Philip Hornbuckle was finally beginning to become accustomed to a life without Paco. He threw away his trench coats with special pockets for Paco, he emptied out Paco's cage, and he even invited some of the townspeople over to his apartment for a bird-themed movie night. Now, he made an even larger step outside of his comfort zone. He stood in front of his sister's gravestone, the one place he vowed to never visit without Paco. In his hands, he held a fresh bouquet of roses. He slowly bent down, and picked up the brown, limp roses that stood on his sister's grave. He put down the new bunch of roses, carefully avoiding the thorns. He stopped for a moment when he was eye level with the grave, and admired the details on the headstone. Here lies Hanani, beloved sister, daughter, and friend, the gravestone read. A marble owl stood on the top of the headstone, its eyes following Philip's every move. Suddenly, Philip's train of thought was interrupted by a voice behind him.
"Hello Philip, would you like to join my confessional?" Philip turned towards the voice only to see it was Pope Michael, traveling with his walking confessional like he did every Thursday. Philip looked at his watch. He still had an hour before his shift at World's Best Pizza, and he did have a lot to get off his chest.
"Well, I suppose." Philip responded.
"Terrific!" Pope Michael yelled as he suddenly dropped the handles on the confessional, allowing the rickety stall to fall to the ground. Pope Michael opened the door, and took a seat, closing the door behind him.
"Whenever you're ready!" He called. Philip drew the curtain to the side, and took a seat.
"Well, times have been hard" Philip began, "I have finally accepted that Paco is gone, but I'm not sure how to live without him. I decided to visit Hanani's grave to try and find some answers. You see, back when I got Paco Hanani warned me not to get too attached to him. She said that if I spent all my time with him I wouldn't have any friends, which would make college, and the rest of my life hard for me if something ever happened to Paco. She offered to give me some advice on how to manage my friendship with Paco, and my friendships with others, but I turned her down at time time because I couldn't believe something would ever happen to Paco. Now I see the truth though, and I wish my sister was still here to help me."
"Ah Philip," Pope Michael began through the screened wall, "I know this must be-"
A loud squawking interrupted Pope Michael. Philip drew the curtain of the confessional to the side to see hundreds of parakeets sailing through the air, pecking civilians, and pooping on heads.
"Oh my God! Could Paco be in this crowd? I'm sorry father, I have to go! If Paco is in this crowd of parakeets I can't miss my opportunity to find him!" With that, Philip jumped out of the rickety confessional, and ran into the crowd of parakeets.