The cinders of the house next door swirled in strange patterns across the sky;
they turned orange with the setting of the sun.
As he stood and stared at the house, memories played out before his eyes:
Two toddlers waddled around the yard, giggling;
Two preschoolers dashed inside a gate, and wrestled each other to the ground;
Two elementary students walked primly in new shoes to the bus stop;
Two middle schoolers did homework on the pink picnic blanket -
The girl laughed and the boy thought she was beautiful;
Two high schoolers danced home in the dark, their hands entwined;
One large house went down in flames; one voice called “Lindsey!” until it was hoarse, and choked with tears -
And there was nothing he could do.
Everyone knew they were best friends;
Everyone knew they would marry;
Everyone knew she was dead;
Everyone said “sorry for your loss”;
Everyone treated him with condolences;
No one understood his pain.