Funeral Flowers

When your best friend dies, the flowers you both loved doesn’t change.
The days are liquid. You don’t wave, you sink. Some days you drown. Sometimes, simply sitting at the bottom of the pool.
The flowers you loved doesn’t change, neither do your nicknames. No one said them quite how you liked it, the letters softened like through a mouthful of fairyfloss, gossamers of stories that spun out that one summer afternoon the parents still don’t know about. There is no mirth, no turning of the sound to savour the taste, the memories. They say it like a weight, like something to be spat out, flecked with harsh syllables. Like having that one flavour candy you can’t stand. You never told no one else about that, did you? After a while, you ask them all to stop and they look like they’re confused or upset or, worst of all, understanding. As if they could see you addicted to the fingers pushing into bruises, peeling scabs off to feel some part of yourself if only to remind yourself it was there. Those where what you could severe, but you still go the same way to school – the overfilled buses, train stations. That one elevator that always broke and forced you both lug your band instruments upstairs Tuesday afternoons. They are kaleidoscopes of features, of movement. Sometimes, you see ghosts. The way a jumper is worn too big, the swath of dark hair at around the correct height, laughter bright and clear on the train and it hits. You aren’t prepared. There is no preparation for these disasters, for tsunami triggered by the smallest shift, for the aftermath, all the bodies afloat. You throw yourself onto the train, not your train, not your dead best friend but someone you don’t recognise, and the worst part is when you don’t recognise the crying drowned shipwreck tossed by grief onto some foreign land reflected in their eyes. All you recognise is how they had laughed and how it ruptured your oceans, all that salt and warmth dripping down your face.
So you go home, you look for solace. The drawings and cards, all your pictures stare back. All the birthdays, aimless days, going here and here and here. You could pack them. You could leave them, a mausoleum for the pieces left unburied. You make them sacred, palmed like wordless litanies. You could burn them with a vengeance. You couldn’t do any of that. Instead, you fall asleep amid a pond of it, the polaroids, the secret messages rippling out from your curled person. You try floating – reading, walks. Somedays, you listen to music. One day, perhaps, you’ll make peace with the possessions, no longer possessed. You’ll hum to the song and hear only a melody, not the devastation of storms. You’ll see a picture, and see only a picture. You’ll learn to float.
But after they die, the flowers you’d loved remain.
Remember to bring some of our favourites for the funeral.

FOLLOW US was established in 1997, and since then we have successfully completed numerous short story and poetry competitions and publications.
We receive an overwhelming positive feedback each year from the teachers, parents and students who have involvement in these competitions and publications, and we will continue to strive to attain this level of excellence with each competition we hold.


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