THE CEMETERY KEEPER
He was waiting, like he always did for the past 10 years, that the last visitor, Mr. Honest, leave on his tired feet so he could close the iron gate.
Everyone called him Gino the cemetery keeper. It was almost thirty years that Gino was the cemetery keeper in that town, he was the only one, that without prejudices and superstitions, presented himself at the job interview at the time, he was around twenty years old. Every night, saying goodbye to Mr. Honest, he could only think about him and his deep love for his wife who died a little longer than seven years ago. Mr. Honest visited her every day after lunch, bringing her blue roses, her favorite flowers, and sitting in his chair in front of her gravestone he waited for the cemetery’s closing time, when the sun sets, talking to her as if she was still alive, he used to tell her how he was spending his days, his thoughts about the world and how it was changing before his eyes.
But it was under the moon’s light that the cemetery would come to life. Gino, walking throughout the cemetery, listened and talked to the souls of the dead, which with the help of the darkness, would come out from their graves to tell their stories.
He picked a different grave every night, a guest of that place, he sat in front of his grave along with him and listened to his stories, those which were meaningful in the soul’s past life.
There was the army general who fought a battle every night. There was the lover boy who spent his life with an endless number of women. There were many guests, each one of them with his unique background and each one of them coming from all sorts of social classes. Since he started working in the cemetery he noticed that every soul respected each other no matter their background. Whatever you were in your past life, as soon as you reach the afterlife, you lose your status or what you have accomplished and become equal to all the other souls.
An army general did not act with superiority over a farmer. An atheist never got into a fight with a priest who dedicated his life to the Lord.
To accompany their night chats there was John, a guitar player that was a poet and musician in his past life, who continued to perform in the afterlife to cheer up whoever was around with his music and words. There were cards games tournaments organized by
serious gamblers known to the entire town by the name of “The Club”. They were four
gentlemen that when they were alive, they always met at the town café playing cards until
dinner time and in the summer even after dinner until late at night.
When they died and met again in the afterlife, they continued doing what they used to do
when they were alive so every night they reunited the club and played until morning, when
the cemetery gates are open. So, like when they were alive, these cards games always
attracted a moderate audience who commented and gave advises to the four players.
Gino stopped to watch the games too once in a while, he actively participated commenting
and talking to the other spectators on this or that move.
Finally, the day that the Lord called Mr. Honest to him came. Gino saw him entering the
cemetery gates from behind the funeral procession. When the night came, Gino
approached Mr. Honest, who was dressed with his best suit, the one he wore when he got
married, he was holding his daily gift for his wife in his hands but this time he was able to
give it to her in person.
“Hello Gino, finally I can see her again.”
“Hi Honest, I’m sorry for your relatives but I’m happy for you, it’s been many years that
you don’t see your wife. I can only imagine how you’re feeling right now.”
“Yes, I’m very excited, I feel like how I felt when we went out for our first date.”
“Well, in a certain way it’s like if it is your first date, now go. She’s waiting for you.”
They buried Honest where he wanted, next to his wife. They looked at each other, she was
beautiful. Thrilled, they embraced each other for a long time then they searched for a
private spot in the cemetery to have some privacy. Meanwhile, in another spot of the
cemetery, his burial was taking place. Honest and his wife were walking silently, they
found a lonely gravestone far from all the others, intrigued, they approached it.
Astonished, they read Gino the cemetery keeper’s name on it. He died more than a year
“How’s this possible? I saw him every day when I was alive.”
“Yes, he was granted a special permit to continue his activity because he really loves this
place and his job.”
They turned around and they saw Gino leaning on a tree smiling at them.
“You really are a beautiful couple, enjoy your walk, I’ll see you tonight.”
He winked at them and disappeared like only a ghost could do.