On nights like this, when the stars were so bright, that they were almost glaring and the cold air welcomed her in its arms, Lauren liked to sit outside, wrapped in a blanket, and look into the sky. She would sit in the old wooden chair her husband had built all these years ago which felt like a lifetime. She would breathe in until she reached the point of no return, then she would breathe out and in again. On nights like this, she thought, it was just her alone with her thoughts. And as the thoughts came, sadness overwhelmed her so harshly, that it shook her and she cried. This sudden sensation of grief had startled her so that for a moment she couldn’t breathe. On nights like this she was sitting outside, wondering. She couldn’t help it sometimes. She wondered whether he would have become a strutting young lad or a quiet smiling listener. She would look at the stars as though they could answer her question, as though they knew a secret she was no part of. Her shoulders were shaking due to her regular sobs. Behind her a movement, then her husband put his arms around her and held her, calming her down. After a while he sat beside her, with his pyjamas in the grass, he just sat with her, quietly.
“Sometimes I wonder what he’d be like today,” she said into the silence of the night, working on a weak smile.
He remained silent for a bit, then he replied:
“I know he’d be brave, striving for the challenge of life, facing every provocation heartbreakingly genuine.”
“For a man as realistic as you, you can be really tawdry,” she said, making him laugh.
“I’m supposed to be tawdry, I’m supposed to exaggerate, it’s our son we’re talking about. It’s our job to be bloody embarrassing, even posthumous.”
She nodded absent-mindedly.
“Maybe you’re right. Maybe it is. I don’t know any more.”
“He would be brilliant,” David said without transition.
“At what?”, Lauren asked.
“At everything and nothing. He’d be a mixture between you and me or nothing the like. We cannot know.”
“No, we cannot. But we can wish for him to be like we imagine.”
“Then I wish for him to be happy where ever he might be.”
“And I wish for him to know that we think about him. That we love him, no matter what.”
“He knows. I know he does.”
Lauren grasped for his hand, pressed it smoothly and let go of it again.
“You are my armour”, she thought and smiled.