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Drew Ewing, 27 Sep '12

As the crowd gathered under the large white tent, the noon sun was still warming the cool autumn morning. Men and women in black suits and skirts stood beneath the canopy, some stood in small groups talking while corralling energetic kids, others sat silent and stared. Some of them held hands and some wiped away tears as the priest collected a small stack of crisp papers from a table in front of the rows of brown folding chairs and began gathering himself at a small oak podium.

"Is it strange watching your own funeral?" asked a young man sitting on a rock some distance from the commotion under the tent. His eyes were fixed on the front row, four chairs, all occupied, a man in a charcoal suit and three children all too dressed in black, all except for, the youngest girl, maybe six, had a large purple flower, maybe a rose, tucked high in her hair. The young man turned toward his companion on the rock. "We don't have to be here."

"I have no where else to be," she said, her eyes fixed on the front row.

"We can go anywhere. Anywhere at all." He reached out and rested his palm on the back of her hand sitting in her lap.

"They're all here. Even my mom."

He watched as her as she spoke, seeing her lips trace each word as it came out. Her long blond hair hung motionless in the rising breeze. "Where is she?" he asked turning back to the growing crowd.

"She's the taller blonde sitting behind my husband in the front. The shorter woman next to her is my sister Tracey."

They sat perched on the rock. Both of them quiet for sometime. He scooted a little closer to her, his hand still clasped over hers.

"I thought it would be weirder than this," she said.

"What's that?"

"You asked me earlier, if it was strange being at my own funeral."

The priest lifted his head to the crowd and began speaking. The young man leaned forward, feigning to hear his words to the now seated gathering. After realizing that he wouldn't make much out from this distance he leaned back and turned to her. Her bangs obscured her eyes enough that he had to wonder if she was crying. He forced back the urge to reach up and brush the errand strands from her eyes.

Instead, he adjusted himself on the rock. It caused him to grimace and reach his free hand down and to grasp his left side.

"Does it still hurt?" she asked. She turned her head a little toward him.

"Ya. Like it just happened?"

"Do you think that means anything?" she asked.

"I don't know. Like what?"

"Maybe it means you're getting better. And you will still wake up."

"Maybe."

"What would you do if you woke up?"

"I would find them. All of them," he said clinching his teeth.

"Does that even still matter? After everything that happened what can that fix?"

"They have to pay for what they did!" he raised his voice.

"Hurting them won't keep my husband from marrying another woman and it won't keep my babies safe."

"How can you sit there and defend what they did, like it doesn't matter?"

She turned and looked him directly in the eyes, "Excuse me?"

"How can you sit here and defend the men that killed you?"

"I'm not!"

"It's a matter of justice. And that might actually matter to your family. Even if it doesn't mean anything to you."

She jerked her hand from under his. "You're way outta line right now."

"Did you forget they didn't only kill you?"

"They didn't kill you did they?"

He clinched his fists and lifted himself off of the rock with them.

He looked down at her. "I've had enough sitting here." He turned away from her and stepped off of the rock and onto the dry grass.

"And where are you going to go now?"

He didn't answer.

"Are you going to go back to the hospital and ask yourself what's next?"

He turned back. "What's that supposed to mean."

"It means as long as you're laying in that hospital bed, you're stuck, here, with me." She stood and faced him. "Does it really mean that much to find who did this? Will that help you accept it all?"

"I don't know."

"They were there to rob the vault. Nothing more." She crossed her arms.

"Let's say you're right. If they were there to do nothing but to take some damn money. What reason did they have for shooting all of us?"

"Finding out why they did it, won't change the fact that I'm dead, Rebecca is dead, and you may never wake up."

"You're wrong."

"Okay. Please do tell me what it will solve?" she asked stepping off of the rock.

"Plenty."

"Go on."

"It means I get to hurt the people that hurt you."

"And will that make you feel better?"

He walked up to her, his fists clinched so tight that his arms were shaking.

"So will it?" she asked.

"No." He looked down at her bare feet.

"Then what's going to make you feel better?"

He looked up at her. She raised both of her eyebrows high above her emerald eyes.

"I'll listen, if you'll just tell me." She almost smiled.

He stared into her eyes as he leaned forward. He reached up and grabbed the back of her head and pulled her against him. "I want to kill the men that murdered the woman I love."

And he kissed her.

Comments · 1

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  • Anthony Blackshaw said...

    One small typo (He watched *as* her as) really enjoyed the burst :)

    • Posted 5 years ago