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I watch as the crande lowers a tree into the warm spring earth. The snow having long since melted coaxed green things to life. The crane creaks loudly as the tree, your tree is lowered down to have its roots rested in the waiting earth. It's so loud that even the speaker has to cover her ears.
There is a sigh of relief when the tree is gracelessly dropped into the hole with a dull thud. The sound resonates through the ground. I feel it travel through my feet and rattle in my stomach. I don't like the finality of it all, it almost feels as if the tree has simply given up and decided to lay there for the rest of eternity, that nothing could be changed. It reminds me of the day I had found out you were dead how the idea just landed in my head and refused to move.
Everyone stands quietly as the speaker begins her speech. I don't know why they chose her to talk, she doesn't know much about you, she just spews general semi-awkward sentences that the crowd eats up. I wish they'd asked me I could tel everyone how much you loved the bestles and that crooked grin you would get when you were happy. The speaker knows none of those things so she leaves them out. I feel the pressure of the things left unsaid weighing on my heart.
After her speech, your parents step up, seeming to have forgotten all the evil that you could do paint you as a saint. They don't mention the pot you used to carry on you at all times like a life line, don't metion the huge fight you had before you disappeared.
I suppose that's what happens when you die, any memories of you are placed on a golden pedestal, sins are erased, personality cleansed of all its defects. By the time people finish the person they describe isn't even you anymore, it's who they wanted you to be.
At the end of the ceremony when all is said and done, I approach the tree to read the plaque, your name is on it in big golden letters that contrast with the black background. Beneath your name, it reads, Still moving foreward.
I suppose it's supposed to make people feel better, making it seem like you just left to another school instead of being buried 6 feet under. It doesn't make sense to me anyway, because trees don't move forward they move up. But I suppose they couldn't put, Moving On Up on the plaque instead because that sounds like a gospel number.
I look up at the tree, it's a cherry blossom tree, its flowers soft and pink. I remember the conversation we had about it once.
It was after school a few years ago by the cherry blossom trees.
"I love these trees," I said stroking the soft petals of the flowers.
"Really?" you said your nose crinkling in digust, "I hate them."
"Because when they fall they're ugly."
"Yeah but for a short time, they're beautiful."
"Now they're beautiful but in a week they will become something ugly and people's memories will make them more beautiful to compensate for their ugliness."
"Nothing has a right to be more beautiful in death then it was alive. And anyway I just hate cherry blossoms."