly for her and surprisingly for him, you couldn't set a camp on people's grave. All she had to do was wait till he got bored and homebound, they shall be.
"Jane " Alec says interrupting the eerily quiet.
"Hmmm, what's it ? You're ready to leave ?" She replies with a mocking tone.
Alec laughs and with a serious tone, he says "not in your dream, I wanted to ask you something important" .
Without raising up her head from the books she was using as a pillow, she nods her head,
" Your daughter, where is she ?" He asks
Jane raise her head in alarm and shock. What did he mean where was she ?.
"I mean where did you bury her ?. She's your child, since you're going to be here for a long time, won't you feel more comfortable knowing there was somewhere you could always go to visit her ?. I mean, that's how I feel with my dad. Even if he's not here anymore, knowing there was a place where I can meet him whenever I want to is sort of comforting" Alec says looking at her.
"Would she want that ?"
Alec smiles and ruffles her hair "she's your kid, how would I know ?"
She packs slowly as she reaches the cemetery. Without bothering to offload the things she packed into the car, she walks straight to the graves where her souls were in. On getting to them, she sits in front of the tombstones of her husband and daughter.
In front of the tombstones, she sees a small bag and she opens it. The bag contains some apples, a can of water and a tube of insect repellent and a note. She takes a bite of the apple and opens the note, it says,
"Take care, Mom. I will see you tomorrow.