He surveys his domain from atop the tallest spire of the largest construct.
Jake would have been ten today.
He is the sentinel of this realm, guardian of this place.
I miss Jake.
He is one with the four winds that caress the sleeping vista at night, his senses on high alert for a sliver of anything out of the ordinary.
Deb and I had planned a long time for Jake. They said it was too late for both of us. But we wanted a baby so bad we did not listen to them.
He feels the winds shift. His senses are abuzz and he turns to face whence the ripple has originated.
Deb was the first to know, to feel the genesis of Jake. It was as if the warmth of a life created inside her womb washed all over her psyche like the first rays of the sun on a chilly morning.
He senses the magik even from this distance. It never loses its novelty. Every time it happens, he feels the same. Another one has arrived.
Sometimes I would wake up in the night to find Deb sitting by the window-sill, singing to the baby in her womb. We found out it was a boy. Deb picked the name. Jake, she wanted to call him.
He rises in the air and flies towards the spot. His consciousness is blending with the ether and he seeks a name.
I still remember that night. The heavens opened their hearts as the rain came down in a torrent. Jake was not due for a couple of weeks. But Deb knew that it was time. I drove them to the city as fast as I could.
He flies over the grand structures that make up this place, so formless at first glance, yet for one who has the patience to look again, a grand symphony of beauty. He caresses a few as he passes them. They are his now, till the end of time. He tends to them and looks after them.
For ten years I have replayed that moment in my mind trying to find someone to blame. May be the truck driver was at fault, his attention having wavered for a second. Perhaps it was I who should have been more careful. But in that split second, my life changed. I felt the sharp pang of pain even before it happened. All I remember are the lights of the behemoth shining directly into my wide open eyes and then there was darkness.
He sees the new arrival. Glistening and glowing, shimmering like the ones before it. He lands nearby and walks towards it.
Deb did not survive the crash. In a way I feel that it was for the best. She never had to know that Jake did not make it. The doctors did their best, but Jake was gone too.
He embraces the essence of the arrival and feels his own course over it. It grows with the infusion and settles down onto the ground. He steps back and watches it grow, another structure taking shape in this Garden of the Unborn Souls, too pure and innocent to be judged.
My life has been a blur since the accident. I try not to think about them, but all I think about now are Deb and Jake. My therapist suggested writing as an outlet. So I write now. It is a small comfort as I shape and reshape my own reality trying to come to terms with what happened. For ten long years I have tried to let go, but the effort is as pointless as the torment of Tantalus. Sometimes I resist the urge to think about it, other times I rush in towards mental mirages of Deb and Jake smiling to me from beyond the haze of the absinthe.
I miss Deb a lot but what torments me most is the loss of the person I knew the least. I feel pained at what Jake could have become. Sometimes I weep in the night mourning chances lost.
The ether finally speaks back. He senses the word in his mind. He runs his hand over at the newest addition to his domain. A smile forms on his lips. It has a name now.
Sometimes I tell myself, may be it is a better place that Jake has gone to.
He looks lovingly at the new one and says, “Welcome home, Jake!”
First published in HeavyGlow in 2007. The image is a capture from the movie THE CATHEDRAL.