The Last SongStarted by Lucian MacLeod at Apr 27, 2020 5:14 PM
March 24, 1924
Here among my thoughts of you, I find a gentle longing to be free...
The last time I held her hand
Her touch was autumn, spring, summer
And winter too
The last time I let go of her
She walked away into the night
I lost her in the misty streets
A thousand months, a thousand years
When other lips will kiss her eyes
A million miles beyond the moon
That's where she is
The imaginary chords rippled and faded into the mist, along with the sound of Lucian's voice. His voice had been soft and barely audible. There were more lyrics to the song, but only the final chorus suited the place and the mood. In front of him, there were two granite headstones. Neither bore any epitaph, only names, and dates of birth and death. The one to his left was the oldest, but only by perhaps a year. The name was Dr. Alexander Nightingale. There should have been some words added about him being a respected member of the community and a beloved brother.
For that reason, the granite marker on the right was equally devoid of an epitaph. How would that one have read had the addition of a few words on Alex's gravestone been done? Laura Nightingale, beloved sister and... And what? Lover, fiancée, wife? What if Alexander had not died in an automobile accident on a rainy night so soon after Lucian had gotten to know him and his twin sister, Laura? Would he and Laura be planning a wedding, would they already be married, maybe looking forward to their first anniversary or the birth of their first child?
Alexander Nightingale had been a beloved doctor in the South Beach community. He was a good man, kind and compassionate. His fraternal twin sister, Laura, had served as his receptionist and office manager. That was how Lucian had met them. He had come out of a grueling Kali match at his trainer's gym with potentially cracked ribs. When they did not heal, Lucian had made an appointment with a local doctor. He had been intrigued from the moment he heard the woman's delicate, lilting voice on the other end of the telephone line.
The doctor had bandaged his ribs and told him to take it easy. The voice on the other end of the telephone line had agreed to go to dinner with him.
A few months later, Lucian and Laura were spending as much time together as they could. Then, Alexander was killed, and Laura was inconsolable over his death. Soon after that, Lucian had told Laura something that she did not want to hear. She had put an end to their relationship. Lucian had not given up immediately. He had tried to get through to her, but she was adamant. Once he realized that she would never see things as he did and that she could not forgive him for telling her the hard truth, Lucian had stopped trying. He had written the song for her and put it away in his mental file drawer.
Had the song been prophetic? Could they have brought about her death? Lucian shook his head at such fanciful notions, the very kinds of notions that he had warned her against. Still, he reached into his pocket to run his fingers across the cool bloodstone beads of his rosary.
The song was melancholy, as were Lucian's thoughts. Today was the first anniversary of Laura's death. He wished it were otherwise. He also wished that her killer or killers had been brought to justice. Lucian still contacted the police to see if they had new leads. They did not. Reaching into his jacket, he pulled out a carefully rolled bag. Inside were two flowers. The first one, a single white rose, was laid on Alexander's headstone. The second one was a stunningly beautiful blue orchid, Laura's favorite. He laid that one on her headstone and bowed his head for a long moment.
The mist was now a steady rain that dripped inside the collar of Lucian's jacket while droplets ran down his face. The drizzle suited him and helped disguise his emotions as he walked away.
The last time I saw her face
Her eyes were bathed in starlight
And she walked alone
The last time she kissed my cheek
Her lips were like the wilted leaves
Upon the autumn covered hills
Resting on the frozen ground
The seeds of love lie cold and still
Beneath a battered marking stone
It lies forgotten
*The Last Time I Saw Her, ©1968 by Gordon Lightfoot: Mr. Lightfoot and his amazing music are the templates for Lucian's singing voice and musical style.