19 01 2010

A short story I wrote back in high school, part of New Shoots, a creative writing program run throughout high schools in Vancouver.


My feet splash in the puddles as I run.  I cannot believe what had just happened; me seeing my boyfriend with someone else.  And it wasn’t just hanging out; it was full fledged flirting and kissing!  Kissing dammit!!  I run to the place where I just sit and think about things; my hiding place, if you will.  Unlike most people, my place isn’t some pile of rocks in a forest or a quiet library or something.  In fact, you’d probably think I was some kind of weirdo.  It’s a cemetery.

My cemetery isn’t all that far away; it’s only a few blocks from my house.  Since it’s raining, I’m getting completely drenched.  My shoes are basically filled with water and my clothes seem as if they had just come out of the washer.  But I keep running until I see the welcoming gates.  In a way, it is quite sad to be amongst rotted and decayed corpses buried beneath the earth, but it also makes me realize how fortunate I am to be alive.  When I come in, I slow my pace down to a walk.  I stroll past the familiar tombstones that I see every time:  Williams, Tennant, the Shatfords.  The few trees provide an added kind of mystery towards this place by casting acute shadows on the grass.  I hear the “cawing” of nearby crows.

As usual, the cemetery is deserted.  No one comes in all that often, except for me and the odd visitor that’s actually paying respect for the dead.  A lot of people, however, use the cemetery as a shortcut to the other side, which I find really ignorant.  But they’ll learn that someday, they will be in that cemetery permanently.

I continue walking past my favourite row of headstones on a paved path; I keep imagining that when I walk down this path, the ghosts and spirits of these people are there, to comfort me, sort of like when the bride walks down the aisle in a wedding and everyone in the seats are staring at her, only I picture ghosts.  They are dressed in olden days clothing; the men tipping their hats to me and the women wearing frilly dresses with giant flowery hats.  I can see them smiling at me and telling me how wonderful it is to see me again.  But not this time.  I’m so distressed that I can’t picture all these people.  Besides, it’s raining and I’d probably have to picture them all wet too.

Eventually, I reach a tree in the exact middle of the graveyard.  It’s extremely tall with huge outreaching branches that provide shade–and in this case–shelter from the rain.  I sit down at the base and put my hands in my face; if I loved Sean so much, why did he have to go after someone else?  What was I to do now?  It was just all too confusing to me.  Instead, I did what I did best: cry.

I woke up with the sun in my eyes.  Was I sleeping?  For how long?  I looked around me.  Everything seemed so calm, so quiet.  I remember that the last thing I thought about was Sean.  Well, it was time I moved on anyways.  I get up and brush myself off, even though the twigs and leaves stick to my wet clothing.  I walk down the same path until I reach the gates.  Whenever I leave the cemetery, the childish part of me thinks that my ghost friends are sad that I’m gone and that they’re looking forward to seeing me next time.  But the real part of me knows that death is inevitable; we all die sooner or later, it really is just a matter of time.  The dead don’t care if you bring them flowers, if you mention them or if you honour them after they’ve passed away because they’re dead; they can’t do anything about it.  We’re just reminding ourselves that other one of us isn’t living and that soon, we will be joining them.