Unfamiliar Faces

August 11, 2012
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Have you ever loved someone you barely know? I have, but at the time I hadn't realized I loved her. It seems odd, to love someone you don't even know.I shifted my my weight from foot to foot, and pondered did she ever love me too? That's when it hit me square in the chest, that this was the last time I would ever see the woman I only met once, my mother.
I woke up early on March 14, 2008 to the smell of bacon and eggs, and it would have excited me, except for it was McDonald's. I crept upstairs anyway, only to be surprised to see my grandma sitting on our couch, sipping orange juice, with my dad and his coffee. They both simultaneously looked at me, and my grandma said, "Good morning, sit down and eat before it gets cold." I didn't want to eat, but I didn't protest, and I sat down anyway.My dad just looked at me and tried to fake a smile, but something in his eyes wasn't quite right. His eyes didn't have their usual glow, this time, his eyes were unfocused and secretive.
It seemed like hours I was studying my dads face, but in reality it was only a couple of long seconds, from which my sister saved me by coming up the stairs and scaring me out of his trance. My dad glanced at her, but wouldn't look up to long; he seemed very interested in the floor all of a sudden. Everyone was so quiet it made my ears ache. My brain was screaming at me to say something, anything at all, but all I could do was stare at my dad. Time passed slowly; it seemed as if we were sitting there for hours, until my dad lifted his head, keeping his gaze on the ground and said,"We need to talk."
My dads gaze never left the floor as he led my sister and me into his room and shut the door firmly behind him. I had never been so horrified as I watched my dads body crumble to the floor so lifeless and deprived. I watched his body shake, as he unsuccessfully tried to hold back his tears and whispered,"Your mother passed away this morning, I'm so sorry." I didn't want to believe it, but the only reason I ever did accept it was because, that was the first time I saw my father cry.
The following seven days were unkind to my family and me, but mostly to my father, he was the only one in the house that knew her, me and my sister never got to see my mother because, when I was three my parents got divorced.
"Four o'clock in the morning?!" I yawned as my step mom yanked me out of bed a week later, and shoved me and my bags in the packed Nissan mini van. "Yes, its four in the morning. Our drive to Indiana is going to take two days, sleep in the car."
Two days later we arrived in Clarksville, Indiana, right before the viewing. As we pulled into the small church, I felt like a celebrity walking down a red carpet. I was walking in a mass of unfamiliar faces, all of them echoing"Are you okay? Do you remember me? Look how you've grown!" I answered with a slight head bob to no one in particular, and walked straight to the double doors, feeling a slight breeze as I passed through and into the church. My stomach dropped, my throat grew a lump, and my eyes threatened tears, as I tried to choke back a sob, because the first thing I saw when I passed through those double doors was my mothers casket. One by one people slowly approached me and tried to drag me up to the casket, each time I refused. Eventually we were told to take our seats. As i sat on the freezing chairs, I felt guilty and out of place. There I was surrounded by all these people blinded by tears, when my eyes were as dry as the Sahara Desert, not feeling sad at all. I fell distant from the world as people got up and spoke about the things they loved about my mother, and the next thing I knew, I was with my dad, amongst the mass of unfamiliar faces watching the men in dark black suits lower the casket deeper and deeper until it was nothing but a distant memory. I shifted my weight from foot to foot as I watched people slowly starting to disperse from under the awning, until me and my dad were the only people left. He put his arm around me, kissed the top of my head and whispered,"I think we're going to be all right."





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