April 6, 2009
By Scarlette Sutton BRONZE, Newhaven, California
Scarlette Sutton BRONZE, Newhaven, California
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments

If you were going slightly insane, you would think that somebody would notice. But, alas, in the case of Arielle Milton, this proved false. The voice in her mind told her well, dear, you could have run. You put yourself in this situation. And in her head she’d hear a swirling maniacal laughter which had the ability to rattle her inside out. As though she weren’t rattled enough as it was. Sitting there, staring idly at the blank wall, she could already guess that her taut nerves would come snapping undone at any unexpected moment. This thought conjured up the image of herself sprawled on the ground, suffering from a fit of convulsions as her fellow mourners looked on in half horror, and half fascination. This prompted a shudder. Oh my god. This time yesterday, our Arielle was as calm as one might imagine a duck on a lake to be. And of today? Well one might say her level of placidity would equal that of a ducks only if it were being drowned or pelted with microscopic bombs. This image almost made her laugh, but seeing as she was in a room that was heavy with silence, she refrained. She held on to her seat, if only to assure herself she wouldn’t break into a million pieces. Maybe it really isn’t so bad, she thought, but honestly, she knew it must have been bad. If something, or someone you knew and loved were suddenly gone, gone with the wind ,what might you do? Arielle hadn’t the ghost of a notion what to do. So she found it appropriate not to do anything, not even cry. She found crying to be utterly pointless after all. Something inside her mind told her she wouldn’t be able to handle the cruel, silly ceremony that constituted a funeral, but she firmly blocked that thought away. You could have run. You should have run. Should she have? The situation begged the question. Her best friend was about to be locked six feet under the ground, in total darkness, for the rest of time. Why should she have to watch it? Why did society find such a hideous, painful act customary? She didn’t know, she didn’t want to know. Not today at least, maybe tomorrow she could stand it. Maybe tomorrow realization would cloud over, and she’d recognize the true implications of this incident, and she would cry, really cry, without being able to stop it. Tomorrow she would realize that while she would be out and living life, her friend would slowly be decaying. She’ll probably even realize she’ll never see her again. Not today though, she could not let that happen today. She’d save those familiar horrors for tomorrow.

“She always wanted to fly.”

Arielle was pulled abruptly out of her reverie. The voice, she found when she brought herself to look up, belonged to Nina’s mother. Oh Nina. It took what little amount of self control that remained within her not to cry right then. She always used to tell Arielle about flying. Her favorite word had been volar, a word which both confused and fascinated Arielle, as she was brought up in a particularly Americanized home. They had met at the tender age of eight, in a quiet little neighborhood just outside of New York city. She supposed two girls could not have been more different, but they were kindred spirits nonetheless. Arielle didn’t want to face the snatch of a memory which was rising toward the surface of her mind.

What do you want to do when you grow up? She asks, absentmindedly.

I…I want to fly. You know, get out of here and look at the world.
She spoke in earnest.

And ever since that day Arielle wanted to fly off too. There was something about the unrealized dream of Nina’s that appealed to her as well. Of course Nina was in a worse situation than Arielle was, and had more reason to “Fly away” as she so tenderly phrased it. A daughter of privilege, Arielle could never begin to comprehend the difficulties of poverty, which Nina knew all too well.They were so young. She thought they had all the time in the world. She did not need to be here, to remember this. She needed to be out, to do something quickly, to keep herself from confronting reality. The gloom of the church was certainly not helping her. She slipped out, as surreptitiously as a girl in mourning could manage, and exited the church. This can’t be proper, she thought, just walking out like this, in the middle of the service. But, at the moment, a broken heart over shadowed the importance of being politically correct. Today the sun was at it’s over dazzling best. Wasn’t it supposed to rain when people died? The brightness was a stark contrast to the inside of the church, and she found it to be entirely inappropriate. It was easier to breathe out here, though. Only the wind was blowing with far too much force. With so much force she would have feared being knocked right over had her mind not been so preoccupied.

“I hate wind.” Arielle had said, while simultaneously trying to keep her skirt form flying up.
“I Love the wind!” Nina cheered, holding out her arms and spinning wildly.
“Nina, you silly goose!” Arielle remarked , before she joined Nina in her wild dance.

Her eyes were turning to liquid glass again. She broke into a sprint, her limbs realizing where she wanted to be before her mind did. You just run. So she did. I can’t do this. I just can’t. When she reached the edge, the edge of the cliff, where water crashed violently below, she sat down calmly. She just needed to do something, to feel, before she dissolved into nothing.

I always wanted to fly.

Then go, Nina, fly, and maybe someday I can fly too. Just not now, she thought. It wasn’t her turn to fly just yet. She felt light, light as a feather, so light she thought she might fall apart, and drift right off the cliff. So she held herself tight, closed her eyes, if only to assure herself she wouldn’t try flying off into oblivion. She held herself together to be sure she wouldn’t slip away just yet. With the wind, with the sunset, with the seagulls, with Nina.

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This article has 2 comments.

on Apr. 20 2009 at 5:57 pm
hmmm....an interesting take on funerals. And a good character too. And somehow i could see it all in my head. nice job.

sonnyB said...
on Apr. 9 2009 at 2:51 pm
This is verry good. A bit rushed t times but you have a marvelous vocabulary and a keen ability to describe things to the reader. Awesome!

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