256 Words

Leaving Sarah Behind

Glynn Sharpe

We buried Sarah today but she'd been gone from us for years.

She was fifteen when she started experimenting with drugs. A little pot, some hash, some trouble at school, and she was gone. Days away from home became weeks, which became months, which trickled down into years. We scrambled frantically to find her but she had disappeared without a trace. But we remained hopeful.

Still, I was a bit surprised when my mother phoned to tell me that she was bringing Sarah home. Someone had found her body in a sleeping bag downtown in an alleyway.

The days leading up to the funeral felt murky. I tried to conjure up memories of Sarah but couldn't. I'd buried her so many times in my mind. The years apart had a way of making her seem unreal. Almost like she never existed. But she did, and she was gone now for good, and she wouldn't be coming back.

Mom and dad insisted on an open casket. Sarah's face looked bloated beyond recognition. Her skin, despite the make up, was red and blotchy.

We carried her casket up a small hill to where she was to be interred in a Mausoleum.

I was the last to leave. I started my car and looked up the hill to the Mausoleum for the last time and saw the casket sitting there. Sarah was alone again. I turned the car off and trudged up the hill to be with the sister I loved so much that it made me numb inside.

Copyright ©2001 Glynn Sharpe. All Rights Reserved.

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April, 2001
Issue #60

256 Words