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by Lynn Miclea
Jenna stood there, staring into the open grave. A layer of dirt, thrown on there by the shovelful, now lay on top of the casket. How could her brother Jake have died so young? It wasn’t fair. Glancing away and focusing on a nearby tree, she sucked in a breath and shuddered. Then she looked back into the grave as tears ran down her face. Anguish, regret, and grief overwhelmed her, and she covered her face with her hands. How could she live without him? Jake was more than her brother — he was her twin and her best friend. They were bonded together. He should still be here. She shook her head as grief engulfed her. It made no sense.
Choking, her breath ragged, she left the cemetery and drove to a nearby park. After parking the car, she walked along the dirt path that circled the lake. At one end, a red bench sat nestled in the trees. Exhausted and overwhelmed, she settled on the bench and gazed out over the clear, blue lake.
“Why, God? Why?” She looked up at the sky, but she knew there was no answer.
Her thoughts drifted back to the last time she had seen him, just a few short days ago. He was wearing that red and black flannel shirt that he loved, a silly, goofy smile on his face, his light brown hair hanging over his forehead. The image brought a sad smile to her face. She loved his goofiness — he could make her laugh no matter what. And she loved him in that shirt. In fact, she insisted that he be buried in that shirt. It suited him and was the way she would always remember him.
He was her twin in many ways. They were like one person so much of the time. They could read each other’s thoughts, finish each other’s sentences, and just look at each other and know what the other was thinking. It was like they had a psychic connection. And now … now her soul yearned for that connection, but he wasn’t there. Her heart felt crushed. Empty. He was her other half, and she kept expecting him to be right there. How was she supposed to survive without him?
She took a deep breath, listening to the sounds of the gentle waves on the lake and the leaves rustling above her in the trees. Something drifted down in her line of vision — two beautiful, soft feathers. She held out her cupped hand and caught one of them, while the other fluttered to the ground. She looked at the feather in her hand — it was silky and red and black. “Jake? Is that you? Did you send this to me?” Silence answered her. She could only hear the soft rippling of the lake and the rustling of leaves.
Looking down at the dirt near her feet, she saw the other red and black feather. She smiled. It had to be Jake. Two feathers for the two of them. Bending forward, as she reached for the feather, a spot of color caught her attention. Immediately under the feather was a small, torn corner of a blanket. Soft fleece in red and black. Too much to be a coincidence.
She picked up the second feather and the fleece. “Jake? I know it’s you. But what are you telling me?” The corner of the blanket felt soft and comforting. It felt like peace. Her smile widened. Was he telling her he made it and he’s now comfortable and at peace? She hoped so, and it felt right.
Letting out a long breath, she whispered to the air, “Thank you, Jake. I hope you’re okay.”
A soft whisper of wind gently caressed her hand, causing the two feathers to dance in her palm and then settle down.
She shook her head. The yearning for Jake was too strong — she must be imagining things. Her gaze drifted out over the lake one last time as she started to get up. Pushing herself up from the red bench, she stood and gazed at the two feathers and the piece of fleece in her hand. Something fluttered under the fleece — what was that? A thin piece of paper peeked out.
She picked up the small piece of paper and read the words printed on it.
I am home. I am at peace. I am with you.
She convulsed into sobs and then stuffed the feathers, the fleece, and the note into her pocket. There was no mistaking the message or who it was from. But how was that possible? She knew they had a strong, psychic connection, but could he do this?
“Thank you, Jake. I love you,” she whispered to the air.
She started down the path toward her car. As she walked, a sweet woman’s voice, singing a lullaby, drifted through the air and grew louder. As she walked farther down the path and got closer to the sweet voice, a young woman pushing a baby stroller came into view, and the young woman was gently singing to her baby.
Suddenly embarrassed, the lady blushed and stopped singing. Then she smiled at Jenna. “It’s a beautiful, magical day, isn’t it?”
Jenna stared at her for a moment, then quickly collected herself. “Yes, yes, absolutely. Beautiful and magical. Definitely.”
She smiled at the lady and then walked by, hearing the woman begin singing the lullaby again. Jenna turned around to glance at the woman, but no one was there. The path was empty.
It made no sense. None of it made sense.
But Jake had sent her a clear message. The scent of his aftershave washed over her, and she could feel his warmth.
Yes, a beautiful and magical day indeed.
He was still with her. A connection that was truly endless.
Copyright © 2020 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.
Please visit Lynn’s blog and follow her at – https://wp.me/p4htbd-sF
Please also visit Lynn’s website for more information on her books – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
And visit her Amazon author page at – https://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Miclea/e/B00SIA8AW4