People are rushing in every direction. Karens bump into me, followed by snotty kids. I'm continually glared at before they shuffle off somewhere else.
Terminal 31, 30, 29... Crap, I need to get to 41. I whip around, sprinting towards the way I came from. I trip over multiple suitcases, not to mention people, but manage to keep myself upright.
35, 36, 37... Almost there! I only have a minute before they close the gate! I need to go faster.
Time stops. Everything slows down.
Someone screams a blood-curdling, make-you-want-to-cover-your-ears scream. I wince at the sound.
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bangbangbang!
Kids and adults alike fall to the ground. There are more screams. Another gunshot. I let go of my bag, dropping to the floor. I start army-crawling towards a row of seats, but it's too late.
There's a blinding pain in the center of my back. Warm, sticky blood gushes out of the wound. I gag at the sensation. More screaming, more falling. I drag myself to some chairs, shimmying under them. I grimace with every movement.
Bang! Bangbang! Bang!
Another bullet lodges itself into my calf.
One in my arm.
And the last one... it penetrates my skull.
Mom... Dad... Sam... I love you guys... I'll see you again someday...
Then, there's black.
I jerk up and take a look at my surroundings. People dressed in all black are sitting in pews. It's a church? Why are they all looking at me? No, they're not looking at me; they're looking at something beneath me. I tilt my head to see what I'm sitting on and shriek. It's... it's me!
That's when everything from the airport comes flooding back to me. I was shot four times. I died with no one there to say goodbye. And this is my funeral. My family and friends... they're all here.
But if I'm dead, how can I go to Harvard? How can I start a family? What about becoming an engineer? It's all gone.
And what am I now? A ghost? Am I just a soul? Nothing makes sense.
I take a closer look at my corpse. My face is almost peaceful, except for the makeup. Someone applied a hideous silver eyeshadow and hot pink lipgloss. People are supposed to be nice to the dead, not make them look like tacky grandma.
I pry my eyes away from my vandalized face and view the people here closer. My mom, dad, and sister (Sam) sit in the very front pew, next to my grandmother and best friend (Livvy). The pew that sits across the aisle from them holds my aunts, uncles, and cousins. From then on, it's distant relatives and friends. I need to try to say goodbye to my family.
I'm able to swing my legs through the casket, and my eyes widen in shock as a wave of chills goes through me. Right. I'm a ghost/spirit/thing. Tentatively, I take a step towards my family. To my relief, I don't fall through the floor. I walk another couple of feet, but when there's only a yardstick space between us, I'm jerked back. I look behind me to see a translucent rope connecting the center of my back to the head of my actual body. Frick. This will have to be good enough.
I look at Livvy first. She's looking through me, at the pastor speaking behind me, but silent rivers of tears flow down her cheeks. I've seen her cry before, but not like this. There's another level of sadness now.
Then my grandma. She's bent over on herself, her body shaking with each sob. I was her first granddaughter, and I promised her that I would make it into Harvard since she couldn't.
Unwillingly, tears slip from my eyes. There's no stopping them.
Sam... Oh, Sammy. I was supposed to help her with boy problems and homework. I was supposed to be there when she graduated. Now she has to go through all of it without me. Her shoulders chatter.
Dad has his arm around Sam. He's trying to hold it together, but I can see his lip quiver and the glistening of his eyes. It shakes me down to my core. I was his first little girl, and he said he'd always protect me. I guess he couldn't this time.
Mom is gripping Dad's hand so hard that her knuckles are white. She gasps as the tears rush down her flushed face. Mascara mixes with the stream of salty droplets. It crushes me to see her like this.
I scan the rest of the audience, spotting friends from school, church, volleyball, and dance. All of my teachers from the recent year are here, even some from previous years. From what I can tell, there are few dry eyes in the room. I guess that means people cared, even when I didn't realize it.
I look to my left and find a mirror. Another downfall of being dead: I can't see my reflection. However, I heard that people's ghosts are the same as what they looked like when they died, so I must still be wearing my Nike sweatpants and old volleyball tournament t-shirt. But then there are the gunshot wounds. Red, bloody, oozing, swelling; all of the words I never imagined would be used to describe my body. Yet here I am.
Then there's my mental state. I'm dead. Shouldn't I be more worried about it? I guess it doesn't matter now. There's nothing I can do to change it.
So, that's it. The end of my life. I lived it as best as I could. I'll miss my family, but they'll move forward.
And this is Amaya Fuller, signing off.