Featured post

Featured Post: Introduction

INTRODUCTION About Me Hiii everyone, I'm Etheray! I'm a teenage girl who loves writing more than anything  in the entire ...

Thursday, 19 October 2017

SHORT STORY #23: That's My Best Friend

Here's a story I wrote in response to a writing prompt, in a writers' group on facebook! I hope this will touch you deeply :)

Story prompt: Write about a funeral from a dead person's view point. 

#23: That’s my best friend
I hear crying. It's depressing, the awfully pitiful crying voices, so unlike the bawl of a baby with a spoilt toy, or the sob of a teenager who failed his exams. 
As the first hand touches my coffin, I open my eyes. I float up and levitate above the casket, as if it is all so normal, as if this blurry, pale blue form is one I have assumed all my life. 
The owner of that hand is my father. His face is weary, albeit tearless, but I know it is the hardest for him. Who else if not him must be there to assure the family that everything will be alright? 
My mother is crying, of course. I am happy that she has father, that she isn't the one needing to hold it all together for the sake of the family. She wipes her tears away, fiercely, as new ones fill her eyes. 
My two sisters, Lucy and Lisa, flank my mother on both sides. Lisa clings to mother's right leg, she doesn't understand what's happening, but she can sense something isn't right. Lucy is standing on tiptoes, peering at my lifeless face, using the frame of my casket as support. My father says something sternly to her in a sharp voice. She takes her hands away, and pries her eyes off me. Immediately after, she bawls loudly. No one would play at mock battle with her anymore. Her smiling doll lies at the foot of my casket, long forgotten. Mother, who is crying herself, tells Lucy not to cry. 
But it is only my best friend, sitting alone among the masses, that touches my heart most. Reflexively, I silently curse myself for being so mindless and naive, for even letting myself hesitate to think if anyone else could be more important, more dear to me than my own family. 
But where were they? I think to myself. Where were they when I needed them? I recall their indifferent, busy faces; their annoyed brush-offs. Even Lisa. He thinks of her when she has mother's ipad sitting on her lap. Kids nowadays, with all their noisy, high-tech devices. 
My best friend is moving her lips, probably memorising an eulogy written for me. She was the one who was there for me. She was the one who squirted orange juice in my face when I was weeping and blubbering over something trivial, then snapped a picture of me with her phone and showed it to me, making me burst out laughing. She was always the one. I love her so much, she means the entire world to me. I feel an ache in my heart at the thought of losing her. 
No, I tell myself. No. It's not wrong that she means so much more to me. I close my eyes for a while, forgiving myself, gradually letting go of the guilt of putting my family second. 
I glance around again. I have that feeling of wanting to take in every single thing, just like that feeling I got during my holiday in the hills, the feeling of wanting to just absorb and record everything in my mind, and pen it all down. Only this time, my purpose isn't to get writing inspirations.
It really, really is so peculiar. Everyone is sobbing uncontrollably, crying my name, mourning my death; while here I am, watching them. And there's another thing: before I jumped, I felt as if I was already dying. But now, I feel very much alive. 
There are only a few people left in the line. I don't have much time left. I kiss father, mother, Lucy and Lisa's heads. I forgive you, I will always be with you in spirit, I whisper. Then I float over to my best friend to say goodbye.
She memorises the last of the eulogy. She leans back in her chair.
And she smiles. It’s funny how a mere smile usually seems to mean nothing, but in a funeral can make almost everyone stare at you in surprise. It is a genuine, happy smile, not a forced one. I can feel her recalling all our memories together, all the fun we had, our petty quarrels. I can feel her rejoicing that I’d existed, not shedding tears because I have left. And what’s more, she knows that in truth, I have never left.
The last hand leaves the top of my coffin. I feel a force dragging me back into my original body. I wrap my transparent hands around her. I tell her in my heart that I love her, before succumbing to the powerful beckoning.

That’s my best friend, I think. You’re doing just as I told you to.

Copyright Rachel Tan, June 2017.

No comments:

Post a Comment