Only Sleeping: The Funeral This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

May 20, 2011
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She looked awkward in her black dress. She had worn it once before and that was for her grandfather. She had never thought that she would be wearing it here and now and for Timothy. There were no sounds of life around her except for her lonely, unsteady breathing. The priest had left and they hadn't yet come to lock him in his gleaming, black box and cover him with dirt and worms.

She grabbed a white fold up chair and pulled it close to him. She had to sit for this. She wanted to slam the coffin shut and run to his room to see him sitting there on his bed writing a song. But she couldn't. Because he was here. Nowhere else. She hated how they dressed him in a suit. He looked stiff and uncomfortable, almost as if he was asleep having a bad dream, but maybe that was because he was dead. She gently touched her fingers to his hand. It wasn't cold like she had expected, but it wasn't warm; full of life.

"Hey honey." The words slipped from her mouth before she could stop them. She half expected a reply but wasn't surprised when she didn't get one. Dead boys don't talk. "I just wanted you to know... I love you. I don't see why this ever had to happen. Why didn't you just call me? Were you scared?" She imagined his skinny hands forcing the pills into his mouth and slowly picking up the glass of water only to end it all. "I just don't know how I'll get you out of this situation. Maybe that was the problem. I always wanted to fix your situations. And the one time I wasn't there to help, you fixed it. Permanently."

She remembered something the priest had said, "God shall give this young man beautiful wings to take away his pain."

"I know you're afraid of heights, Timothy, but please use those beautiful wings to soar above the clouds. Nothing can hurt you now. And neither can anyone." A gentle breeze blew through the red and orange leaves of the trees and the first leaf of fall fell to the ground. She watched as the leaf came to gently rest on the soft grass and knew he was watching as her tears fell down her face and on to his. Her tears rolled down his cheeks as if they were crying the same tears of lose. But they were very different. She had lost a best friend and he had lost a future. "It's weird to think that you were holding my hand three days ago. I always loved how your hands fit so perfectly in mine. How I never wanted to let go. And we hardly ever did. I loved how I knew my hand would always find yours again if I strayed to far. But never again will I feel your hands in mine. Never again will I know that I will get to see your green eyes after I have had a break up with the latest boy friend. Never again will we make fun of a new song. Never again will we have Kodak moments. Never again... I love you... I love you so much its ridiculous. You will always be in my heart. Even though you're gone I know you're still here." And she knew he was. And he was going to be looking over her. Making sure she didn't get to lost along the way.

She looked down at his hair that rustled in the breeze. She ran her hand through that black mass that never stayed flat and knew it would be the last time she would feel its softness against her skin. She wanted to never lose this feeling. She wanted to never lose him.

"Miss. We have to bury him now. We're sorry but its going to rain and we have to get it done before then."

"Oh, okay. Just let me say good bye please."

"Okay. We'll give you five minutes."

"Okay." She looked back to his face and wished he would open his eyes. Just one more time she needed to see his eyes. "Honey, I have to go. But I love you and I will talk to you soon.

She slowly bent over and kissed his forehead for the last time. As she walked away from his black box she felt his hand in hers. Never again was already over. As she walked home it started to rain. The sky was crying with her over the lost of a beautiful boy. She walked home in the rain with his hand in hers, knowing he still loved her.





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