Snow fell on his upturned face, his eyes were turned to the heavens as they began to weep.
“Not again” he muttered under his breath.
He walked on, north. The air had gotten colder and colder as he went further north and now it had begun to snow. He ran a gloved hand across his face, dislodging the snow now collecting on his beard. He had neglected to shave, now he feared it was too late.
Hours passed, the snow got thicker and thicker. His feet were now sinking deep with every step he took, his breath coming out in great clouds in front of him. His beard was now frozen, his nose was red and running. He was stumbling with every step and more than once fell face first in the snow. But he picked himself up and walked on, north.
Night fell, the moon was hidden behind the clouds, the forest now dark, shrieking with the wind. A low branch smacked him in the face, his beard shedding some snow because of it. He trudged along, there was no rhythm to his walk now. He was just shambling along, always facing north, always walking forward. The snow was up to his thighs now. Progress was slow.
He stopped, his blue lips muttered a wordless prayer to the heavens. The wind howled more fierce than before. His shoulders slumped a little but he continued to walk. One step at a time.
The night continued to pile horrors on, the storm went on and on, his resolve weakened ever more. Yet he walked on, north.
In the early hours of dawn, when his strength was sapped and his eyes wouldn’t remain open, he found her. Her tomb was covered with a foot of snow. With the last of his remaining strength he shoved it aside and sat down right next to it. His old bones were creaking, his face was as pale as a ghost, yet he had the strength to do one last thing, he sang to her.
The miles went by,
As time flew by,
I never saw your face again,
Even though I tried,
Now you are gone,
To a foreign land,
And I can’t pretend,
That I’ll see your face again,
So this one good bye,
I had to do,
I owed you one,
Before I went too.
He got up and walked away, he was walking slowly as the sun rose up from behind the trees. Dawn had arrived. He let the rays fall on his face for a while, enjoying the warmth. Then he reached for his pocket and fired the flare gun, and then he waited. Soon enough he heard the sound of an approaching helicopter. He stood still as it landed a little distance from him and two men ran to him. One of them was holding an oxygen mask. He waved it away and walked himself to the helicopter, climbed in and sat down. The pilot turned around and asked, “Is everything ok?”
“Yeah, I’m fine”, he muttered.
“Sir if I may ask, why did you do it? You are over 70, I mean we could have brought you here.”
“I just had to say my goodbyes friend.”
“To who sir?”
“To somebody I knew.” he muttered and rested his head in his hands.
The pilot was persistent though, ” But sir why like this?”
“Because somethings I have to do on my own, in my own way. I can’t explain it.” He was trying to be calm but he was cracking now.
“But sir you could have died out there!” the pilot seemed agitated by this.
“It doesn’t matter if I’m dead or alive now boy”, he said calmly, ” something is gone.” He looked away then and closed his eyes.
The pilot took this as a sign and turned away, the two rescue men came back and the copter took off.
The man looked out of the window, to where he had been sitting just moments ago. The copter had blown snow over it again, it was only partially visible. He sighed and looked away. Some wounds will never heal.