It was a dreary Monday morning, the day that I died.
A man dressed in black stood beside my open grave. “Now, come one, come all to this tragic affair …” he said, the haunting words floating across the desolate funeral grounds to a crowd of few. They stood in a circular formation around him, heads hung, mascara running, eyeliner smudged on their faces and handkerchiefs in the wet, pouring rain.
This man, short, with disheveled black hair and eyes ringed in red, wrapped his arm around a girl beside him. She nuzzled her face in the man’s shoulder, and he replied with a kiss to the top of her head. “He’s in a better place now,” he whispered. A sigh escaped his throat, though, along with words he’d been turning over since the moment he arrived. “Wouldn’t it be great if we were dead?”
I knew this man. Knew him well. Whether it was from rain or tears, I didn’t know, but I couldn’t help but notice the gleam of water in his russet eyes. If I had been alive, I might have burst into tears myself at the sight of how broken he was.
I sniffled from my grave. It was all too much.
“We are gathered here today to mourn the loss of Gerard Arthur Way; ruffian, scoundrel, misfit, troublemaker, artist...” droned the voice of what I knew must have been a preacher. His tone, musty and old as the bones buried beneath his scuffed black shoes, bled through the silence, infecting the onlookers like a plague. “At only 21 years of age, Gerard died prematurely like many a musician before him. So full of potential. Now, gone.”
Was that a scoff from the audience? Did someone actually care?
“Gerard was born on April 19th, 1977. His cause of death... his... cause of… death…”
The preacher took a moment from his speech to address the notes before him.
“His… cause of death, was…. uhmmm” he mumbled, ruffling the papers in a most unfashionable manner. With the air so thick it could strangle you, I held my morbid breath in wait. After minutes of searching and not finding, the pale blue eyes of the preacher met the eyes of those in the audience— the mourning guests at my very own funeral party.
“Does, uhm… Does anyone here know what the cause of death was?”
Yes, laughter. There was no denying the sound of a laugh coming from the din of this sickly, black parade. It cackled and creaked, broke, then continued. A dried out laugh that I had not heard in years. This laugh was twisted and changed, much different from the one I remembered. But I recognized it despite—how could I not?
It was the laugh of my mother.
“You want to know the cause of death?” She cried, words falling out of her mouth like stones to the pavement. “I’ll give you the cause of death!”
“Donna, don’t!” Protested my father, but she shoved past, her dark brunette bob bouncing with every furious step.
“It rains and it pours when you’re out on your own! Doesn’t it, sweetie?” The harsh words grew ever louder, ever closer as she approached the edge of the coffin. Each one acted as a dagger to my heart… struck just the right chord… snapped just the right string… Oh, god, I don’t want to remember!
But I didn’t have a choice any more.
I watched as the guests’ faces folded into looks of confusion. For Frank, a look of disgust. What was she saying? And at her own son’s funeral! Didn’t she care about him at all?
If only he knew…
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