short stories, writing

rain and I were friends [short story]

It was pouring down with rain. 

That was the least surprising part of my funeral. 

It rained the day I was born. 

It rained on my wedding day (and that was ironic because the marriage lasted all of three days). 

It even rained the day I got my first job. 

Hell, it rained the day I won and lost a winning lottery ticket. 

Rain and I were old friends. 

So I fully expected it to rain on my funeral. 

Water pouring and cascading on to my pinewood casket. 

Dripping and dripping they finally lowered me into the ground. 

That part was expected. 

I wasn’t expecting a huge crowd, but I counted more people than I’d seen in the past few years. There were old people, young people, kids, fucking kids. I didn’t know any kids so I wondered which forsaken inviduual had brought their offspring along. After some deep thinking I reasoned that maybe they’d been hoping to get some free food out of it at least. 

This wasn’t the funeral I had planned. I wanted it to be over quickly. Someone would pour a dash of whiskey on the wooden box and push the button that sent me into a pit of fire. 

After a few minutes, I’d be gone. 

Ashes to ashes. 

Dust to dust. 

Into thin air. 

Maybe afterwards, my only friend would drink himself into a stupor in memory of me. The next day he’d wake up in a pile of his own vomit and vow to get on with his life.

Obviously, none of that happened because my dear old mother had other ideas. Here I was watching a huge procession in the street. People I had never seen before carried my casket.

Worst of all, my mother delivered a eulogy full of lies when they got to the cemetery.

My son was a great man, is how she began.

(I ran away from home when I was eighteen.)

I will never get over this loss, she continued.

(I suspected that she would once she saw that I’d left all of my money to my half sister – same father, different mother – just to spite her.)

I will miss him until the end of my days.

(Like she missed me over the past twenty years?)

Yet, people ate it up. They sat there and cried because grief is contagious. It was like an electric ripple that ran through people in tandem, infecting them with its darkness. These people didn’t know me, but I was their chance to grieve. I was serving some kind of messed up purpose.

It’s a pity then that in life, I’d made a lot of enemies. The kind that I’d hoped my planned cremation would put off. If there was no service, there would be no targets. No targets meant no bloodbath.

Avoiding a bloodbath was obviously a priority.

However, as I saw my mother talking, and heard the revving of engines in the distance, I knew that shit was about to hit the fan.

I was faced with two options.

Play dead, or try to save a bunch of people that had no business being at my funeral in the first place.

In case you’re wondering, I’m not a zombie. 

I’m not dead either.

I’m also not alive.

Try working that one out.

The gunmen set sights on the gatherers fairly quickly, bullets raining down in synch with the raindrops. Screams echoed across the field, and once again, I wondered just what my mother had been thinking. An outdoor funeral? It was unfathomable.

Amidst the chaos, I set about directing those on the field. Agent Roberts had to take the east side. Agent Matthews took the left. Daniels, south. And me? Well, I was stuck here from my vantage point.

Watching.

There’s a good reason why I died. Why I killed myself off before anyone else could. In this business, it pays to be smart. I’ve seen so many good men flounder and fall because they didn’t know when to call time.

I knew.

Waking up to a bullet in my windshield wasn’t necessarily the first indication, but it was a start.

Blood on my walls? Well, that definitely got the ball rolling?

Getting shot in the back and finding out that I’d be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of my life? 

That sealed the deal. 

I knew than that the old me was dead. That guy was gone. I wanted to make it official.

In a way, this was my last act in my previous life. The final chapter. Bullets were flying, people were screaming, field agents were doing their jobs. The stuffy desy job that awaited me would never propel me to such heights so I decided to make the most of it. The angles were tight, everything was a risk, but I ran point like I’d never done before and the situation was contained within fifteen minutes.

My mother stood in a corner, huddled under a foil blanket, with something akin to excitement in her wide eyes. She would be telling this story for years, that I was certain of.

In a way, thanks to my her, I got the perfect send off. Adrenaline. Excitement. The sense that even in my diminished capacity, I could still help. I wasn’t useless. I could do this.

After thirty-seven years of providing me with nothing but disappointment, it was the least she could do.

© hiptobesnark 2017

Awkward Situations, Life

Excuse me, miss 

I’ve already blogged about an incident that occurred between me and a friend of mine. She apologised and I reluctantly accepted. And that’s it. Except, no, it isn’t.

If I have to force an apology from someone then it’s not okay. And like I said in the linked post, I could buy that the initial statements were an oversight on her part but everything else…nah.

So, I have limited my interaction with this person. While I think it’s the right thing to do, now I feel guilty. Maybe I should accept the apology wholeheartedly and move past this. Compromise, somehow. Forgive the comment and move on.

Maybe I should, but, I don’t think I want to.

The thing that gets me is that she claimed she didn’t know that I was upset even though I was very angry. I’m not sure if she was playing dumb or just couldn’t be bothered but I’m sure it ranks low on her ‘Do I care?’ scale.

I’ve spoken to her a few times since her ‘apology’. That was October. I didn’t get back to her and I haven’t heard from her since. Maybe being petty but I’m legit mad that she didn’t wish me a Happy New Year. Sure, I could have just paused our one-sided beef and sent a message but I’ve deciced not to bullshit myself this year. Doing that would have upset me. So now I wait. Well, until her birthday at least because that’s just manners. Still. The uncertainty annoys me. I’d rather know that we are deuces than know that she’s unaware that part of me is still pissed at her flippant behaviour.

Oh well.


Joint response to the Jan 23rd prompts of Oversight (Daily) and Compromise (JusJoJan)

Awkward Situations, Life

Forgiveness is kind of strange.

Forgiveness is strange. We either vow to forgive somebody someday or we forgive quietly without even realising.

I reached out to a former friend this week to say something that I needed to. I kept it brief and didn’t ask how they were specifically because I didn’t want to know. I wanted to say my thing and get nothing back. Unfortunately life doesn’t work that way. At first, I was annoyed that I didn’t get a response immediately.

It takes me forever to reply to my own emails.  Continue reading “Forgiveness is kind of strange.”

Awkward Situations, Life

Friendship Limbo 

[This post was x-posted on My Trending Stories here]

Christmas is approaching and I find myself thinking about a friend of mine. We have been friends for years, although, there have been a few ups and downs. Now, every year we exchange birthday and Christmas presents. In fact, I picked up something for her in April before the incident.

I won’t go into the incident here but the link above covers it well. In short, I last had contact with her two months ago around my birthday. She sometimes combines my birthday and Christmas gift but part of me is hoping that neither come. That’s because we are currently in what I call friendship limbo.

What is friendship limbo? Well, it’s that period of time in which the friendship is less of an unbreakable bond and more of a laid back game of tug-of-war that could go either way. I think we’ve all been through it. Even within our closest friendships. Perhaps it’s closely linked to out of sight out of mind. Or maybe it’s just life. We commonly hear of long lasting friendships and that’s what we are all supposed to be aiming for but in my mind, friendship is like a pair of shoes. Occasionally, you lose a few pairs due to wear and tear. Some we keep and only wear a handful of times a year. Right now, I have two new pairs and nowhere to wear them. I also have a pair of mouldy Vans that I keep meaning to clean. I think that last example sums up friendship limbo pretty well. The mould is the conflict that keeps me from cleaning my shoes and the incident is what keeps me from contacting my friend. 

That being said, this is technically a byproduct of the issue I had with my friend and often friendship limbo is the stage that comes after a series of disappointments. It’s kind of like the detente phase after what we perceive as bad friendship. The string remains but we aren’t ready to cut it yet. In my case, I am not ready because I think the failure of the friendship will go down as my fault. For not taking things lightly and for not being able to forgive and for finding myself in this situation once again. 

For all my talk about shoes, they’re easier to let go of. No one looks down on you for replacing a pair of shoes. There’s no emotional damage, no past memories. Friendship limbo is a dark scary place full of silence and conflicted emotions. And the worst part of all is that I hope it fades into nothingness. I say this not because I don’t value the friendship but because I know I won’t get what I need from it. I’m never going to get the apology I deserve, nor the understanding that I would appreciate. 

And I’m slowly learning how to be okay to with that. 

Awkward Situations, Life, Racism

Apparently White People Are Experts On Racism

postheader

Apparently, there’s no such thing as racism in countries where it has merely been exposed to them! EXPOSED I TELL YOU!

image

Anyway, the situation I’m about to describe happened a few months ago. I’ll apologise now if anything I say after this point offends anyone, although, if it does, it says more about the offended than it does me. Plus, I doubt anyone is going to read this anyway.

Here’s what happened.

My (white) friend is from a European country and I caught wind of a racist incident that had happened there. I emailed them a link about it and sarcastically added, ‘not all publicity is good publicity‘ and some basic remarks condemning the situation+. This was probably mistake number one. I am not an overly patriotic person, but there’s nothing that riles people up more than suggesting their country is inherently racist (which I wasn’t, but apparently that’s how it came across). Just look at Bill O’Reilly. Or Nigel Farage. Or the man of the hour, Donald Trump. Continue reading “Apparently White People Are Experts On Racism”