A sixteen-year-old girl’s funeral. Her stupid friends milling about crying and holding each other. You never liked them much but here they all are.
And there you are, alone in a crowd of your many friends and family members, wondering what you did wrong. Maybe this is all a dream. Did it really happen? Will you wake up and feel a lingering sadness, then go on with your nine-to-five job? Filing paperwork, bullshitting customers, tolerating your co-workers.
No. You’re still here. Her body is cold now. She’s wearing make-up she would have hated, She’s dressed in her Sunday best, which never really suited her. But she looks so peaceful. She looks so beautiful. She looks so unlike herself. The fantasy daughter you always wanted until you lost the real thing.
Maybe it was the drugs or the parties. Maybe she felt like she had no one she could talk to. Who was it that couldn’t be bothered to make time for her? Was it you? If you’d told her you were there for her, would it have made a difference? Or would she have just rolled her eyes, confused, and laughed it off with her friends. Affirmations of that nature always sound corny; fake. Like a PSA or an after-school special.
Feelings aren’t really sincere anymore.
Maybe she just couldn’t handle high school. I know you wish you had told her that it didn’t matter. High school thought stays in high school. Maybe if she’d known that after high school was over, she’d be free, maybe she would have let this guy slide. Then maybe you wouldn’t be standing here, mourning with those who knew her better, those who barely knew her, and those who had never met her. Maybe she would have missed a week of school and gotten on with her life.