Look, Ma, I’m not a baby. I don’t need for you to come visit me. I’m not particularly enchanted when you do. The endless one-way conversation, the he-did-this and the she-said-that and the do-you-know-what-happened-with-Rai-Aunty-last-Tuesday? It’s not like I’m missing out on that. Or on your sudden silences, the inevitable tears, the flowers — I don’t even like bouquets, and I hate roses. So can you please just not, Ma? Can you bring me a plant instead, so that perhaps I could have flowers that stay fucking alive for a change?
Sorry, Ma. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m going to stop swearing now. But dead flowers make me sad, you know? It’s just… they start going all brown around the edges first and the leaves and stalks go all crumbly and then the whole bunch ends up so faded and brittle and depressing and my neighbour here has a dog that comes sometimes and he’s very jumpy and he just tramples all over them and then they are pretty much gone. Like they were never alive and nice to look at and a pretty red-yellow-pink-whatever. Like nobody ever picked them out carefully at the florist’s and arranged them to look just so, or clutched them to their chests or breathed them in and thought that they smelled lovely. It’s like they were never even there.
It’s like I was never even there.
I’m going brown around the edges, Ma. And I promise you, nobody’s gonna think that I smell lovely. It was weird in the early days, you know. I should have left, I know I should have left the minute it happened but I’m still me, Ma. I’m angry and I’m stubborn and I’m not going to give up what’s rightfully mine and being dead doesn’t change who I am. So I stuck around. Except I hate small spaces, you know that. I tried, though. I tried to be all dignified for, like, one hot minute after the lid was closed. I lay tall and proud and occupied every fucking inch of me. And then immediately threw up my metaphorical hands and rolled up into a small, dense ball and buried myself in my own shoulder for a bit. I might have stayed like that forever. But then the smell started…
And so I got out of there, and it’s eerie and it’s weird and I don’t mean this in a creepy way, but I’m still here, Ma. I’m still here, and I like this place. It’s kinda peaceful in its own sad way, and I was waiting around at first because I was so angry, you know. I was all like – Fuck this shit, I’m going nowhere, that’ll show them. But the thing about being dead, turns out, is that there is no them, there is nothing to show, there is no changing this. Life is sometimes short and perfectly healthy 19-year-old girls sometimes drop dead mid-fag of aneurysms. I can’t change a thing.
I think I should leave.
Because honestly, it’s depressing as fuck around here. 9 out of 10 people who come here will cry. And I was okay with that while it was still summer because out of those 9 people, 1 would be you. And you can be annoying and all that, Ma, but well. Fuck. You know. I love you, and I miss you, and I like it when you talk to me because then I feel a little bit real again. Just for a while. But the days have gotten all bleak and grey now and it’s been pouring for so long.
It’s not like a bit of rain bothers me. But I know that it bothers you. I know you hate when it pours and that everything floods so easily. I remember wading out in gross knee-deep brown water to buy us bread and potatoes and stuff. Who does that now? It cannot be you. So who is it? Have you met someone? Have you, I dunno, found another sulky, ungrateful kid to take in or something? Do you think of me, still? I mean, I know you do. But it’s just been 3 weeks now, and you know, I’m still here, and I really do think I’m ready to go but I just really, really want to see you. Just one more time.
I hope you’re happy, Ma. It sucks what happened to us and I hope that you’re moving on and doing okay. I hope people are being kind but also normal because ugh I can’t stand that whole hushed-voice-useless-question-y thing they were doing to you back then. I hope you’re cooking nice things for yourself and going out for walks and watching TV and doing your daily crossword and stuff. And when the rain lets up for a while, I hope you come say bye.
I mean, of course you will. But still.
I know you hate it when it rains.
The last time I wrote anything purely fictitious was when I was 17, I think. For someone who reads a ton of fiction, I seem to completely lack the ability to write it. But last week’s prompt was “The weather doesn’t bother me anyway. Or does it?” I didn’t quite identify, so I thought I would try something different and write from the point of view of a difficult and dead teenage girl who is afraid of being forgotten and clearly, feeling insecure. I’m not too happy with this, but I expected worse, so it’ll do :)