The Weight of Unforgiviness

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
The Weight of Unforgiviness

Submitted: March 14, 2014

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Submitted: March 14, 2014

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I died yesterday morning, at 3:00am.
My parents found my body at 7:00am.
My funeral was held the next day, at 6:00pm.
I’m not dead.
At least I don’t think I am.

It suddenly grows bright in the coffin and my body burns alight, although I don’t feel it. I peel myself away from my grey flesh and swim through the furnace. Crying with bowed heads are my family, best friends, and closest teachers, all cladded in black. I can imagine that if I were still alive, their concern for me will certainly melt my core. Mother sobs uncontrollably into father’s arms while my grandmother only manages the slightest sniffle. My melting pot of love goes sour. Why, is a grandchild not significant? I knew it all along.

My grandmother was (and still is, last time I knew) a grumpy person. She would throw fits, make a mess, and argue about everything. In her good moods, she babbled TV commentary, lectured the obvious, and ventured to tinker with the house. My obedient mother slaves away, cleaning after my grandmother and receiving her complaints. The broken peace in the house often ruined my days: slurps of porridge, airs of breath, trails of footprints, talks of marriage (seriously, at sixteen?), accusations of theft, wafts of urine, toilets of..  my mother took her out of the elder’s home because her memory became occasional so she could not take care of herself. I endured my days by simply avoiding her.

Why, I had already died but not quite left this life. I watch the funeral come to an end and follow my family back home. My exhausted mother helps my grandmother off the car, still lifting by the arm as they ascend the doorstep. The expression and movement of her mouth suggests that she is bellowing the usual lines to get my grandmother into the shower. While the water runs upstairs, my parents huddle together on the sofa.

***

While awaiting the fate of my partial existence, I explored this omnisciency. I zipped around the neighbourhood, poking my head through the walls. It was amusing at first, but the excitement drained out at the thought of doing this forever. I trail back home to my bedroom and lie on my bed as I always did. For a moment it seems just as before, except that I don’t hear or touch, and that everything is in greyscale. And that there is no one else to interact with. If I am truly dead, where are all the other dead people?

I check on my parents to find that they have successfully fallen asleep. Then I explore a room I have never been to before. I never went near the room because it stank. To give you an idea, the whole corridor smelled. Inside, heaps of clothes are littered around. A collection of outdoor finds are scattered on the desk. My grandmother lies in bed with slack jaws. By the bed is a framed picture.

The girl in the picture looks very much like my mother, but a couple years younger. She is with a man who is not my father. She wears a frilly puff-sleeved dress, the kind my mother would never wear. She has silky hair, long eyelashes, and a smooth complexion. She curls up shyly with the man’s arm around her slender waist. It did not occur to me that my grandmother could have been this pretty, timid girl in her young days. I wonder about the woman who raised my mother, the one who loved her child so much that she cultivated absolute obedience. This is the woman who my mother would clean up after and take complaints from. It is not my grandmother’s fault, for if my mother grew old she will be in the same place, and me too if I had not died.

***

A couple months later, the town regains its momentum. With lighter spirits, I visit the school I used to go to. I am not sure if I should say that in past tense, for I am going there now. It seems like everyone has moved on. I take a vacant chair and observe my friends in class. Their mouths form words I long to hear. I see that sometimes they do mention my name. It pleases me to know that they still think of me, but for how much longer? Someone else has taken my place in the second row. Will my legacy in the usual five of us be merged with the newcomer? It worries me that my identity might slowly fuse with my substitute.

Everyone packs up simultaneously, except for my four friends who were watching the time closely and had already collected their items. They dash out of the classroom and I pursue. It must be a Wednesday, for my best friend splits up from the rest and heads for the student council meeting room. At the turn of the corridor, we bump straight into the school bully. Turn back, I long to say. But my best friend does not believe in stepping down. The bully grips my friend by the collar and by the looks of it, threatens with barely moving lips. The bully’s clutch grows tighter with my friend’s hesitation. Let go, you slimy blotch of lard! My friend nods reluctantly and hands over a hundred baht. The bully pockets the money, slams my friend against the wall, and leaves. Now I am no longer there to be picked on, my best friend has become my substitute.

At the end of the day, my friends scuttle away before the bully can catch up. At the gate, my friends all go their separate ways, and I pause to decide who to follow. Just then I catch sight of the bully. Now is a very convenient time for stalking.

The bully plods home, hands in pockets, face a droop. Then I had to pick up my pace to catch up. A man behind us closes in, but then falls away from our speed. Halfway down the path, the bully sprints. At the turn of the alley, we bump straight into another shady man. Tears and panic fills the bully’s eyes. The men are surrounding. One grips the bully, who immediately hands over ten thousand baht. I gape at the sum. But it is not enough for them. They threaten and punish.

On the way home, more bruises appear. A ripped sleeve flutters. Instead of shrinking with fright, the bully puffs with anger. The father is not pleased with the lost fight, and demonstrates a couple beatings. I had always been told to stand against bullies, but it did not occur to me that they are victims too. Born to a world where strength comes from dominance, it is difficult to treat anyone as an equal. It is a life of beat or be beaten. I don’t forget how inferior the bully made me feel, but now I feel differently about it. It is not the bully’s fault, for if I must choose between beat and beaten, I would probably choose beat as well.

***

It gets frighteningly lonely without interaction of any sorts. For years I wandered, lost in this continuing world. I yearn to take part and exchange words. What weighs most in my heart is the fact that there are so many experiences left I didn’t get to live. To drive, go to university, make my own decisions, to love...

I had a chance in a relationship, but I never got close enough. We got along very well, understood each other, and had closely bound paths. I could tell we were more than friends, and everyone knew it. My parents always told me to wait a little longer so that I may be a little wiser, so I did. When I become of age will be when I confess, I decided. But that was not to be. We drifted apart as I was gradually replaced. Back then when I had to tears to shed, it came in streams. Once it goes it doesn’t come back.

It hurt me so much, both the stealth and the betrayal. But I still long for my love, literally a lost soul longing for a living human. It took me years to pour through every dwelling on earth but I found my darling in the arms of my enemy. Matching rings glint on their fingers.

This must be the deepest regret I have, the inhibition of my confession. If I had not waited to tell it, I am sure I can die in peace. While I stalk my love without the presence I long to have, the unthinkable happens. A car swerves madly and crashes head on. Liquid the colour of love sprinkles the road. A vehicle the colour of heaven takes away the vessel. Along with my surprise, I feel a secret joy. But my love doesn’t some to me in a ghostly form like mine. My love does not come at all. The vessel holds on tightly to life.

They no longer walk side by side as they no longer can. They no longer communicate freely as they no longer can. My love is deformed, inside and out, mentally and physically, stripped of all the former prime glories. My darling relies on a wheelchair, which the enemy of my adolescence pilots. My love’s partner does more than pushing a wheelchair. All the jobs, chores, medical routines are regulated by the one I despised so much. And it is all done with much love that does not require requital. It is not my rival’s fault for uniting with my love, for if I were in her place I would not know what to do, and this substitute is clearly the perfect one for my love.

***

At that very moment, a weight is lifted away from my heart. A warmth softens the dead cold. I glow and take off towards the skies. The white glow grows more intense as I gain elevation. Up here everything is clear. Everything is pure. I finally cross the threshold that kept me between life and the afterlife. He takes me into His arms and tells me:

“Well done, my child.”

 

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