"Hey Lucy, I remembered your birthday, I left a dozen roses on your grave today..."
He knelt in the grass and brushed the fall leaves away from the headstone in front of him, then reached up and ran his fingers over the letters etched into the marble
April 17, 1984 - April 17, 2006
He rested his head against the top of the stone as his memories flashed in front of him.
Him and Lucy on their first date in Jr. High.
Their first kiss, 9th grade after the football game.
Math class in 10th grade where they were caught passing love notes back and forth, Mr. Jacobs confiscated them but thank God he didn't read them out loud.
The winter dance, junior year; Lucy in a silver gown with her beautiful brown, curly hair piled on the top of her head and a huge smile on her face.
Then senior prom, Lucy's red dress glimmering in the moonlight. Graduation, Lucy with her cap and diploma and a sparkling ring on her left hand.
Then. Blackness. Crushed metal. Fire. The smell of gasoline. And Lucy's pale white face, her head leaning at an awkward angle. Blood everywhere.
Then blackness once again. The white walls of the hospital room. The sharp pains in his legs and sides but the even sharper ones in his heart as he cried himself to sleep every night.
The phone call from his mother on the day of Lucy's funeral. He was in California, a thousand miles away from his past and any memories of Lucy.
A year later, the same day, he was in a prison in Chicago. Assault and battery charges.
A year later in England, touring the countryside like him and Lucy had always planned to do.
A year later, back in their home town, but avoiding the cemetery, always expecting to see Lucy's face every time he walked in the door.
A year later, here he was, kneeling in front of her grave, a dozen roses in his hands.
"Hey Lucy. I remember your name. Do you know what day it is? It's your birthday. And the same day that you died, four years ago. They told me it would bring some closure to say your name. I'm not sure if it will. I was hoping maybe it would bring me a new start, being here, knowing I'll see you in another life. But I wanted to tell you that I'm sorry. And that I still love you. I know we all live with the choices we make, but I just want to hold you today. I miss you.
Lucy, I'm leaving, but I just wanted to come to talk for awhile. I remembered your birthday, I hope you know that I'd give up anything to see your little piece of heaven smiling at me again. And I just wanted to leave these roses on your grave. Goodbye Lucy."
He propped the roses against the headstone and stood up, brushed the tears from his eyes, and turned around. He gave the grave one last look as he made his way out of the cemetery, his heart was buried with her, but maybe, just maybe, he'd be able to start being able to live with himself now...
".....hey Lucy, I remember your name..."