The day was bright. Sunny. Blinding. Painful.
What a perfect word.
Everything about the day was painful.
The birds twittered merrily in the trees, the butterflies fluttered lazily in the grass, the pavement was hot, the parking lot was stuffed full. And that dark, cold funeral home.
This wasnt supposed to happen. She was so perfect. Not the perfect daughter, or the perfect friend, or the perfect girl. But she was the perfect person.
Why her? Can someone out there explain to me why?
It was his fault. She never should have gone with him. They werent good together, I could always see that. I mean, they had nothing in common, were nothing alike, and he was a complete idiot. He wasnt good enough for her. For months, I watched them, waiting for the moment when he would annoy her enough to make her angry. I wanted her to dump him, to break his heart like he broke mine. It hurt to see her lower herself to his level.
And then he killed her.
Carrie had always claimed that she was the element of earth. She thought that she had all the characteristics: stubborn, grounded, solid. Instead of being cremated, she wanted to be buried in a real cemetery with a real headstone with not a word of any sort of religion. But despite all of her claims, all of us had always felt her to be air. She was light-hearted, happy. She loved to move and jump and goof around. She was never still, totally random, so open and free. To think of her trapped under so much heavy, sticky earth was unbearable.
Walking into the foyer of that funeral home was like jumping into a lake of melted snow in early April. They had the air conditioning up too high. The money wasted on a little extra cool air was all to keep the bodies as fresh as possible for the viewing. After that, it didnt matter anymore.
In that god-forsaken building, I was suddenly surrounded by a massive crowd. People started whispering, their eyes darting toward me and away quickly, as if afraid I would kill them. I wore black and silver chains and ruby-eyed skulls and muted colors. But I was no killer.
He was. The one standing amongst them with the Christs Children shirt, solemn dark slacks, and blonde, eighty dollar haircut.
I stood out sharply amongst all their name-brand splendor, but ignored them and stalked into the viewing room. Carrie lay at the front, where all the pews faced. She was surrounded by flowers. Roses. She hated roses. She was trussed up in this floaty blue dress. She hated dresses. She held a crucifix in her clasped hands. She didnt believe in Christianity. She lay on clouds of imitation silk. She liked satin better.
Her family didnt know her. I did. But no one would listen to me. I was just that girl. The bad influence. The poor thing with no guidance and no chance at the world.
Out of my pocket, I drew a collection of metal pendants on a string. One by one, I pulled them off and tucked them inside her pillow case where no one could find them. The Goddess. The Star Of David. The crescent moon and star. An ankh. A yin-yang. And more, so many more. I hadn't bought a crucifix to symbolize Christianity because I'd known her family would provide more than enough of them.
I brought the pendants for her because they were what she believed in. A combination of what everybody had to offer all thrown together to create something so much stronger. She believed not in the single thread, but in the tapestry.
No one else could understand that. They were all too wrapped up in what they called morality and what they believed was right. They never troubled themselves to understand that she thought differently.
I spun, knowing the voice long before I could see the face. My vision was blotted out by bright red spots. I hated him. I hated him with everything I had.
How could you? I screeched, shoving at his chest. I wanted to hurt him, hurt him like he hurt her, hurt him like he hurt everyone in this fucking room.
Startled, he stumbled backwards, throwing his arms out to me, but I thrust him away.
You IDIOT! I clenched my teeth, and my next words came out tight. What in the HELL were you thinking. She was different, she fucking cared. About you, about me. She wasnt
She was GOOD! Why I let out a gasp that sounded like the half-breath of a strangled cat. My arms wrapped tightly around my stomach, searching for air.
I he stammered. His face was pasty white; his expression, numb. He deserved the pain I saw in his eyes.
Someone, some faceless person, pulled out of the murmuring crowd and took my arm, trying to pull me away. I caught a whiff of some familiar perfume, but couldnt place it. I fought for a moment, wanting to kill him first, but gave in. I let them tow me away, not looking around, but staring sightlessly at where that fucker had stood.
Thats when I first saw the silver. The white light that almost wasnt light, but something more. The little spurts of sparkle that thudded almost like a pulse. It hung there, between me and him, smaller than a marble.
Then it grew bigger.
Wha I started, staring blankly.
Then, there, suspended in the air, the glow expanded on an intake of breath. A pale shape fluttered on an untouchable draft. Soft eyes appeared out of the mass, then a full face, head, long blonde hair, a torso, limbs. The girl wore a white shift that was longer than she was tall. Out of this glowing sphere of energy, she stared ahead, a sorrowful expression on her face.
C-Carrie, I stammered. What?
The figures expression broke into a smile. Hey.