I gazed at her pale white skin and flowing black hair, with awe. Her hair was tied back with a simple red ribbon, and her white dress covered her body like a dome. The pale, pink laces were just decoration, but they added a splash of colour to her pale skin. Her ruby red lips were taut, in a straight line. I tried to smile, a smile that said, “Hey, I’m happy! Nothing wrong here!” But I failed, miserably and the tears just started to pour down my cheeks. I grabbed her limp hand, lying by her side and gave it a gentle squeeze. I could almost feel the blood pulsing through her veins, if only that was actually happening right now.
A hand lightly touched my shoulder and the presence of an actual living, breathing human, consumed the air. There was a loud sigh, than she spoke, stronger and more proud than ever before. “She was so beautiful.” Verna, my Grandmother, who was my mother’s Mom, then gently took a step toward the coffin, the smell of roses and honey filling the air. Her hand had a firm grip onto the side of the cherry wood coffin, her other inside the coffin, caressing my mother’s powdered face.
An annoying humming sound buzzed in my ear and I turned around to glare angrily at all the cheerful people in the center of the room, laughing along to a joke and choking on their drinks, spilling cookie crumbs all over the floor. Were they even here to say their final goodbyes to my Mom, or are they here for a joyride?
I balled my hands in tight little fists at the sides of my black dress and took a deep breath, then screamed at the top of my lungs. The room went quiet except for the glass of wine that slipped out of a middle aged woman’s fingers and shattering on the red carpet, pieces of glass scattered around the room. In a matter of seconds, dozens of wide eyes were focused on me, with utter disbelief. Verna didn’t move a budge, and didn’t seem to care what just happened. Right now her mind was focused on my Mom, like everybody else should be.
“Well then, now that your all paying attention,” I walked out into the middle of the room and stood on a small table, clearing my throat. “Last time I checked, you were all here for my mother’s wake, correct?” A bunch of tiny heads bobbed up in down. Some people still in shock, others, well, I was basically controlling them with my speech. “Good. I hope you all realize that my grandmother and I came to say our final goodbyes to the woman we love.” By now, there were a few people crying into their sleeves and others were coughing, trying to hide their muffled sobs. “Thank you.” I slid off the table, and without looking back, just went straight to the coffin. My grandmother started laughing to herself and I squinted at her frail little body, confused. “What’s so funny?”
She shook her head. “What you did out there…” She smiled. “She would have been so proud. I’m proud.” She gave me a loving hug, than kissed my mother’s forehead and went to go sit at the table, exhausted from all the crying.
I sat there for a moment, alone with my Mother, tears still streaming down my face. I smirked. “Did you like my performance out there, Mom?” I laughed. “I can almost feel you scolding me right now for what I did, in public, especially with these nice clothes on.” Another giggle escaped my mouth and I started hiccupping. “I miss you, Mom. I want you back.” Tears slid down my cheeks and onto the dark fabric.
I glanced back at my grandmother and gave an approving nod, time to go. I took one more look at my mother, and gently bent down to her ear. I gulped, and the words just poured out of my mouth, before I even got the chance to control them. They glided out into the open, knowing that somewhere, she can hear me. “I will come back for you.”