3. The First Goodbye
There were so many different faces, I hardly recognized. Who were these people? As they all stood there with their sad outworn faces, I felt like the heavy stone in my stomach had finally dropped - it had finally left my body. I looked around with the feeling that half of the people participating in the funeral were a part of this shameless masquerade, just like myself. Half of them did not even know my sister that well. And some of them, some of them were the reason why I now had to bury my 10-year-old sister, Amy. I once again felt the anger. The corrosive anger, which burned on my inside. They took Amy's life with an impeccable ease and now they were coming for me. The Faces. Some time ago, I had found out it was something that had run in my family for many years. But at that time, I would never have guessed the consequences.
"Viooolet! Look at me," Amy yelled with a big grin. Her freckles made her look so young and innocent. And her little pink tutu fluttered in the wind as she jumped off the swing. "Be careful!" I ran towards the little girl who had landed straight on her butt. I bit my lip, if my little sister was hurt I knew who would be blamed. As I offered the little blonde girl my hand, she looked up. Our eyes met. We were sisters. But I knew I had to take my precautions. She looked so young and innocent in her little tutu skirt. But I knew. Amy reached for my hand sending me a smile. "I love you," she said.
My mother pushed me gently on the arm, and I looked at her. Even though the years had left their marks, the tiny eye wrinkles and the grey hairs, she was still beautiful. Her mild face send me a sad smile. "We have to go outside now, sweetie," she pointed toward Amy's coffin where six men prepared for the lift. She was going to be buried. In the ground. It felt unrealistic. She had always been there, and I had always been the one to look out for her. For Amy. Nobody else had had the guts to. It had been difficult - even life threatening at times - but I had felt the obligation to do it. Not because of Amy but for the sake of my family. My mother. My father. Myself. My heart skipped a beat. My father. It had been so long and I had nearly forgot his face. But his eyes. I remembered his eyes very clearly. He had been the one who looked after Amy at the beginning. But my family's biggest fear had turned into reality one cold December morning. I shuddered.
The Faces had followed the coffin out of the church. They all looked nervously around knowing it was time. The priest looked at my mother and me and then nodded a few times to the crowd. Then he started. His voice was humming the words like it was some kind of voodoo ritual, and everything seemed so dark and gloomy - but not sincere.
I looked up into the sky. I did not believe in God, heaven, or anything sacred. Despite that fact, I felt something inside, something growing inside of me. I wanted him to be there so badly. My father. He could have told me what I should do next because as I stood there, empty and discouraged, I wanted the answers more than anything. I remembered how beautiful his funeral had been despite the unfortunate circumstances, which had let to his death. I looked at my mother and leaned towards her. "I miss him more than anything, mother," I whispered. She embraced me. Her body was shivering because of the cold, unkind weather, "I miss him, too. Oh Violet, I miss him, too."
As we stood there embracing each other, on that cold November day, with the priest's sad monotonous humming in the background, I looked up. My eyes met one of the Faces' eyes. They were frosty grey and had no sadness in them whatsoever. The gaze he send me made my heart freeze as I felt his gaze penetrating my heart and backbones, and that was the moment I knew. They would be coming for me this night. This cold November night I would be next.