As we all get out of the car, I can already feel the gazes on us. Stares full of pity and sympathy, others full of judgment and disgust. I simply just want to yell and cry at the world again. That’s the best thing I can possibly think of at the moment to feel relaxed. The way I feel, we feel, can’t be fully described in words.
We take a seat at the very front row, in the family are. We are the only ones sitting there since we basically don’t have any family left besides my aunt. We are seated in front of the dark brown coffin which from now on, it’s a home for my beloved brother. It is closed; I thank God, as I’m not courageous enough to look at him dead in a coffin. I look around me to see who’s here and who’s not. I spot Mike’s close friends seated at the front on the other side; their face holding sorrow. However, I can only send hatred feelings towards them. They knew what he was doing. I am sure of it; otherwise he would be here, with me. He would still be alive. He would still be the athletic and humorous Mike who everybody simply loved. He would still be here.
There aren’t a lot of people I know. There are some other young adults who I figure were either his colleges or friends from high school. I also notice some neighbours, who are probably here to show empathy. Then, I notice someone. He is next to a tree, but eventually starts walking to the very last row. While he was walking he sees me. He looks through me, fixing his cold eyes in mine. My jaw drops open and I can feel my hands turn cold. I’m suddenly frightened. His face holds a daunting smirk which makes me shiver. His dark presence makes me faintly aware of the two huge bodies behind him, holding him from his arms. He turns his gaze away from me as he takes a seat. Flashbacks haunt my mind and I squeeze my eyes closed as if they will go away. I turn to my mother who’s on my left and whisper in her ear.
“What is he doing here?” I hiss, my voice showing a hint of hatred and fear. She looks around the crowd and when her gaze fixes on someone, I can tell she knows who I’m talking about.
“Beth, calm down,” she comforts, putting her arm around my shoulders and the other one around my head. I feel her soft lips place a kiss on my cold forehead. I wait for her to continue. “He’s his father, Bethany, your father.”
I snap away from her hold and growl quietly at her, hoping no one is eavesdropping. “He never was and never will be our father!”
As soon as I finish my sentence, the minister steps behind the microphone and says what he has to. Despite the amount of people at the funeral, I feel very alone. Alone and frightened at the presence of my father, as I hate to call him.
After a few minutes, the minister stops talking. He asks my mother if she wants to say a few words but she immediately rejects the offer by shaking her head. I know she can’t handle saying a word about her dead son. I look at her and without over thinking, I stand up and walk behind the mice. If she’s not going to speak, I must. I take a deep breath and look up. Everyone is looking at me, waiting for me to start. I open my mouth and soft words come out of my mouth.
“Mike wasn’t a bad person,” I start. “He still isn’t. I prefer that we focus on the way he lived rather than how he died.” I don’t know how else to put it. I know there are and will be a lot of people talking about his death, and a lot will be judging him and I don’t want that. He did nothing that bad to deserve all the things that will probably be said about him after the funeral. “He was a good guy, and a good brother, and a great son. He was a loyal friend and a hard worker. We can’t judge him and his whole life because of one mistake.” It still hurts to let the fact of my brother’s death to soak in. I try so hard not to cry but my eyes betray me. Tears brim over my eyes, and I blink, letting them run down my cold cheeks. I stay quiet for a few moments and then finally speak. “Thank you.” I walk away from the mice and look at the closed coffin for a few seconds. I bring my hand to my lips and place a kiss softly on my fingers and touch the coffin, as to kiss goodbye and sit on the uneven folding chair. Suddenly I feel something in me detach and fly up, up into the blue brilliance: and I know that whatever my brother did, he is in a better place.
We all get up but I decide to walk away as they put the coffin underground. I don’t feel like watching my brother get buried. I walk through the cemetery until I find a small bench and sit on it. I sit alone and look down at my lap while I sob. Basically, I’m now full on sobbing. I feel someone walk towards me but think that’s just a visitor visiting someone’s grave. However, I’m wrong.
“Hello Bethany,” I hear a cold voice say. I look up and a big manly figure shadows me. My mouth opens and I suddenly feel scared and fully aware that the figure was no visitor. It was my father. I look around and search for the other two men who were with him before. I don’t like the idea of being alone with him. I find them behind a tree not far away. I get up from the bench and walk away from him, almost falling over my own feet. I hear him follow me and push myself to walk faster.
“What are you doing here?” I say. The words come out in a harsh tone, and I don’t regret it.
“I’m your father-”
“No you’re not,” I almost yell. I don’t stop walking and I try my best to lose him but it doesn’t seem to work.
“I need to talk to you, Beth,” he tells me, his voice slightly rising. I know he is still following me, and I desperately hope the other two men are as well.
“That’s what you said the first time,” I snap back. I don’t put much detail in my reference because I know he knows what I’m referring to. Unexpectedly, I feel his arm grab mine as he turns me around swiftly to face him. I try to fight him off, and when I do I move away from him.
“Listen to me carefully,” I yell at him, pointing my finger as I speak. “You have no right to come here, to this funeral and pretend that you have respect for this family. You have no right!” I know I’m on the edge of crying but I continue anyways. “You never were and never will be our father. Now go away, and never ever touch me or speak to me again. I hate you.” I try to put my words in a clear way as possible and I don’t even care that hatred is laced in my voice. After I am done shouting at him I run back to my aunt and mother, hoping he wasn’t following.
The rest of the day goes by in a blur, thank God. I don’t want to remember it. The presence of my father giving me more reason not to. I look at the clock and it’s nine o’ clock. I am already in my pyjamas and settled in bed. I have no intention of reading since I’m tired as hell. Anyways, I am too miserable to read. I don’t feel like going to school tomorrow, but I know I have to. This is the last year at high school and I have to do my best. I need to make my brother proud. I know he is still around me, even though I can’t see him. His soul is still here with us even if his body isn’t. I will make him proud. Then, I close my eyes and let my mind and eyes relax from all the sobbing and ugly thoughts that haunted my mind after seeing my dad at the funeral.