It was almost an unfortunate reality they seemed determined to live in. A place of denial. A place from which they were unable to acknowledge that life did not need to move to be just that; life.
The small hand in my own was strange. Holding the hand of another person was strange enough, but that of a child’s was somehow different. It was not a bad feeling, just unusual.
The tiny hand belonged to a boy named Thomas. A stout boy of eight proud summers, or at least that's what he’d had me believe. Thomas held himself with the courage only a boy could possibly possess. Not oblivious to the problems he faced, but sure they could be overcome. It was a sureness I came to both envy and weep over.
You think you understand death. Understand what it means for the life in someone's lungs to leave and never return. But you don't. Not until you've seen it. Really seen it. Not until it gets under your skin and lives inside you, controlling everything you do. From then on it owns you. Sometimes distantly, just faraway enough so that you at times come close to forgetting it’s there.
But it is.
Time had long ago released all constraints it once held over the passing of days. Perhaps, had there been light to gage with I could have guessed, but for us, light was a privilege that had been long absent. The name came from the mouth's of the young and old alike, almost as an esteemed title to swell the breast and lift the nose. They passed the word with no ill intent, nor a desire to see me pain. It was said with simple fact, for harbinger was a name I deserved above all others. Above even the name bestowed upon me at birth.