'Suffocation' The state or process of dying from being deprived of air or unable to breathe.
That was exactly how I felt sitting in this imperial room, where there is no darkness, or overtones.
No one is even grieving, they are all wrapped in fancy clothes like they've been invited for a dine with the queen of England. And then there's the gestures and whispers, pretending not to be happy to see each other, but also not caring enough to act somber for the deceased.
I hear people saying such things like, 'She was such a good woman.' or whatever like that. Maybe that's what people tell themselves so it's not as sad. Or maybe they really think that.
I just hide at the back, with all the whispers. Watching, All the people catching up on old times. People who only see each other once in a blue moon.
I did my best to block them out. With all their disrespect for the dead.
"Sophie!" Someone chimed in beside me, "Why are you here? Your mother and grandfather are looking everywhere for you."
"Excuse me." I blinked quickly, and then walked outside.
I remember my first funeral like it was yesterday.
All I wanted to do was climb into that small box and lay down with him. To drape his limp arms around me. And just cry out my eyes on his chest.
I would just lay there and cry and cry until the tears stopped. Or until he woke me up from the never-ending nightmare.
That's the thing about all these funerals, they are all the same and they all take me back to that very funeral.
The one that killed me.
I found an old tree outside my home and sunk down on it, it was much quiet and it gave me a sense of peace.
On this exact spot are best memories of my father.
I remember how we used to come out to grab some air and read books, while we chatted about almost everything.
Those days seem so far off now.
As I thought on the best days of my life, I settled properly and took out one of our favorite book,
'The Golden crown'
We read it together almost million times, and I had loved it so much, I remember feeling overjoyed whenever he read it to me.
I wanted to relieve the nostalgia over again, and what better way to do it than out here.
I felt someone was having a smoke behind me, but I didn't care enough to look. I didn't care much of anything at this point, "Care for a smoke, kid?"
"No, thank you." I muttered without lifting a glance of the page I was reading, "don't let mother catch you smoking on her lawn, or there'd be another funeral."
I heard him laugh.
"I hate funerals." He whispered afterwards.
"Hate is an understatement, " I sighed deeply and turned the next page.
"First time?" He asked.
"Nope, second time." I answered.
I hope I don't lose count.
There was another silence between us, and then.
"The loneliest moment in someone's life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly." It took a moment to realize the stranger was quoting out loud one of the greatest Gatsby lines.
"Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead." I added, and soon it became a spontaneous battle of lines.
"I hope she'll be a fool. That's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool."
"No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart."
"I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others--young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life."
"You see I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad things that happened to me." I think that's my most favorite line in the whole world.
We stopped and laughed.
"I haven't read that text in years," he said.
"Me too." It was the last book I read with my father.
"It's a great book." he said.
"I think there's a movie now played by Leonardo de Caprio, I haven't seen it, but I heard he gave an outstanding performance, not that anyone could beat Scott Fitzgerald's brilliant description of Jay Gatsby."
"I wouldn't know, I haven't seen a motion picture in a very long time."
"Motion picture? You mean a movie, right?" It's the 21st century who says motion picture? I tried not to laugh.
I couldn't help but smile as he went on with his medieval accent, it was somehow soothing.
"Well, I hate to break it to you, kid, but it was all a lie."
At his words, I set my book aside, and quickly stood to face him,
"Actually, it was all a... Dream."
When I come face to face with him, I stopped in my tracks, and retreated. Not what I expected to see, the whole time I thought I was conversing with a boy my age, but I wasn't,
He nodded in acknowledgment, not even slightly fazed by my appearance. Did he already know who I was?
Notwithstanding, he was an attractive man, and he was wearing a navy suit with a smirk, besides my father I've never met anyone who I thought looked dashing in a suit, or any man that looked nearly as good as my father, or shared my love for Gatsby.
I felt stupid for not realizing it sooner, but I guess it made sense, no boy my age talked like him.
"Take care, Kid." He took a last drag at his cigar and tossed it before turning to leave. I lost my balance suddenly, I didn't want him to leave,
He stops on his tracks and twirls around to me effortlessly, not saying anything, just staring.
I stutter at his gaze,
"Actually, it's Sophie... Sophie Hertz."
Just when he was about to speak, someone drags my attention away from him,
"Sophie, It's time to go."
"Um, yeah.. Okay.." When I returned he was already walking away, leaving me watching at his back as he went, almost like a dream. I didn't even get his name and that I regretted for the longest time.