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*Setting: Woods, late afternoon, Western Washington State.*
Walking up a slightly overgrown dirt mix rock drive path. A man walked up the steep pathway, backpack on his back as he just watched the ground having walked this path several times before. He came closer to the top seeing all the trees now around him gone from loggers. He reached a old weak gate, and was able to simply walk around it. Taking a deep breath the man now was in a almost circle formation of trees all around. Few old headstones lay around the field. Looking at the ground, you would see all the dips from the caskets laid many years ago. With a single apple tree near the middle. The man walked towards the tree as he slumped down, resting against it. The sky was cloudy as it grew always chilly in the area. Setting his backpack beside him, he closed his eyes, head facing upwards as he took a deep breath and let out a long sigh.
Jared was his name. 27 years old, 6 foot 3 inches. No siblings, father and mother already passed away. He was raised by his grandfather as no one else lived anywhere near. Jared finished his college degree in automotive. But he didn’t work a solid job. Living in such a small town he would job hop from fast food chains, motels as a janitor. Never keeping anything solid. He didn’t put his degree to really any use besides for himself. His grandfather John was the reason why he even did college in the first place. No one was special in his life. He wasn’t living the life. In fact he lived in a basic 1993 Chevy root beer brown van. It was way past it’s mileage life, but it kept chugging along as Jared would continue to fix it up.
Jared was by no means a bad fellow. His hair, a light brown with soft blonde natural highlights, was always groomed to a simple ½ inch cut. He took a razor to his face once a week to keep himself clean shaven and would partake in his local pool as his “leisure” active time every other week. But also so he could shower and not stink like a hobo. He enjoyed small things in life. Hiking. Swimming. Photography. Working on his van. His hair if ever grew long enough, would just have a slight wave to it, not curly, just a small wave to add dimension naturally. His eyes were a golden brown with little speckles of grey. His skin naturally sun kissed. Though he had no solid ethnicity, he just was a mix like most other people. Though, as much as he was going through, he tried to at least continue living on in life even if it wasn’t the greatest.
As Jared sat beneath the apple tree, it wasn’t quite season yet. The apples just started to bud, the chilly spring air surrounding him as the trees near gave the freshest scent possible. Opening his eyes he walked the clouds move past fast above. He often day dreamed. But this day, was not like the others.
Slumping his head downwards he looked at all the dips laying across the field. The cemetery was well over 100 years old. Many of the headstones were gone because they once were wooden. While some still remained as stone. Many of them being early 1900s. Even children, a full family who died in a fire, the founders of the area. All of them laid to rest in a quiet spot in the middle of the mountains forest. This was his normal place. His sanctuary. No one would ever come here as it wasn’t placed on any map or GPS. It was truly a hidden gem from the past.
Just a few more days… It’ll all be over…
Jared’s grandfather John was in a hospice center. With a heavy heart, Jared balled his fist and punched the ground right beside him as he tried to contain his feelings. John was all the family he had left. Once he goes, Jared would be completely alone.
He could have left his small town. Make use of his degree and live in an actual house. But, even with that degree, he couldn’t afford a place where he currently lived because it was over populated and no one wanted to actually own or rent anyplace as there was many homeless and junkies all around that would continue to vandalize and break in. So, that's why he had his van. To be mobile. But once John was gone, where would he go?
Unable to hold his emotions back any further, tears rolled down his cheeks. He covered his face with a single hand as he wept in silence.