I’m sitting alone on the beach when I feel him coming toward me. I’m sitting so still, I know he’s worried that I’m zoned.
“I’m not zoned, Chief,” I say quietly.
Blair doesn’t reply and sits down next to me; a moment later, he puts an arm around me. I lean against him, wanting the comfort he’s offering. He holds me tightly, not saying a word, knowing that for now, I need this silence.
Incacha’s funeral was this morning.
I wonder briefly if he minded having the funerary rites performed so far away from Peru, the place where his true spirit lived. I wanted to have his body returned, but it just wasn’t possible, so I carried out the rituals according to Chopec traditions as best I could. I hope it was enough. I pray that his spirit is free.
We sit and stare at the ocean, and I let my senses go, letting the sound of the ocean beating against the sand and the feel of the rough salt-tinged wind fade way, until all I can feel is Blair. All I can hear is Blair’s heartbeat, the soft inhalation and exhalation of his breathing, feel the warmth of his arms about me.
“Please don’t ever die, Blair.”
It’s an absolutely ridiculous request, I know. But I have to ask. Too many people I’ve loved have been lost to death. I can’t lose any more. I’m already broken, too fragile. I know I’ll shatter completely if he goes, too. I can’t lose him. I won’t lose him.
He doesn’t say anything as he gently presses a kiss against my temple.
A few minutes later I feel him shiver as the temperature drops with the increasing wind gusts. I stand up, pulling him up with me. He smiles gently at me as I pull a hair tie from my pocket and hand it to him.
He walks beside me as we head home.
I should have made him promise.