Identity

This is my entry for the Spring Picture Prompt contest.
We're burying Amy today. She died a few days ago, finally succumbing to the disease that destroyed her life, the illness the doctors said they could cure. Sometimes I still see her, when I turn around, when I stop remembering. No one should die that young, and certainly not my best friend.

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1. The Boy with the Pink Balloons

The tears in my eyes nearly blinded me as I stood beside my best friend's newly-dug grave, watching her family say their goodbyes. I have to say, it was a nice grave, with a newly carved headstone and everything. The inscription read "Live, Laugh, Love," which was Amy's favorite quote. All in all, I thought she would have been proud of her final resting place, her final farewell ceremony.

Until I saw him. I'd thought I was pushing the limits, wearing bright red heels with my traditional black suit, and they had drawn quite a few stares and gasps from the other mourners. But I looked like nothing beside this... this atrocity.

He wore tight blue jeans and a short sleeved button-up shirt, his hair long and falling over his eyes so that I couldn't tell where he was looking. But even his black-and-white stripes paled under what he held. There were seven of them. Bright pink, so intense they hurt just to look at. The balloons bobbed in the scant breeze, drawing every eye to them.

No one paid any attention to the rest of the funeral as we watched in outraged shock as the boy stood at the back of our little gathering. Finally, when it was over, the attendees drifted away, a few to visit their own family members interred here, the rest to their cars and their lives, leaving Amy here, forgotten and alone. Only her family, the boy and myself remained of her friends.

When I couldn't take it any longer, I turned back to the boy - only to find him watching me, his eyes piercing into me. "How could you bring those... those things here!?" I scream-whispered, fighting my rising hysteria. He watched me calmly as I pulled myself together, wiping the lingering tears from my cheeks and smearing my mascara even more. Still the pink monstrosities floated there, now just above my head, as if I was somehow connected to their blasphemy.

"I thought it would be appropriate." His reply was delivered with a smirk and a short glance at the mound of dirt that hid my best friend from sight.

"Appropriate to brink pink balloons to a funeral? To Amy's funeral? For God's sakes you douche, she died of breast-cancer!" I didn't even bother with the whispering, but Amy's family didn't even notice over their own sobs.

The boy looked at me long and hard, his eyes locked on mine and refusing to let me go. "I know," he finally whispered, almost reverently.

I was flabbergasted to say the least. "How do you know?" He didn't answer, so I stepped closer, my face only inches from his. "How do you know that? How? No one was supposed to know. Her family doesn't want anyone to know that!"

The boy grabbed my shoulders and squeezed them, and I had a sudden, intense burst of hatred for him. Here he was, flaunting his disrespect - and now he had the audacity to tell me that he knew she'd died of cancer? But his gaze was calm, collected. "I was in the room when she died."

"No you weren't," I whispered to him. "No, you can't have been, because I was there and I've never seen you before."

He smiled at me, one quick smirk that made me shiver. "I was. I was because I am you."

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