Her death leaves him with millions of questions. He writes letters to cope. What happens when his letters start to disappear, replased with her own?
The sounds of banging around on the floor above pull me from yet another night of uneasy sleep. Amber killed herself a week ago today. I read over the obitchuary that is taped on the wall. Cold fingers run over my face and through my greasy hair; I’ve not taken a show in awhile. She wouldn’t want me to be like this. Knowing Amber she’d hit me upside the head and tell me to snap out of it. My joints ache as I stand. There’s no more moping around to be done. Today is Amber’s funeral; I’ve got to look presentable.
Pulling off my clothes I manage to clean myself up. The warm water feels good as I wash myself, my face a little less itchy now that the scruff has been removed. My suit makes me look ridiculous. If Amber was around she’d laughs and insist I change…she always hated guys in suits. She said it makes them look stuffy and old.
After forcing my unruly hair into some kind of order, I trudge up the stairs.
Olivia, my youngest sister has on a pink dress, a black bow tided around the middle. My brother, John, is wearing a suit similar to mine. As usual my mother is running around trying to get everything ready. Her brown hair is in a tight bun, the strap of her black dress sliding off her shoulder. Amy, my twin sister and Amber’s best friend, is no where to be seen.
“Frank, do you have your speech?” my mother demands as she lets the dog into the backyard.
I tap my finger to my head. I plan on just saying whatever comes to mind, it’ll be more personal that way. If I wrote stuff down its sound overly rehearsed. Maybe I’ll just stand up there and cry or start reciting song lyrics. It’s the unknown that I’m looking forward to. Whatever happens, happens, Amber will know it is from the heart.
Five minutes before we leave Amy graces us with her presence. She’s wearing jeans, black Converse, and the black sweater I gave her last Christmas. My mother gives her a disapproving look.
“Amber wouldn’t have wanted me to wear a dress,” my sister says before taking Olivia’s hand and leading her outside.
My mother turns to my younger brother who looks really confused. She just holds out her hand, letting him take it. I grab the flowers off the coffee table before following them out, pulling the door behind me.
No one speaks as we as we make the thirty minute drive to the cemetery. My mother even refuses Olivia’s request for music. We’re all hurting. Amber was a best friend, an extra member of the family, a babysitter…our families are very close. Her death impacts each of us.
The first thing I realize when I walk down the rows of chairs set up is that they got the flowers wrong. Amber hates roses, her favorite flower is orchids. Taking my seat in the front row I try not to stare at the coffin. I almost don’t want to see her. I’d like to remember Amber the way she was…happy and alive.
Due the fact Amber’s family is not religious; her father starts out the speeches. He’s a decorated army general who breaks down half way through his speech. His first born daughter, the light of his life, is dead by her own means. It seems really sick that Amber and I used to joke about dying by our own hand ‘cause no one else could kill us.
I squeeze my sister’s hand as she walks forward. Amy introduced Amber and I. After that fateful November day the three of us were inseparable, we did everything together. The loss of Amber has been hardest on my sister. Amy found her.
Amy tapes the microphone before starting, “Hello everyone. One thing I know that Amber wouldn’t have wanted is for us to be crying right now. In her lifetime she seemed to always wear a smile up until the very last second. I don’t remember a second when she wasn’t doing something to help someone else. Yes, she’s gone and none of us will ever know why she did what she did but I know one thing…Amber loved each of us. As I remember her last words… ‘Mourn then move on with your life…be happy.’
In a flash of blonde hair my sister takes off across the grave yard. No one follows her. Sometimes it’s better to leave her alone. Amy is dealing with this best she can.
Swallowing hard I stand. I’ve got to do this…for Amber. As I walk past her coffin, I press my fingers to my lips laying them on her cold forehead.
“Dear Amber,” I start off, words pouring from my mouth, “Today it has been a week since you killed yourself. We all miss you tons. I took your advice. I’m not hiding in my room anymore. You would be disappointed in me. I just want to let you know I love you very much…we all do. You left me with a shit ton of unanswered questions like why you did it and why you never told me you wanted to die. I guess blaming my ass won’t really do anything. I’m going to try and stay strong for you…help Amy get through this. Keep the other angels entertained…teach them our dance. Goodbye my lover, goodbye my friend. Love you forever and always…Frank.”
A few people clap as I retake my seat. As the coffin lid is put on and the actual thing lowered into my ground I bounce Olivia on my knee. Amber is gone, they bury her under the big oak tree just like she'd always wanted.
Mr. and Mrs. Evans put the first two shovels of dirt into the hole. The rest of us follow suit. I notice a couple people throw in letters, other saying something a few just standing and crying. In general Amber was a well liked girl.
Amy comes up behind me, her eyeliner and mascara smeared down her face, “I heard your speech. Did you write it?”
“No, it just came to me. I figured she would like it better if I just came up with something. How are you feeling?”
“I still see her dead body in my sleep. Mom wants me to talk to someone. I don’t want to talk about it Frank,” Amy answers.
I hug my sister before we get into the car, “If you need to talk you know where to find me.”
Amy just shrugs, leaning her head against the window as my mom pulls out of the cemetery parking area, heading towards the restaurant we are all supposed to be eating at tonight. I have a feeling neither Amy nor I will be eating.
“Amy I made an appointment with Mr. Smith so you can see him on Friday,” my mother announces.
“I told you I didn’t want to talk to anyone,” my sister answers not opening her eyes.
My mother sighs, leaving the car idle in the parking space outside of Golden Corral, “You need to talk to someone Amy.”
As all this goes on I continue to scribble my speech down on a spare piece of paper. Maybe I’ll put it by Amber’s grave, maybe I’ll keep it for memories. Whatever happens I’m glad I managed to say something. Although I have spent a lot of time crying I would have been embarrassed going it in front of everyone.
“Mommy,” Olivia says as we are lead to the room that is reserved for the occasion, “why are you forcing Amy to talk?”
My mother just pats Olivia on the head, sending her to talk to the neighbor girl. Keeping things from my seven year old little sister seems to be a recurring thing. In truth I’m glad all this shit is happening when she’s too young to understand, it makes it easier. You can’t really hurt as much if you’ve got no clue what’s happening.
“Frank,” Mrs. Evans calls me over. “I hate to do this now but did she say anything to you?”
I shake my head, “No, I wish she had though.”
The dark haired woman just frowns, nodding her head. Amber left her parents hurt and confused. No suicide note was found. It’s the way she was…mysterious and quirky. I remember Amber telling me that suicide notes are for people who feel guilty or hoping someone will walk in and stop them.
The more I think things over the more I realize that Amber had been dropping hints about killing herself for years…I just never managed to pick up on them.
“How are you Frank,” Amber’s cousin asks me. She is tall and skinny, with dark hair. I guess in a way she looks like Amber, then again my best friend's hair was red.
“I’d be better if people stopped asking that question,” I answer as I stab at my ice cream.
“Sorry,” Madison says, sitting down across from me. “I know you liked her a lot. Amber asked me to give this to you.”
A white piece of paper with my name scrawled across the front is pushed across the table top. I just nod before opening the letter.
By the time you read this I’ll be buried six feet under. I’m happier now that I’ve ever been before. First off I’d like to let you know I never actually got this verified by a judge so I don’t think it means much. Secondly if you deviate from this at all I’ll come back and haunt you. Anyway, here is my will.
To Olivia, the entire collection of Barbie dolls that are stashed up in my closet, she always loved them. I’ll also throw in the house because I have a feeling no one but Olivia can find a use for it.
To John, my unopened copy of Nightmare on Elms street. Sorry we never got to watch that one together buddy. It’s one of my favorites. I’m giving you the unopened one because it will play better than the one I’ve had for ages. You are also welcome to take any of my other movies.
To Frank, my heart first and foremost, it has always been yours. I just decided to make it official though I would enjoy it I was not cut open. So you may have my heart figuratively. Also, if my parents okay it, you may have my car. Yours is falling apart.
Mom and dad, please rearrange my room as you see fit. I don’t want you to be those parents who cannot go into my room. Mourn then move on. I want you to be happy. Also please give Frank my car, he needs it. The only thing I ask is that you leave the posters up in my closet. It took me months to get them all up the way I want them. Let Tanner take what she wants.
Amber Marie Evans
“Well,” I say looking over at her cousin, “she sure as hell knew what she was doing.”
Madison just nods, “She had things planned out months in advance.”
Note: First chapter because I love you guys so much. My brains feel like mush right now though. NaNo has really worn me down. I'm gonna go make coffee and snuggle :). Remember to rate and review...those things always make me happy.