My eyes finally open to the brightness of the scene around me. Faces. I saw faces buried in a dark cloak, hands slowly extending to touch my cheek. I could feel nothing. I felt light and slightly dizzy, and my mind was just a whirl. I slowly sat up, receiving no response from the people around me. I look around me, seeing valley after valley comprised of dark figurines. Somber faces casted tones of despair, lighted only slightly for the glory of God.
“I can feel him here,” a woman beside me whispered, tears dripping off the chin of her hidden face. A young girl beside her clung to her, “Then lift your veil, momma, and let him see your face again before he leaves,” she mentioned quietly, lifting her own veil. I stared at the young lady, bending over the casket to reach my shivering hand to her cheek. However, as I leaned, I only fell through the wooden cage, landing on the ground- without a bang. I look up from the prickly grass, watching as the older woman removed her veil, and my eyes watered. “Yes, Meredith, he’s still here,” my mother cut off. I quickly bring myself to sit on my knees. I touch Meredith’s cheeks finally, staring into her beautiful eyes, watered with sorrow for me- for my mother. “I think I feel him too, mom.” She leaned on her, smiling a little, clearly recalling the little moments I had spent with her. I began to speak, quickly, panicky, worriedly, “Meredith, I- I am so sorry that I never was there for you. I should’ve been at the hospital when- I should’ve paid attention after- I should’ve-” I began to break down at this point, unable to finish a single sentence. Sobbing, I looked up at my mother, “Momma, you know I have always loved you. I just- I just need time.” But just like that, the veil hid the faces I loved, and the blackness of the valley embraced them as they walked away with the sound of Redeeming Grace.
The bright shining of headlights were scattered throughout the dark wood, dancing and placing corners. I sat on a bench, sinking back to the ground. I stared at the lights of the city and the creeps of the road, wishing for a smoke. This meant I was lost again in the park, where I remember momma and Monet, a shrill woman, searching for me as a rebellious preteen, but, now, I was searching, searching for my story and the reason I died. I was too young to have died; I was only seventeen. I desperately wanted momma and Meredith, sweet Meredith. I regret not picking up the skinny, brunette doll and making her fly to Spiderman, who was controlled by sweet Meredith. I regret not helping momma cook the fancy Thanksgiving meal and setting up the table. Now that I was dead, I had many regrets- regrets I could never fix now.
I stare up at the sky, secretly begging God to send me back home, but I didn’t hear His voice yet. I didn’t even see any movement in the sky or the sound of a trumpet or the chatter of a horse’s hooves or the sparkle of a chariot or the growth of wings, not even a slight tilt of the cloud above. I saw nothing but the darkness of the city, restless, darkened, and lost like me. This was only the beginning...