Chapter 9

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It was already the month of October. The fall air was breezy and the leaves were still falling off the trees. The crunch you would hear when you stepped onto the leaves. The way the leaves sounded when a gush of wind passed by, dragging them onto the concrete floor of the neighborhood. The smell of wood and burnt leaves as they turned into the color of fire.

This month I would be celebrating life and death. Life would mean that my birthday was coming up in a few weeks and death because it had been a month since Wilson Alexander's passing. I planned on visiting his grave later in the afternoon and maybe try to convince Pierce to come with me. I knew I would have a slim chance but it was worth a try.

I came into the office that morning as I brought with me fresh flowers for Wilson. I put them in a vase with cold water to keep them fresh until the afternoon. I worked hastily on all the things that should be done for the day. In the afternoon, I gathered up all the courage to ask permission from Pierce. After that night he took me home, he had been more approachable but I still felt intimidated by him. I was now standing in front of his thick wooden door as I exhaled loudly before I knocked three times.

I heard him say, "Come in."

I entered his office and called out his attention, "Mr. Alexander?"

He was concentrating on some papers on his desk while he typed something important on his laptop. He looked up to me and noticed that I was already carrying my coat and purse with Wilson's flowers on my other hand.

"What's with the flowers? Do you have a date?" He asked a little curiously.

I chuckled at his assumption that made him raise an eyebrow at me. I quickly cleared my throat, "No sir, I'm actually here to ask you if I could leave earlier..."

"To meet with your date." He didn't question me but stated it as if assuming that he was right. I noticed that his jaw clenched.

"Um no...I'm actually going to visit your father's grave. It has already been a month." I responded, somewhat annoyed with his assumption.

"Oh," his expression had softened. He didn't know what to say after that so I took the opportunity to ask if he would like to come with me.

"I also wanted to ask if you would like to come with me."

Pierce looked taken aback with my question. I could see the turmoil in his eyes, wondering if it would be right thing to do. He continued to stare at me with those blank eyes. I sensed that he didn't want to decide or probably just didn't want to do it. I took a piece of paper out from my purse and wrote the cemetery's address and the location of Wilson's grave.

"If ever you change your mind." I slid the paper on his desk. He didn't accept it or anything. He just let it sit there, afraid that it would burn him. I gave him a reassuring smile and walked out of his office.

Before I headed to the cemetery, I went to a café and ordered myself some hot coffee and a strawberry tartlet. I filled my stomach with a little something to eat so I could stay longer and talk to Wilson.

I felt excited to see Wilson again. I had missed him every day and I always thought of him. I had a lot to talk about and it would feel just like the old times only I wouldn't be able to hear his hearty laugh, his words of wisdom and most especially seeing his smile again.

I didn't notice that I had already walked up to his grave. I smiled and laid out my coat on the grass as I sat myself comfortably in front of his gravestone. I began arranging the flowers I brought for him on the ground and cleaned some dried leaves that were littered around his surroundings.

"Hey old man," I started and took a deep breath. "I've missed you. The office isn't the same without you. Your lame jokes would have been useful by now. You know, to cheer me up."

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