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Seeking the truth
The blurriness clears and I can now see them all- the mourners, our families, everyone. I know that one of my friends had died yesterday, that’s clear, but I can’t figure which one. I can still remember that bomb blast, but nothing other than that, thanks to my memory disorder. Sam is there, right in the center crying her eyes off, I expected her to be stronger, and May’s near her too.
So it’s Liz, the victim, she’s the only one of us missing. No, no. I can feel my own eyes dampening. So, this funeral is for Liz. As tears slip out, I get frustrated with myself. My parents are crying. Of course they miss her. Everyone is in tears, and I’m ignored, a petite figure in the midst of the inconsolable crowd making their way to the glass case with her body on the far end. But I don’t want to go there-no I don’t want to gaze upon the terrible sight of an unmoving Liz.
But I have to find somewhere to fall sleep if I am to remember what happened- I have to remember what happened yesterday. How did we let Liz slip away? Sure, there was the blast…but I seem to have forgotten everything else. So I have to find somewhere to sleep.
Sam, Liz, May and I, we are a team of apprentice spies. We have been training for, and getting assigned to missions since forever. And we formed a very powerful team, always allocated together, and we’d completed more than twenty of them. By chance, we also managed to hold on to our dear lives each time, often by narrow luck, and I’ve got unbounded scars to attest the clashes I’ve had with death – till yesterday.
Yesterday, we got assigned to procuring an extremely significant document from a processing factory, yes, and a curious place for such an important document. We procured the document, were on our way out and then, somehow a bomb blast…my memory fails to tell me how, which is why I have to fall asleep now.
Since birth I’ve had a rare disorder, the tendency to forget half the things that happens around me. So there are always incomplete spaces leaving me wondering what happened. The odder part is that these forgotten memories float back to me in my dreams. And somehow, putting together what I remember and what my dreams depict, I comprehend my every day.
I need quiet, now, to sleep, and to dream of what had happened yesterday. Why did the bomb blast, why couldn’t we save her?
I can either fall asleep to find out or just ask May. I yell, “May! May! Can you come over here?”
She’s too busy grieving, she doesn’t hear me. So I call Sam, who’s right in front of me.
“I’m going to the restroom for some time, okay? Don’t look for me.” I tell her. That’s where I intend to fall asleep, the washroom. Sam has this funny expression on her face, and absently nods. Weird.
I rush to the washroom and past the janitor who ignores me though I walk right across her. I think she is deep in thought. I close my eyes once my body hits the plushy sofa. After several minutes, I lose conscious, falling into a slumber. Yesterday’s images come back to me-
There. Me, Liz, May and Sam….we are making our way out of the factory….the document is safe, procured, in Sam’s hands. I am the last behind, making sure others are safely ushered out, I’m always the security. ….. A shocked voice-it’s Liz’s, she has seen something. It’s a bomb. There’s an explosion going to take place...a time bomb….. I hear terrified voices now….. Sam is panicking, and my heart starts racing, too. There’s only a minute left for the blast now, and the exit is far away….we all start racing out, like bullets, in high speed, I drag Liz with me as I run, she’s my best friend.-
Now there are only six seconds, and we can hear the alarm of the bomb ticking loudly. We still have several meters to the exit… five….I can see the light of the outside now….four….the alarm is incessant now, and terrorizing, Sam has made it out with the document …..Three….. Sam has reached, safely ….two…… damn, Liz and me are still behind, but I have to save Liz, I have to save Liz, we have to escape, the exit is far…one….I push Liz out with all the strength I can muster……..BOOM!
The ear splitting explosion shocks me awake from sleep. The sound still rings in my ears, as my heart thuds madly against my chest and I am petrified, unable to move an inch, trying to recollect what I just saw, but in vain.
Now I remember it all, remember yesterday fully, I saved Liz! I had ushered Sam her out in the last moment, saw her only just escape, a fraction of second before the detonation, the blast. She hadn’t died. But I, I hadn’t managed to escape, had I? I pushed her out to safety, and then the bomb blast.
So who died? What is happening?
I jolt up, and rip past the still-cleaning janitor, who continues to ignore me, and to the funereal ground outside, where people are now bidding farewell to the deceased. I don’t stop, but run madly, all the way, till I reach the glassy tombstone.
Liz isn’t in it. She is at sitting at back of the headstone, her face red and splotchy with sobbing.
When my eyes fall on the pale, dead body inside the case, a dry gasp escapes my mouth.
From inside it, my own lifeless body stares up at me. None of my friends died yesterday.
This is my own funeral.
Cornish, New Hampshire
Cornish, New Hampshire
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