Sad Speculative Teens & Young Adult

Today was the day.

I never thought I’d be wearing this black dress, and these uncomfortably tight shoes, this jingling jewelry. A picture of you clutched tight in my fist, tear stained paper wilting like a dying flower in between my fingers. The air was crisp, almost frigid. The wind blew, a ghostly howl sending a chill up and back down my spine. My eyes were fixed on a young black cat perched, eyes bright yellow and beckoning me closer, on the painted brick steps of the funeral home. It mewed as I inched closer, reaching down to stroke the fur in between its ears. Against my wishes, though, the cat scurried away, like a black streak against the bright stark white walls of the funeral home, disappearing into some nearby bushes.

The funeral home; it was a tall, two story colonial with heavy black iron doors. I found myself gazing up at it, trying to find some kind of words to say or maybe a reason to get back into my car and drive away. I ascended the stairs, the click-clacking of my heels echoing throughout the mostly empty parking lot. At the door, I was greeted my a balding gentleman, stuffed into a dusty old suit and a pair of shoes that were way too tight, made apparent by the look on his face. He welcomed me. I swallowed something building high in my throat—guilt maybe fear—and entered the parlor. The air inside was heavy with unspoken words and dust, my gaze fell upon your portrait immediately; I broke my eyes away for only a moment before being met with another face identical to yours. Your sister sat in the aisle, her legs given out beneath her. Her young son, only three, rubbed her back in comfort, something I’m sure she did for him countless times.

At the end of the aisle is where you laid, hands crossed over stomach, dressed in something I’d never seen you wear. You seemed to grin in your silence, a soft Mona Lisa-esque smile playing on your ashen lips. The ends of your fading hair were still dyed blue; your favorite color. I trembled, tears pouring from my eyes as I begged myself to look away. I couldn’t.

The thoughts rushing into my mind and the violent urge to scream were interrupted, by the softest voice, and a tender touch to the small of my back. I tried a smile, my trembling lip and leaking eyes gave me away.

“She loved you very much, sweetheart,” your dear mother spoke to me. Her face was streaked with makeup and tears, her voice was soft but a frog sat still, in her throat, as she held back her sobs. She gave me a gentle nudge and I realized, only then, that I was still at the entrance of the room. My skin was covered in a thin layer of freezing cold sweat, and I shook; images of you, all alone that night playing over and over in my mind. The thought returned, once again, of what excuses I could make to run out of that room, and drive away. 

I had to see, though.

Up close, just to make sure. 

I approached, cautiously—waiting for the moment you popped out from behind the podium and unveiled it was all just some elaborate prank. 

You didn’t. 

I got close, so close I could see the makeup. The makeup covering your graying skin. 

It wasn’t a façade. The portrait next to the casket, read your name. 

It was you

Your blue hair, your face, your clothes that someone else dressed you in. 

It was you. 

I asked you to wake up. You didn’t. You slept. 

You slept and smiled up at me, with your Mona Lisa smile, and I asked you to wake up. 

Please wake up. 

Wake up.

Now I’m here and you’re gone.

It’s been three years since you left, but all of the memories I have of us still play in my mind, like we lived them yesterday.

It was summertime; 

I don’t remember much more than that. I was young, and you were older. 

We walked from your house. We walked for blocks, it could’ve been miles, for all I knew. 

I didn’t care though. I just knew that I was one of you now, a big kid

I didn’t care that the sun was burning my skin, or that my mouth was dryer than it’d ever been. 

I didn’t care that I was walking barefoot on million degree blacktop, in the middle of June; I was a big kid now. 

We were walking to a place you’d never talked about before, but I trusted you. 

A pier, in the middle of a suburb. 

My feet drug and my skin began to redden but I ignored it, and I ignored the sickening in my stomach; the ache for a drink. 

I ignored it. I wanted to be good. 

Obedient and good, quiet and cooperative. 

Something you weren’t used to. 

After hours of walking, blistered skin and swollen feet, the pier seemed to appear to us like a mirage in the desert. 

It took all I had inside of my ruined body not to jump off, into the muddy bayou water. 

I would’ve lived the rest of my life with the gators and snapping turtles if it meant you loved me. 

If it meant I was one of you. 

I wanted you. 

To be loved by you

To be loved

We let our feet tease the top of the water, bayou weeds tickling our toes, and mosquitoes biting our ankles. 

I could’ve stayed there forever. 

I wish we would’ve. 

If we were still there, things would be okay. 

Two kids, the gators and the snapping turtles. 

We walked back to your house, though. 

And it was just as hot. 

I remember crying. 

Not because of the blisters on my feet or the skin peeling on my lips or the sun that ripped at the skin on my face. 

But because soon, we’d be parting ways and I didn’t know when I’d see you again. 

Back then, I took our time for granted, I think. 

Now, as I’m writing this, it’s winter. Three years have passed and so have you. 

It’s cold and you’re gone. 

I’ll miss you forever. 

I think about the pier sometimes. 

And I often wonder, if before you went away—did you think about it too?

{July 21st, 1997 - January 28th, 2020}

October 24, 2022 22:39

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Cadence Rager
19:13 Nov 18, 2022

I did give you a like tho.


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Cadence Rager
19:13 Nov 18, 2022

This was confusing. I don't know why or how, it just is.


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