Chapter 14 – The Last Song

A month later, they were cleaning out Ms. Shen’s house. No, technically – Mrs. Wang. Cyndi, Jiro, and Nic had volunteered their friends to help also. Mr. Wang was at the Wang resident, waiting for them with Larissa, Ricky, Melanie, and Vincent. Apparently, Cynthia had also sent them goodbye letters. She indeed covered all of her tracks and did not forget anyone.
Nic had insisted on cleaning out Cynthia’s room – without help from anyone. A wave of memory washed over him as he stepped into the room, remembering vividly how they’d helped Cynthia painted her room not long ago – and how they joked about Cynthia not letting Nic have his way if it ever came down to moving out or not. Yet Nic wished it was that simple. Scanning the room once more, he spotted the air freshener he bought for her that time. He picked it up, causing a piece of paper to fall out and hit the ground. He bent over and retrieved it, reading its content, which contained: You may keep it until it drains. But after that, you must let it go. I mean it. – Love Cynthia. There was also a postscript that read: If you’re not Nic, give it to him or else.
Nic smiled at the postscript and hugged the piece of paper to him, missing her so much. Yet he didn’t linger. He pocketed the paper and continued on with clearing out the room.

*****

About a month after that, they held a reunion at a sushi diner Nic and Cynthia once went to with Nic’s bowling friends. The so-called bowling friends showed up that day as well.
“It was like yesterday that we sat here and tease you guys,” Dan said with a bitter smile, pointing at the spot Cynthia once sat.
“I guess no more free meals from now on, huh?” Chip asked, looking at the others.
“Shut up, man!” Ricky blurted, not wanting Chip to upset the others.
“It’s okay,” Nic interfered. “I think she doesn’t want us to be all sad like this. Let’s make this night worth it, okay?”
The others nodded in agreement, and they continued to look at the menus, waiting for their turn to order.
“You okay?” Jiro asked Cyndi, turning to her.
Cyndi nodded. “I’ll be fine. But are you?”
Jiro nodded also. He was still numbed over what had happened. But he didn’t want to alarm the others.
“Let’s visit her tomorrow,” Cyndi suggested.
Jiro nodded again.

*****

The next day, Jiro and Cyndi visited Cynthia like promised. They placed fresh bouquets of flowers in front of the tombstones before stepping back to look at both graves. They had honored Cynthia’s wish and buried her next to her mother.
“You two already meet up there, right?” Cyndi asked, smiling. “Hope you can share everything that you two missed on all these times.”
Then a ray of light passed over and they felt a new source of light blinding them. They had to cover their faces and kneel down on their knees to recover their visions. It was then that Jiro found a small plastic tube wedged craftily at a small hole on Vicki’s tombstone. It was that tube that created the second source of light when the sun ray hit it. Jiro exchanged a look with Cyndi before opening the tube and taking out a paper roll. When Jiro finally unrolled the paper, it read: Don’t you people ever listen? Move on. Take care of each other and enjoy life. – Love Cynthia. There was also a postscript – just like the one on Nic’s note – that read: If you’re the person taking care of the graves or those wild grave robbers, don’t even think about it. Give this to two lost souls who would be coming here with some horrendous bouquet of flowers.
Cyndi had to smile at that, knowing it was Cynthia’s style.
“She had planned it all,” Jiro muttered, astonished at his half-sister’s intelligence. “Even the light ray that would hit us.”
“Yes, she did,” Cyndi admitted.
Jiro pocketed the paper after returning it to the plastic tube, and grabbing Cyndi’s hand to go.
“She just has to sing her last song,” Cyndi said as they were making their way out of the graveyard.
“Yes, she does,” Jiro agreed.
“I wonder if Nic will come later though. And if he doesn’t see it…”
“I think he has moved on. Or at least learn to cope with it better so she doesn’t need to worry for him.”
Cyndi nodded, remembering about Nic’s reaction from last night at the diner.
The two stayed silent, walking hand-in-hand back to Jiro’s truck, feeling a renewed sense of liveliness washed over them as the sun rose higher above their heads.
And indeed Nic was in a better condition because he was seen at that same pavilion looking out at the sun. It looked like he’d come very early to witness the sun rising and then making its way toward the other side. His face no longer displaying the heavily stressed emotions but one of serenity, like he could finally move on.
© Friday, November 4th, 2011
Posted: Thursday, November 10th, 2011