Excerpt of Careful
There was a hole already waiting. The ground was ice cold with a thin layer of snow, and it crunched as my family and friends gathered around the plot.
The headstone was ruby red, like the color my hair had been. I could see the breath in the air of my loved ones, their warmth inside hitting the cold air, while they were thinking about me. I didn’t want my body to go into that cold dark hole in the ground; I didn’t want to be left behind. I wanted to scream “Nooo…wait!” as my casket was lowered into the ground.
My mother held her hands to her mouth and closed her eyes, unable to watch, but my father, with tears in his eyes, watched me go down into that cold deep place.
This couldn’t be happening. I started to wonder if this was just a dream, and I wasn’t really dead. On Monday I would walk the halls of Willow Ridge High School, I would see Phoenix, I would meet the girls for lunch, I would be there for the outdoor track season, I would go to practice every day and improve with each race and I’d qualify for the New York State Meet, I would go to prom with Phoenix, I’d get that track scholarship, I would go to college, I would get married and have kids one day, I would succeed in all the ways I wanted to succeed.
Life would continue.
But while huddling together and looking at the ground, the faces of Zara, Eva, and Jett told me I was wrong. So did the headstone that bore my name.
Estella Marie Montclair
You know how they say nothing is set in stone. Well, when you see your name set in stone on a grave, you know that’s not true. Some things are set in stone.