Forever In My Heart
By: Author Unknown
We sat together on the steps of the department. A small building. Falling apart from constant use. You could see the tiredness of the wooden doors and the weariness of the window frames. There we were. Heidi and me. The sounds of the animals echoing in the background. It was Summer. The blowflies and bees had one target. Everything.
It was mid-afternoon. Almost time for feeding. Feeding was the easiest. It was like the final bell before school ended. We sat there in silence, Heidi and me. We didn’t need words to talk.
3.30pm. Sighing, we all moved slowly off to our designated areas to finish our rounds for the day. The bounding kangaroos greeted me at the gate. They knew the time. With the animals fed, we marched like ants out of the gates and into our separate lives.
Heidi and I headed for the beach. We sat together. In the distance, the city glistened in the sun. Our friendship grew closer each day we spent together. I didn’t see her much. I lived on the other side of the city. My hands were cool on the piles of sand.
Heidi was amazing. She was the clearest of all God’s creatures, still pure and uninhibited. Her sparkling blue eyes, golden hair and her unforgettable smile contributed to a flawless personality. I often wondered why people hurt her like they did.
I found out the next day that she had a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend. He was back, harassing her. She didn’t deserve it.
It was nice there. Just sitting and watching the children play, or the yachts sail past. We both thought a lot there. It was comfortable. Even in silence.
Heidi cut into my thoughts “Want a dip?” she asked.
We plunged in. I watched the bulging fish scatter as my hand cut the water. Heidi surfaced first. Treading water we discussed the finer things in life. Like the next big shopping spree, or the guys who were on the yachts.
They were the queens of the bay. Graceful when sailing, poised like dancers when moored.
Heading out of the water, we collected the discarded shells left by ocean critters and placed them beside our flamboyant towels. Sitting there we chatted and laughed about countless experiences. We always had fun together. No matter what happened.
Soon it was time to head home. The path through the cemetery was short. Shorter than any other way to the station. I didn’t mind walking to the station this way. Many of the headstones had beautiful poems or writings on them. It made me realize how lucky I was to be alive. Enjoying myself.
After seeing Heidi home, I continued on to the station. The train trip was boring. The scenery was a blur as it passed. All the way I thought about how much I enjoyed Heidi’s company.
Autumn came and went with the annual fall of bronze and golden leaves. Soon it was winter and soon I would never see Heidi again.
A couple of days later, I received a phone call informing me that Heidi was killed in a car accident, along with the driver. I was devastated. I didn’t know what do to. What to say. What to think. I needed someone to talk to. Who? I thought about everything. About everything we ever did. It was almost like my life was flashing before my eyes. It’s strange…the last time I saw Heidi we hugged. Maybe it was our fate to leave each other with a hug. I’m not sure, but I know she had so much more to offer.
My world crashed. No longer did I have anyone to go to the beach with. No longer did I have my favorite work partner. No longer did I have a great friend. No longer did I have someone to confide in.
Months later I went back to the beach and just sat. Sat and thought about Heidi and about all the great things we did together. On the way home I passed through the cemetery once again. This time, stopping to look and lay a flower on Heidi’s place of rest. Her poem was beautiful.
Do not cry
For my absence,
Feel close and
Still talk to me.
I will love you
As I have loved
You on earth.
– Author Unknown –
I’m relieved I took the time, that step in healing. I’ve said my own private good-byes. Whenever I can, I go and visit Heidi. I may not be able to see her, but she will be forever in my heart.