No. It can’t be true. He can’t be dead. Tears never stopped falling from Essie’s eyes. She couldn’t believe it. She couldn’t possibly be seeing this. Her brother was alive. She could feel it in her stomach. She knew he had to be alive. Essie shook her head in disbelief. In front of her was a tombstone. A tombstone with her brother’s name on it.
Essie fell on her knees. “No, no, no, no, no…” She cried, curling up into a ball, her eyes never leaving her brother’s name. He was only a few years older than her. His name was Caleb. Caleb Deacon Eckert. She put out a hand and touched the tombstone. She had no clue where she was anymore, she just knew that her brother was dead.
Dead. He’d been dead for five years. Essie had been looking for a dead man… for five years. She had no choice but to believe it now. There was no mistaking that that was his name. Her big brother. Her only link to the life she once had… was gone. After a while, Essie’s tears finally stopped and her hiccuping breaths calmed. She shouldn’t have let him go after their parents. It was wrong of her to expect her adventrous brother to keep himself out of trouble. She sat with her knees close to her chest for a while, just staring at the tombstone. Not in disbelief anymore, but just trying to remember what he’d looked like the last time she saw him. She missed him.