Morning breaks as it always does, and as X stirs with a yawn, she sits up spitting out a mouthful of wet grass. There are crisscrossing patterns over her face from sleeping with her head against the ground. Luckily there’s no mirror at hand. Otherwise, she would surely shriek. The cemetery’s as deserted as it was when she entered the previous night, although the eeriness has been replaced by a sullen sense of beauty as sunlight dances upon gravestones and trees reach out to taste its golden embrace like a child reaching for the arms of its mother. Getting to her feet, she dusts herself down and stretches letting out a slight groan as her bones crackle and creak. She doesn’t recall how she came to such a place, but it’s of no concern. She often finds herself waking in strange places, and to have come to this spot doesn’t seem strange in the least. Turning around, she wipes away a few spindly cobwebs and pulls up the weeds growing at the base of his stone. Breathing in the scent of fresh morning dew, she feels tearful and yet the bright new day has placed an ounce of hope in her heart. Kneeling down, she kisses the pillar and pictures his face. That rugged face she misses more than anything. Closing her eyes, she collects her thoughts and finds her point of centre, a little trick she learned from him. Focusing on the slow rhythmic beat of her heart, she listens to the chorus of birdsong and the chirping of insects. She listens to the wind blowing through the trees and how the leaves above her rustle in a thousand different ways and she ponders how the morning has its own, unique language, one that seems beyond comprehension despite the passing of so many years. With her palms open to the sky, she thinks of herself not as human, but as a tiny string. A piece of matter, part of something far greater. I am nature, she whispers to herself. I am at one with all things. Letting her fingers linger on the warm stone bearing his name, she says her goodbyes with a forlorn smile and slowly walks through the cemetery. Checking the watch that’s wrapped around her wrist, she sees the time’s a little after six. Too early for others to be about, thank the lord, for her dress is smeared with grass stains, and it’s got a slight odour to it, a tang of unwashed skin mixed with a hint of shameful despair that would do little to improve her already questionable image. Running her fingers through her hair removing several twigs, she steps lightly to the open gate at the entrance and looks down the winding road that twists and turns for many miles into the distance.