I don’t remember much. I remember the little things; little things that seemed like huge things, if that’s even possible.
There were so many people there when I arrived and yet, I felt so alone. I felt that the huge room in which I entered was empty, but it was full. Dizzy, I walked to my reserved seat and sat down.
Not knowing what to do with myself, the controlling me takes over; is everyone here that should be? Does the place look nice enough? Can everyone please be quiet! Was that someone laughing? How dare they! It takes everything not to turn around in my seat and shoot the laugher my coldest glare.
I feel that I might faint, so dizzy. I wonder if maybe I’m having a heart attack, and whether I might have cancer too.
His music blasts throughout the room. I do love the music; he chose it after all. Every lyric I scrutinize, seeking out the hidden messages from him.
I was asked to speak, or maybe I imagine I was asked. Maybe I felt compelled to; maybe it was he that was asking me. I love to speak, but today? To speak? Whatever would I say? Could I make it up the stairs to the podium without falling? Would my throat even open, it had dried shut.
I spoke, I’m not sure what I said. I spoke as though I were speaking to a group of strangers about a topic I knew a lot about, yet speaking of it in this way was so foreign and uncomfortable.
It ends, and as though instructed, as if following cues I rise from my seat and walk the long, never ending aisle past all of the people. Briefly making eye contact, yet not seeing anyone. Smile – Nod – Smile – Nod --- Mechanical. My way of thanking them for coming.
The front doors open and I’m met with a blast of cold air. The coolness is welcomed for I feel I will surely die of heat. I’m still dizzy, my heart is beating a mile a minute; I’m most definitely having a heart attack. I can’t cry, the tears do not flow. I feel like I should cry, other people cry; I wonder why they can cry and I cannot. Are their tears real?
I’m shuttled to a car. Although I do not sit in the car alone, I do not remember anyone else in the car, not even the driver.
Driving now through the streets I feel anger, and I am cold. I have gone from feeling a feverish heat to shaking, teeth chattering uncontrollably. I did not have enough time to pack proper clothes for the crispness of April. I am angry because everyone outside the car, the people on the sidewalks, the people at the park; they are happy, and they are smiling. Should they not be sad? It is not fair that they continue to live their lives as though nothing is wrong, as though nothing has happened. Do these people not have enough respect to at least stop what they are doing while our car passes?
He was one of them, did they forget that? Did they forget him in their homes, in their classrooms, on their teams? Why were they not there today? Why were they spending their day doing happy and joyful things? So many questions left unanswered.
Arriving, I do not want to get out of the car. I feel like I have worn my cement shoes. It’s not the cold that keeps me glued to my seat; and then suddenly I cannot get out of the car fast enough. I must be the first person to see him. No-one will steal my rightful spot, I will make sure of that.
There is a box, and it sits suspended over a hole. This is not real. I tell myself over and over again that this is a fucking joke. I examine the box, would he be okay with this? Should we have spent the extra money? I look at my feet, I am wearing ridiculous shoes for a cold spring day, and I hope that no one notices.
Staring at the box, someone speaks. Everyone stands around, their coats pulled around their necks tight, sheltering themselves from the wind. I decide that I am going to freeze. I let the wind find its way into my light jacket; I let it freeze my toes in my open-toed-inappropriate shoes. Freezing is the least I could do. How could I ever complain about anything else after this?
We linger, at least I imagine we do. People disperse; standing alone I wonder what just happened. The box has been lowered into the ground, but where is he? Surely he is not in the box. He would be so cold in there; I imagine he is in the wind that bites at my ears.
I’m loaded back into the car. It stinks and I’m hot; I might pass out. We can’t drive away, we cannot leave him here all by himself in a hole, in the ground. The car slowly drives and I brace the seat with my nails, wait! We’re forgetting him, we’re leaving him behind!
I turn in my seat. I can now cry and I do, but quietly; tears flowing freely down my cheeks, collecting on my chin, falling to my neck.
I stare at the hole and I wait. I promise god that if I see him crawl out of that hole, that I will do anything. He doesn’t come, he doesn’t crawl out of the hole, and I never say goodbye.