Without Weeping



Scene Title Without Weeping
Synopsis Eileen finds closure.
Date July 23, 2009

A House on Covert Street, Queens

The house on Covert Street in Ridgewood, Queens, is a real place. Warped by rain and hoarfrost, wooden boards prevent intruders from squeezing through the gap between the window and its peeling frame, though this presents very little challenge to Eileen and the serriform knife she holds loosely in the seat of her hand. It isn't the first building on the block to have gone into foreclosure, and she imagines it won't be the last, either — not if things continue on the path that the Petrelli administration has been paving since the presidential inauguration in January.

Inside, the living room teems with shadows and bears a only a passing resemblance to the hearth she saw in her dreams. There are no wedding photos on the walls, stripped of paint, no certificates bearing her name and framed in glass, no medals of honour to reflect the light or gleam like burnished gold. It's a little bit sad, she thinks, but it's also something of a relief. She's not sure which is more of a burden: the meager accumulation of material wealth that the duplex housed in 2019 or the additional responsibilities she undertook when she began to collect it.

There's no doubt in her mind that she would have made a fine nurse; it's the question of whether or not she would have made a decent mother that nags her at night, but as she slips the knife back into her jacket's interior and moves between the rooms, she finds that the quiescent atmosphere has a calming effect, unwinding the knots of tension in her neck and shoulders into a singular, more manageable thread. There are other things to think about. Bai-Chan isn't why she came.

Someone died here.

Eileen thinks she can sense Raith beginning to grow impatient out on the house's concrete stoop. The sound of his booted toe scuffing against the cement is steady and rhythmic, counting time in tandem with the continuous tick-tick-tick of her pocket watch's second-hand. Her heartbeat, too, is perfectly measured and synchronized with her intake and subsequent exhalation of breath.

In a matter of hours, all three — heart, lungs, clock — will stop. And although neither the woman in the house nor the man on the stoop has any way of knowing, one of them at least suspects.

She trades the knife for a finger of charcoal and chooses the peeling wallpaper at the foot of the stairs for her surface. The words come easily, flowing from memory down the length of her matchstick arm all the way to the brickwork behind her water-stained canvas. Five minutes later, she signs her love at the bottom and wishes they could see it.

If they had, then maybe the future wouldn't have lost them both.

When Eileen is gone and the dust has settled around the faint outline of her retreating footsteps, the message inscribed on the wall bridges ten years in perfect silence.

for gabriel and teodoro

the death of birds
is conducted without weeping.
they are not mourned for,
nor do they mourn for themselves.
they know
that each thing has its season
and that their season
is short
and, of necessity, is done.

i will love you both,

OOC Note: "The Death of Birds" is a poem by Hugh Cook and the intellectual property of its author. You can visit his website and read some of his other work here.

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