Categories > Original > Drama2 Reviews
"September, it was never a good season for me. It was full of pain all because of that one day 20 years ago." R&R please! Inspired by the song by Green Day.
Wake Me Up When September Ends
It had just stopped raining; some foggy mist still lay around me. I heard birds chirping in the distance. I looked up and could see some rays of sun peeking through the trees. The branches stood bare and lonely, all their leaves abandoned on the ground. I had a strong dislike towards the fall, everything died. The good thing about it was that everything always grew back twice as beautiful in the springtime. I closed up my umbrella and continued walking, my boots squelching in the muddy dirt road. The bottom of my trench coat was probably dragging in the mud, but I didn’t care. It was black anyways.
My mom wouldn’t care if I left. She had herself to worry about. I walked further down the lane that lead away from the graveyard. I wanted to put as much distance between myself and that place. I hated graveyards. They smelt of death and sorrow. Now, I know you can’t smell sorrow, but you know it’s there. You can feel it in your bones, the overwhelming flow of bad energy in your veins. I looked at the blood red rose in my hand and sighed. All the memories flooded my mind like a ton of bricks.
September, it was never a good season for me. It was full of pain, all because of that fateful day twenty long years ago. The day when I stopped being happy. I was forced to grow up after that day. I was robbed of my childhood, and I was only four. I remember the day clearer than any other memory I have:
I was walking into a big house. Almost like a manor. It was too scary for me. It had heavy looking, blood red velvet curtains that hung from each window. They were tied back with a fancy black cord, tassels adorning the ends. All the furniture was old. Half of it looked like it was never used before, just put out for show. All of the furniture was red, dark purple, grey, or black. I always wondered why my mother picked such a sad place for the funeral.
Yes, I was at a funeral house. There were bouquets of flowers on almost every table. The main room was filled with chairs and people I had never met before. Some people walked up to my mother and offered her their condolences. At the time I didn’t know what they were saying, I was only four of course.
Some people even walked up to me and said kind, gentle words. I didn’t understand what they meant but I still smiled back up at them. They would turn to my mother and say softly that I fully didn’t understand what was happening. She would smile at them then take my hand and lead me to my seat in the front row of the room. She told me to stay there and wait for her. I stared around anxiously. I started sneezing from all the flowers and clawed at the collar of my dress. It was too itchy for me in the summer heat. I remember it was an abnormally hot day for September. It didn’t help that the home had no air conditioning. They had some fans set up all around, but it didn’t help much. Most of them were aimed at the casket. Oh the casket. It was a beautiful silver one with black embellishments on it. I still wonder to this day how my mother afforded it. We weren’t dirt poor, but we were far from being rich.
I sat for maybe, fifteen more minutes, until my mother finally joined me. She was crying. I looked around and saw that everyone else had taken their seats. They were crying too. I didn’t really understand why. I remember asking my mom where daddy was. She just cried harder and hugged me until I thought I’d burst. That made me even more confused. My mother was never emotional.
The rest of it was a blur. Some family members and friends got up to say some things about my dad-though I didn’t know it was his funeral at the time. Then the priest stood to say a prayer. My mother told me to put my head down and pray for daddy. I did what she said even though I was still confused. When it was over, everyone stood up. My mother and I were ushered up to the casket first. My mother whispered some words to whatever was in it, and then broke into hysterical sobs. I was so confused. My uncle came up next and picked me up so I could see into the casket.
I looked in the casket curiously, and to my surprise, I saw my father. He looked so peaceful. The most peaceful he ever looked in the months leading up to his death. He had a black suit on and a necklace of my mother’s entwined in his hands. Pictures of the three of us were placed inside the coffin around the sides. I asked my uncle why he was sleeping. He told me that daddy was in a better place. He made a one way journey, and his body was left behind.
I leaned over and brushed some of my fingers through his hair. That’s when everything fell into place for me. That’s when I realized daddy was never coming home. I started crying. I didn’t really understand death when I was four. I’m not sure if I even do now as an adult, but I understood enough. My uncle said some words of his own to my father, and then carried me back to my mother. She took me in her arms and we cried together.
A little while later we were all gathered in the graveyard to bury the casket and say our last words. The casket was closed now. I remember just looking at it. I never took my eyes off it. It was hard to believe that that box of metal held one of the most important people in my life.
Before my father died, he was the happiest man in the world. He was one of those people that could brighten up a morgue. To me he was the sun. He was a columnist for the daily paper, so he stayed at home most of his time. He would take me somewhere new almost every day. I remember we used to go to the park near my house and swing on the swing sets the whole time. He would take a camera to “capture every moment”. If he had a motto it would’ve been, live like we’re dying. He was always taking pictures so we’d never forget. My mother could fill a bookshelf with all the albums we have. After he died we stopped taking pictures. We only took them when we had to or very special occasions. When he died, we died too. Our bodies were still here but our minds were elsewhere. I was never close to my mother. Even in his death. Over the years our relationship never really got any better. I just started talking to her when I graduated college last year. Visiting the grave was really the only thing we did together.
Back to the funeral; when it was time to step up to the casket, to say goodbye one more time, my mother and I were given blood red roses to place on his coffin. I kept twirling it in my hand and smelling it. It was beautiful. My mother laid her rose down first, and then picked me up so I could lay mine on my father’s coffin as well. I whispered goodbye one last time, kissed my rose, and then laid it down.
We stayed at the graveyard a little after the procession to say goodbye to some close family and friends, then we left and never looked back. I took the time to look at my father’s gravestone. It looked so pretty that day. It was perfect. No dirt or weeds dared disturb the surface. Now, twenty years later, the words are fading a little and the edges around the top of the stone are worn from the weather. Some ivy covers its side too, encasing it in its own cocoon. All I could read on the stone was my father’s name now; the rest had started to erode away. When I was around the age of nine and able to read better, I went back and memorized the headstone word for word.
Now, at twenty-four I’ve accepted my loss, but I will never forget it. My mother and I make the walk up this lonely avenue every year on the anniversary of his death, rain or shine. As I walk further down the road I can hear the faint sound of church bells in the distance, telling me it’s the dawn of the new day.
“As my memory rests but never forgets what I lost. Wake me up when September ends.” - Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day