He'd never been prepared for the socially-contrived expiration date on grieving. Birdie had never known of it, or even considered such a thing could exist until a year and a half passed and they asked why he still wasn't participating in the community. Wasn't it obvious? They'd attended his funeral, had left flowers at his grave and gave Birdie their condolences, said he was a good man gone too soon. And missed for too long, apparently, going off of the way they'd looked at him with a mixture of pity and frustrated concern.
Right. Because the grave of the lifetime they couldn't have together was easily abandoned.
Not that Birdie was sure what constituted a lifetime anymore, especially since he was half-convinced the desert might be the end of him, and that he probably wouldn't mind it as much as he should. As far as this place and whoever might live here were concerned, the lion was just another washed up wanderer dragging around a cart's worth of baggage.
No one special. The one person who'd thought otherwise couldn't correct him on that now.
Exhaling, he sat himself outside of what he assumed was their border. Smelled strong enough for it, but he wasn't especially thrilled about the heat. Was he thrilled about anything, though? "I'm going north next time," he muttered, shaking out a bit of sand.
[ INFORMATION ]