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I wished I hadn’t had worn makeup. I was always dabbing at my eyes, trying to get the tears before the slid down my face. My deep red hair hung perfectly straight past my shoulders and my bangs hung just right to the side, the beanie helped.
I checked constantly to make sure the beanie was still there, that it had not fallen or been stolen. Each check brought a wave of emotion trying to spill out of me.
“Ellen,” I corrected my mother coldly as she rested her hand on my shoulder.
“Ellen, we need to move on.” We were standing in front of the open casket. Only my family and Shane’s were left in the church. I just nodded and took one more look at Shane. His suit was perfectly fitted, showing off how skinny he had gotten over the last few months. His bald head resting on a satin pillow, his eyes shut peacefully. I rested my hand on the edge of the casket, my fingertips brushing the satin and a tear slipped past me and I let it slide down to my chin, then I turned at let my mom and Tinsley lead me out of the church.
I was laying on my bed, the beanie clutched in my hands and the tears soaking my pillow, wondering what Shane would say to the sight of me. My hair was a mess, makeup-less and my lips chapped. My fingernails were nubs and my legs, well they hadn’t been shaved in awhile.
“Ellen, someone is at the door for you.” My mom peeked her head and I sighed, knowing had to get up. I stood up, not caring how my hair looked sticking up oddly and I adjusted my shirt so my black, plain bra was not showing. I made it down the stairs without falling, I wish I had. I would have had a reason to lie down. In the front entry was the most unexpected visitor, Beth Sanders, Shane’s mother. My eyes opened wider and I felt my fingers run through my hair, trying to look a little put together.
“Good morning, Ellen.” She said smiling and I knew she did it for my own good, not because she was genuinely glad to see me.
“Good morning, Mrs. Sanders.” I replied. She had brown hair with highlights, she wasn’t very tall, still taller than me though. Her makeup looked rushed and not well done.
“I just came to give you this.” She handed me an acoustic guitar I had not noticed her holding till now. Shane’s name was carved between the frets. I felt the lump in my throat grow.
“I have packed away all his stuff now, but this won’t fit in the truck, so I was wondering if you wanted it.” She looked down at her feet, which were smushed in shiny black pumps.
“T-th-thank you.” I stammered, my hands holding it like it was the most valuable treasure ever.
“Your welcome,” she gave me a small smile, then left. I carried the precious guitar up to my room where I shut the door softly. Shane had been an incredible guitar player, he had even wrote me a song that I had recorded and on my computer. The guitar reminded me and I laid it down on my bed. I turned to song on and clicked repeat. Shane’s voice filled my room and I felt the lump in my throat, the one that had been there since the day Shane had gone on life support, lighten and almost disappear.
I went back to the guitar and I ran my fingers over it, humming along with the song.
“I’ll learn, Shane. I’ll learn to play and I will write you a song.” I felt the lump disappear and I curled up next to the guitar, singing along to the music in my off-tone voice.