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Folded Up

Folded Up

A Story by Miss Coral
"

one of my very rare attempts at prose

"
They promised me that no one would understand. Wanting to believe, I went softly and slipped off like a boat off to sea. And, for the most part, they were right.  I couldn't help but pride myself in that, not being understood. It was refreshing. I breathed easy as they lowered me into my coffin, as they spoke my eulogy and told everyone how good of a person I was, as eyes blue as mine cried, as they piled the dirt onto my grave. I had what I wanted, though no one had known that I'd wanted it. 

And people came to visit me. First it was family, my weeping mother and grandmother and siblings and even my father. It was the caretaker of the graveyard, come to trim back the grass around my gravestone. It was Marty, who I hadn't spoken to for years, who I'd been on bad terms with, who wondered aloud if he had something to do with it. And then, it was Laura. Laura didn't talk to me about me. She talked about her, how her mom was doing now, her little sister, what she was thinking of writing next. She talked about the boy she was seeing, "if you aren't upset with me, he's really sweet I promise and he treats me right," and he had money and a nice car like a business man. She called him Cole, and said he had sandy hair like I did. When she left, Laura left me a picture of us, and said that she hoped it wouldn't be ruined too quickly in the rain. 

She came back four days later, and asked me how I was, if it was cold down there, if I'd meant it. I said, "Fine. Yes. Of course." She couldn't hear me, and I figured that was best. We hadn't talked in a couple of days before it, anyways. This was guilt, keeping her here kneeling at my graveside, staining her stockings with mud and leaves. Nothing else. She was even wearing a sweater I gave her, one she'd said smelled like me. I wonder if it still did, if that's why she pulled it tighter across her shoulders as she talked. 

"I miss ya, ya know. I know that we were... kind of spreading apart, I guess, kinda losing each other in everything, but it was nice having you there, even when you weren't really THERE. It was nice having you sit next to me, even when you didn't talk. I guess that's what we're doing even now, just sitting together, you not wanting to talk, me chattering on and on about nothing and bugging the hell out of you." She laughed, and I wanted to cry. "I miss you being quiet. I mean, of course I miss you talking even more, you had the most beautiful voice and the best ways of saying things but even just your silence. No one is ever quiet in the same kind of way. Cole doesn't quite get it, even. He talks a lot, mostly about work. He... yeah. Yeah." She stopped then and pulled the sleeves over her hands and it stretched like it were my bigger body in there instead of hers. She sat for a while, quiet as the quiet she'd talked about, and then she picked up the picture of us and folded it into her pocket and left and I swear, she was crying for me. 

It was three weeks before she came again-- I counted one of my hands three times and kept the other on my throat because it felt like I was choking. I kept having to remind myself that I was already dead. She came in the morning and brought me flowers with the saddest eyes I'd ever seen. She sat with her back against my gravestone and talked until the afternoon and ate an apple in between sentences and when she was done, held the core in between her thumb and index finger, not wanting to put it on the ground next to me. It browned and shrivelled and I was too distracted by the skeleton in her hand and how much it looked like me. She talked until night and took the apple core with her and I watched it peel away into something tiny as she left. 

She came the next day and told me about Cole again, how he wasn't the person she thought he was and she'd had to ask him to leave her house last night and he shut the door so hard on his way out that it broke a hinge. She told me that her mother wasn't doing too well, that, "The doctors said she might have til tomorrow, but it might be ten years, and that hoping for tomorrow would be the kindest thing I could ever do for her" and that she thought she might start praying, even though she didn't think there was anything worth praying to. After a few moments, she asked if I could put in a word for her. I wished that I could, but my bones were shut too tight into my box and no one could ever hear my voice from way down there. She cried a little, a little for me and a little for her, and her sweater was wet when she left. 

She came back a week later and pretended I hadn't heard anything but by now I knew she knew. She asked me how I was, if it was cold down here, if I'd meant it. I said, "Not so great. Freezing. Yes. I hadn't known, though. I wish I had-- I wouldn't have meant it in a million years." The flowers she brought were shrivelled and dried as I was, and she mumbled an apology and promised to bring more even though I knew this would be her last time here. She said that she was wrong about Cole. He fixed her door and said his sorries and they were back together in his nice car with his work talk, and she said, "I'll be happy, Ben. Happy as I can be," with a makeuped eye and a ginger way of walking. She picked up her things like they were loose bones and the flowers crackled and broke onto my grave. Tracing the letters of my name, she said, "I'm so, so sorry that you did this, Ben. I can't say I don't understand though. I think I understand more than anything else," and she kissed the tips of her fingers and closed her eyes and walked across the ground that my body lay under. And I wished more than anything else that I hadn't, that she didn't, that no one would ever understand.

© 2011 Miss Coral


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*bowing* you, my dear, have a sparkling future in writing :)

Posted 8 Years Ago



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Added on December 2, 2011
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Author

Miss Coral
Miss Coral

Prague, Bohemia, Czech Republic



About
18 year old girl, third culture kid. I like writing and swing music. Probably not super active. kissingtherivermouth.tumblr.com more..

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