The Neighbors – Part 3
Cassie played in the backyard, enjoying the sunshine but never forgetting about her plan to visit the cemetery. She worried the brightness of the day would make the Lady too shy to come out, but she had to take that chance. Her father was working, and her mom was distracted by cleaning. Her mother seemed to clean constantly, and Cassie never fully understood how the house got so dirty so quickly.
The panels of the wooden fence that separated her yard from the cemetery were too narrow to squeeze through. The only way in was to hop the fence. Cassie decided her picnic table set was the best way to get high enough. If she tried to open the gate, she risked her mom hearing the latch.
Cassie gently pushed the lightweight plastic child-sized picnic table and bench close to the fence. Gingerly, she stepped onto the bright pink seat before lifting herself onto the seafoam green tabletop. The set rocked a little, giving the little girl butterflies until it steadied again.
She peeked in the window to see if her mom was nearby and when she was sure she was safe, Cassie grabbed the top of the fence to hoist herself up, lifting her skinny left leg and letting her princess sneaker flop over the side. Cassie straddled the fence, but as she started to maneuver the other leg, she looked down, realizing just how high up she was.
“Ooooh, boy…” she sighed to herself.
Squeezing her eyes shut, Cassie lifted her second leg over, gripping the wood tightly. Her legs dangled for a second before she dropped onto the grass on the other side. She was in. Wiping her hands, Cassie looked out over the cemetery, spotting the headstone that the Lady usually visited. Nodding to herself, she began the walk toward it. She would wait for her there.
As she approached, the words on the tombstone grew clearer. They were old and worn away, but Cassie could make out the name “David” and the death date of 1895.
The Lady in Purple watched the little girl as she climbed the fence and walked over to David’s grave. She was a little thing, but the Lady could tell just by her actions she was a force. She couldn’t help but smile. The Lady walked toward Cassie as she sat by the grave.
“You are sitting on his grave, little dear,” a voice behind Cassie called out.
Cassie, startled, jumped up. When she saw was speaking, she asked, “Who?”
The Lady knelt down next to the gravesite and said, “David. My son. He was about your age when he got sick. I miss him.”
Cassie felt bad for her.
“I’m sorry, Lady.”
The Lady in Purple smiled. “My name is Bronwyn.”