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Fiction Drama Speculative

It had been twenty-four years since she'd last seen it, but the place looked exactly the same. Not even the decor had changed. She had told herself that coming here would help to soothe the pain and anger she felt but standing here, in the hall that would serve as her father's funeral hall, she felt nothing at all.

She walked through the hall, avoiding the curious gaze people threw her way. It was no surprise no one knew her. She had disappeared for years and only came back when her father was dead. In a way, she was the prodigal daughter. The child who was never wanted nor needed. As she moved, the confidence she had gotten from different motivational books and her husband was slowly waning. 

"Sara" a voice called 

She knew the owner of the voice and turned immediately. It was her younger brother, Aidan. The years had been kind to him. He looked smart in his two piece suit and was currently twirling a yo-yo as he walked towards her. All the words she had practiced to use when she saw him was momentarily forgotten.

"So we're officially orphans" He said with a little laugh

All she did in response was to nod her head.

"When did you come into town ?" He said again, now twirling the yo-yo

"Yesterday evening" she replied

"You should have called me" he said 

"I didn't want to disturb you. With the funeral and every other things"

He laughed loudly at her response

"what preparation ? Look at this place. It is just as the same as the day we buried mom. Heck, even the people here are almost the same"

"Yeah, I noticed" 

"Sara, how are you ?. Don't say you're fine or those other nonsense you usually say. Even you are a good liar through the phone, you actually suck in reality" He said walking towards the aisle.

She followed him silently.

The aisle held different people who were there to give their condolence to them. They moved slowly with smiles as they nod and appreciated everyone who offered a kind word for their dead father. When everyone had gotten to their seat, Aidan held her hands and whispered in her ears,

"It is time"

She tensed as she heard the words. She had been preparing for their moment for months and she still wasn't prepared. Aidan's grip on her hands tightened, she looked at him,

"I know. I am ready" she said

"Don't be too hard on the old man" he said with a strained smile 

After few minutes of silence, he signals the funeral manager to start. He looked at her again and she slowly removed her hand from his sweaty ones and walks to the podium. 

The microphone felt cold against her hands. The guests immediately quietened as they saw her. All looks of sobriety and mourning seem to have vanished from their eyes, the only thing there was curiosity. She cleared her throat softly and began,

"Good evening everyone. Thank you for coming out with us to send our final farewell" 

She didn't feel any sort of happiness there. The only thing she wanted to do now was to take a flight and go back home. She had already given her farewell to her father a long time ago. 

"My father was a beloved man. The strongest and kindest man that I have ever met. He raised my brother and I with love. There was never a day when I didn't see a smile on my father's face" she paused and looked at the guests.

Some of them were dabbing their handkerchief on their eyes and others have nods of affirmation. Aidan, on the other hand, had a scowl on his face. James Harrison, their father, was anything but a beloved and good father. He only ever had wicked taunting smiles for his children. Days spent hiding under their beds from his drunken hands were never going to be forgotten in a hurry.

"After the death of our mother, my father spent all his times looking after us and we were little Chipmunks who drove him nuts. Jumping on the couch and on the bed. Using Flour and ketchup as paints for the kitchen" .

The guests snickered and laughed. She was used to funerals to the lies she had to spawned for them. She knew how to weave false tales about the dead. During her mother's funeral, her father had held her ears and told her to better tell a good story. So she turned her alcoholic debt infused mother to a saint. The same happened with her uncles and aunts whom she was forced to spawn tales for. 

Slowly and slowly, she filled the guest up with stories that never happened. Tales of a father that never existed. She made sure they awwwwed and ohhhhed and cried. By the time she was done with her eulogy, the guests were in tears.

The funeral was done and done. All that was left was for her to take her bags and run away. 

"Sara, you're not planning to run away, right ?" Aidan said with a smirk

"No, not at all"

They both sat on the seat, watching the coffin of their father. The only thing left was them, their heartbeats and a dead man. 

"I'm sorry" she said

He doesn't respond. 

"I am sorry. I am really sorry. I didn't know what else to do" she said again

He doesn't respond. He brings out the yo-yo and starts twirling it.

"Aidan"

"Yeah"

"I'm fine" 

"Ehn ?" He looked at her surprised.

"You asked before if I was okay "

"Oh, that's good then"

Silence descended upon them again.

After some time, Aidan spoke up

"Let's say our final farewell to the old man" He walked to the casket and tapped on it.

"We've already said our farewells, all that's left is for him to be thrown six feet under" she replied

" Not that fake rite. The real ones. The ones that has been dying to fall from your lips"

"If you insist" she said as she walked towards the casket

"Dearest father, I thank you for everything that you never did. For the scars you left behind, for the people you've taken away from me and for the pain you've caused. At last, you're dead now and I have never felt happier"

"Do you think it hurt when he died ?" She asked.

"I don't know. Haven't seen him in years" he paused "someone called me. Not sure who the person is. She said 'come pick your old man's body from my house'. I went there and lo and behold. He paused again and walked to his seat.

"You should have seen her, Sara. Rainbow hair, a pack of cigarette and nasty attitude. I think the old man was doing her. Maybe that's how all he spends all the money I send him" He laughed as he rounds up the story.

She sits on the floor near the coffin. She knew he was lying. He had something to do with it.

"So Sara, tell me about you. Everything you've been up to. I know your flight leaves in the morning. So we have all night."

"I guess so. Just me, you and Dad" she said quietly

"Yeah, like old times"

Throughout the night, she told him stories of everything that truly happened. He laughed and shared his little bottle of rum. After all was said and done, they only had themselves and that was all that mattered.

November 16, 2020 10:23

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