Buried Secrets

April 22, 2012
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I stood on the outskirts of the plot, on the grass in my crepe black dress, trying to stop crying. Fifteen is too old to cry, isn't it? Well, judging by the entire white-haired group shedding tears like it was going out of style, no, but I have more of a reputation. I miserably watched the priest exclaim something about “the good Lawrence Wells, who no doubt is in Heaven now!” Why do priests really get into the habit of exclaiming everything? They could just talk; that’d be fine by me. Anyway, the guy didn't even know my father, so all of this talk about him being a great guy is –although true- rather meaningless.

I sniffled, thinking about my dad. He would always come home tired but happy, and he was very thoughtful. He loved spending time with me and my mom, and his favorite food was pasta with a lemon-and-herb sauce. He went for walks, whistling and telling stories as he went. He would always say “I love you” to me and my mom every night when he was home, and he thought education was very important.

I bet this hoping-for-a-promotion priest doesn’t know that he always did service, from helping the neighbors move in, to helping the kids at the day care learn how to play baseball. I smiled, thinking of the story. It had all gone pretty well, until one little boy hit one of the workers pretty hard. My dad rushed over to apologize, and they got married a year later. The boy was their ring-bearer. My dad liked to say, laughing, that the ball was Cupid’s arrow, just updated a bit for the twenty-first century.

I heard a loud noise, and jumped. Literally, which would be embarrassing, except for the fact that nobody noticed. Whenever I was skittish, my dad would always be there to give me a hug— when he was home from the army, that is. His green eyes would dance, and my green eyes would light up as well. He would also ruffle my long, light-brown hair and tell me I was beautiful, even though I wasn't sure he was right. Saddened by this memory, I turned around, melancholy and irritated, wishing for a pillow or Five-Hour Energy (although I had heard that it tastes gross). I’ve never been that much of an energy-shots fan, but now might be the time to start.

Slowly, I realized that the noise was a crowd of kids, about my age, trooping through the cemetery. They were all wearing bright colors, and talking loudly. Their optimism and irreverence made me want to throw something, or at least become irate, which I did. Their bright-colored shirts and short shorts and skirts contrasted harshly with my stupid black dress. It was too frilly and itchy, as well. Why can’t anyone make non-itchy black dresses? It shouldn't be a new concept or anything.

Every time my mind wandered onto a happier topic, I thought about my father. He was truly alive. He, with his dark brown hair and charismatic smile, made everyone happy when he walked into a room. He had a good sense of humor, and the other soldiers completely respected them. My mother and I loved him so much, and now we’d never know what is, or was, inside his head.
Thinking about this made my head ache. He was the first person to break my heart.
The priest intoned more gobbledygook about my father being “a wonderful man who was truly spiritual”, and the casket was lowered into the grave. He looked somewhat cheerful even during death. The bitterness of fate drove a deep pike into my heart, as well as my thoughts. He shouldn’t be gone; he was a good man. After a few feeble, whispered condolences, everyone went home. The priest, who knew close-to-nothing about my father (although he probably prided himself on his extraordinary knowledge), thanked us for coming. My mother and I got into her car and continued home, our silence combining with the deep void that started a week ago, when he killed himself.

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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

EPluribusUnum This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 26, 2012 at 8:41 pm
Wow. This is really good, I could almost feel the narrator's pain as I read it. I don't get sad easily, so congrats.
KatsK This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm
Thanks for all of your support! I really appreciate the feedback. This is why I write-- I'm glad I made you happy. If you have any constructive criticism, let me know. Also if you have any other article you want me to look over, I'd be happy to return the favor. 
EPluribusUnum This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm
You're very welcome. I'd love to check out some more of your writing as soon as I get the time. And I'd be happy to return the favor if you look over anything of mine. I hate choosing one aricle over the others to suggest, so if you want to read any of my work I'd suggest just browsing through the titles and reading whatever jumps out at you. I've got all kinds of articles up on here, and some attemted art too.
EPluribusUnum This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 30, 2012 at 4:51 pm
Oops, attempted, not attemted.
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