Sunlight filters through the sheer curtains.
Revealing the spiritual energy of the golden hour.
Thinking back to the day before but am uncertain.
Of the feeling of loss like a petal pulled from a flower.
He loved me.
He loved me not.
Does it matter?
My head drifts back to the armrest of the couch.
Instinctively, I cover my eyes with a pillow.
And what is it I think about?
Him. Of course. Why do I view him as my hero?
The wound, still fresh.
The casket just lowered.
My feelings are confused with the news of his death.
I don’t know how to mourn.
My skin already eroded by tears; I have none left to lose.
Caught in the wake of this feeling tumbling through anger and acceptance.
How was it that I was surprised when I heard the news?
Is it because I can still feel his presence?
The mysterious grandfather.
Somewhat ambiguous but there is no better way to describe the man.
Similar to water.
Can be lifesaving or take your last breath in a horrible end.
He led the life he chose.
But always faded out of view.
The growing secrets I dare not expose.
The discoveries he will no longer pursue.
I snap back to the present and reluctantly rise with the moon.
The reading of the will occurs tonight.
I must be ready soon.
The entry of his home reveals a vast foyer.
The cheerful wallpaper mocking the mood of the evening.
Tunnel vision ensues as my family drifts further away.
This house is deceiving.
I follow the others to a room I have never entered.
Always off limits it seems wrong to gather here now that he is gone.
The books covering the walls carry a thick layer of dust, the stories that have never been ventured.
The attorney we have now come to know gathers her papers and taps the edges against the desk as if to show she is ready to begin.
I let my mind wander while she reads legal paperwork and begins to say the names of my relatives.
Money, jewelry, reading off his estate like a grocery list makes my head spin.
She then says my name, removes herself from the desk chair, and offers something to give.
My face grows pale.
A little black book is placed in my palm, the pages rot.
Confused, I open to the first page that reads,
X marks the spot.
What does this mean?
A treasure hunt?
The thought seems few and far between.
He loved me.
He loved me not.
Suddenly I find myself standing in my living room.
Ever fall so deeply in thought you forgot how you traveled home?
The details of the black book cannot be assumed.
I must discover the truth on my own.
The pages, weathered with age, feel ridged against my fingertips.
I turn to the second page passing the cryptic message.
Will the next page show what he depicts?
My mind fully engaged.
The page reads,
Where to find the treasures lost.
Read below I have a thought.
Buried where the land meets the sea.
1000 meters if you ask me.
From the willow to which is weeping.
You won’t regret, I have a feeling.
The compass points west and follow you will.
Leading to the place to drill.
My eyes scan the riddle multiple times before I turn each page looking for more answers.
Nothing. The pages are blank.
No other clues for me to refer.
The uncertainty making my hands shake.
I think back to the riddle.
Configuring the words to suit my needs.
Reading each line with care and patience until I realize I know where to find the mystical willow.
Imagining going back makes me weak at the knees.
I pack my bags, flashlight, and shovel.
It must be tonight; I cannot wait until morning.
Warm some tea to soothe the muscles.
How has my life shifted so drastically without warning?
The pond appears over the small hill of the back road.
Memories flood inside as I open the car door.
A breeze erupts but I barely feel the cold.
A blanket of emotion shields me from the journey set before.
I walk up to the willow and expect to hear his voice echo in the wind.
To give me clues to this voyage.
I find the piles of wood stacked against the base that once held my youth; what could have been.
Where we dreamt of magic and heroes filled with courage.
What once held an enchanted land is now logs tossed in heaps, left forgotten.
Time passed and, in turn, the structure began to decay.
Trepidation arises as though I’m walking straight into the lion’s den.
The quiet overcomes the feeling of disarray.
The silence is where I hear most.
Standing in the vase emptiness of the wilderness.
The past, the future, and the times I rewrote.
Creating a story to which I never possessed.
I shift my thoughts back to the riddle, to walk towards the west.
Intuitively, I turn and began the walk to the sea.
1000 meters between me and the end leaves me destressed.
But forward I walk, curiosity renders me.
The sounds of the ocean come before the vision.
I can feel the water in the air, taste the salt as it touches my lips.
The sun rises at my back while I look to the shore for a signal of something hidden.
I fixate on what appears to be the family crest propped in the sand. Are my eyes playing tricks?
I slowly make my way to the flag, my feet dragging on the sand.
Afraid of what might be discovered, I clench the shovel anticipating the worst.
The blade removes the topsoil with ease, the handle feeling foreign in my hand.
The further I go the more comfortable I feel, then suddenly I feel a scoop forced.
I brush off the sand to reveal a rusty handle.
Lifting the chest with a power unknown to me, so heavy uncertain I can remove it from the ground.
The sand buckles under the weight of the chest showing it is all but fragile.
I click open the latch to reveal a treasure, my surprise holds no bounds.
Enclosed in the case are rare paintings, jewels, and trinkets.
Family heirlooms we all thought lost and long ago bid adieu.
Thinking back to my relationship with him, I feel ashamed I must admit.
Tears form in my eyes and by then I knew.
I see his eyes in the storm filled skies.
I see his shadow or is it just mine?
I feel the breath of him at my back.
Pushing me onward toward the traits in which I lack.
Forward I gaze to the horizon spotting a ship lonely in the vast ocean blue.
Tears form in my eyes as I look through the black book to find some clarity.
A final note hidden beneath the seam which reads, I love you.
A tragic melody.