Vigorously wiping off the dead grass and dandelion petals from the rock, the girl’s hand brushed a jagged edge roughly. As she quickly drew her hand away for examination, she saw what her hand had lain upon. The right upper corner of the baby’s headstone was broken off.
She took a moment to contemplate her blood expanding into the crevices and gullies of the edge’s gap. She scanned the knoll ahead and around it and spotted the chunk. She walked over and picked it up, her knuckles getting whiter every second as she clutched the severed edge firmer and firmer. Then she spotted the culprit.
An old rusted mower and a tactless, overweight nimrod with gray hair crowning it. With a shot of adrenaline, she hurled the stone edge after the tractor. Had this man no respect for the souls he so violently cut over? The stone dropped ten feet short, and the man was oblivious to it.
The girl, innocent and full of rage, dropped to her knees at her deceased brother’s headstone. The only way she’ll ever see him. Only one tear fell the whole night, though. She wasn’t as mad as she was blown away at the whole idea that, even though he was her older sibling, he’d always be preserved in time, like the granite above him, as a four-day-old infant. She considered this while shifting her vision to the huge slab of white stone near the left road.
This was the children’s saint, with most of the children buried around it. When her family came to the grave when she was in grade school, she used to love to climb on the smooth stone and hear the sparrows in their tiny trees dotting the plateau of the dead.
She shook this thought off with a cold shiver as the first droplets of a new rain fell tumbling on her jersey. Her eyes showed she was inattentive to it while she kneeled, slowly outlining the word “Joey” with her left pinky.
She’d always regretted the fact that she never felt any real depression from his death, but how could she? She wasn’t even a twinkle in her parents’ eye when it happened. She drew in a long breath, now feeling the remorse of her parents and other brother felt every birthday and Mother’s Day they came.
She heard a crash of lightning as the rain fell harder. She got up partially into an alter-praying position and asked God why this had to happen. After all, the baby hadn’t done a thing wrong. She thought, “Why should this baby have to die when I could have instead?”
The baby was just a mythical figure until now.