Until Death Do Us Apart

April 15, 2012
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We drive. We drive down winding roads that never seem to end. We drive past trees, meadows, mountains, and even a few cows and horses here and there. The further we drive, the closer we get and the closer we get, the further away we are from everything that I know and love. Normally I would hate leaving my small town, especially for occasions like today, but after what happened those few horrific nights ago, my entire world has been turned inside out and upside down.

I think back to that night. I was babysitting two exuberant little girls, Cara and Charlotte, who were quite the handful to entertain. It was rather late and they heard a car rumbling down the street. Full of energy, they sprinted outside to their parents, arms wide, ready to be embraced by their enormous bear hugs. While their parents were laughing happily, hugging their little girls as if they hadn’t seen them in a lifetime, a car sped past. With the car, came a bang followed by a blood curdling scream silencing the night; a scream that belonged to Cara. My vision, along with all feeling to my body, slowly faded as I collapsed into a crumpled heap on the ground.

I sprawl over the comfy back seat of the car and listen to my mother and father. No matter how much I try to focus, my parents seem vague and distant, and I can only hear snippets of their conversation. My mother is whispering, as if she can’t bring herself to speak any louder. I can hear her repeatedly whisper something along the lines of, “I can’t believe she is gone, she couldn’t have died.” Saying nothing, my father reaches one hand over to my mother’s cheek and wipes away a tear that has escaped her watery eyes. I try to speak; try to ask if my mother is okay. But, I can’t find the strength to talk.

As we pull into the Church, I look around and see many faces that I recognise, faces that I have not seen in a long while. The car slowly comes to a stop, and my mother starts to sob uncontrollably. As my father gradually opens his door, I see a single tear slide down his cheek. I try to reach out for him but he just looks straight through me, as if I am invisible. Confused about my mother’s and father’s tears, I begin to walk towards the church doors.

I watch as people shuffle into the old rustic church, shedding enough tears to fill the ocean. I catch tiny bits of their conversations as they saunter past.
“She was so young.”
“Her poor mother can’t even get out of the car.”
“Guns should be illegal.”

Inside the church, the weeps and sobs echo off one another creating the eerie sound that accompanies that of a funeral. People gather around the coffin, whispering their final goodbyes to the young girl that lay in front of them. I walk over to the coffin, to see beautiful little Cara one last time.

I take a small step bracing myself as I look down at the young girl’s body. A mixture of shock, terror and slight understanding hits me at the same time. It is me, not her. I am the reason for my mother’s sobs, and my father’s tears. As everything ever so slowly clicks into place, I walk over to my sobbing mother and father and look into their empty, lifeless faces.
“I love you both, for always and forever,” I slowly whisper. Their eyes focus on me and the hazy body that I, for now, dwell in. My mother’s tears come to a sudden halt as she ever so slowly reaches out her soft dainty hand, watching in awe as I slowly fade away into a world I am soon to learn so much about.

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