The sun sets low behind the buildings. Light fills the room as everyone stands around me. No one is crying yet, but they will or already have. It's quiet. Why did it have to be like this?
I'm not looking up at them, no; I am standing a few feet away, watching them look at my empty shell. I see them, but it's foggy, like looking out a window when it's foggy or through a terrible downpour of rain in the dark. It's quiet. Why did it have to be like this?
"Don't be sad," I whisper, but my voice is lost to the wind. It howls around me, making them seem father away, slowly fading. It's quiet; why did I have to die like this? He needs me. She was finally starting to not hate me.
Her last words to me were, "I'm sorry, Hon," as she hugged me and cried over my shell. I was already leaving, but I could feel her tears on my cheek. I felt so calm, but I think I might have been crying in their word, anyway.
He didn't get last words to me. He was too far away to watch me die, driving the blue ME van. I told Jordan to tell him I was sorry I didn't say good-bye, and she did. It was the first thing out of her mouth when he opened the door and saw my dead body. I reached out to touch his face, but my fingers didn't connect.
I stood beside him, trying to tell him things of comfort as he and Jordan wheeled my body into the morgue. I was right beside him, and he couldn't see me, feel me, or hear me. He was so sad. He was crying silently. It was so quiet, I kept thinking. Sounds from the real world were becoming muffled and vague. But I wanted to stay a little longer. Just a little longer.
He held my hand through the sheet covering everything except my face. He patted my arm, as though I was the one in need of comfort. But I couldn't feel it. I couldn't feel him touching me, as much as I wanted to. It was agony to watch him touch me, and not be able to feel it. I wanted to touch him one last time, but I couldn't. And I knew I wouldn't be able to.
I can barely see them now. The world is becoming foggier, and I'm trying to fight it. I can see them; it must not be too late! But Garret is shaking his head and looking at my face. Nigel has his arms wrapped around himself. Bug looks more depressed than usual. Woody is crying. Jordan is trying not to. I'm dead. I know I'm dead. But I don't want to be dead.
"No!" I scream, and if I could cry I would have. "No! Not yet! I'm too young! It's too soon! I never got to apologise! I never had a chance to tell them how much they mean to me! No! No!" The wind howls, tugging at me, pulling me away from my friends.
I'm still trying to fight it when they're finally gone. Everything is white. I feel blind, but the agony and terror and feeling of unfairness are slowly fading. I feel calm again. Happy. Everything is so bright here. So peaceful. I feel like I can have anything I want. Except maybe to go back.
Woody will be happy with Jordan, I realise. They were meant to be together, and I was a complication. So was Pollack. This must be God's way of telling me that I had to go for them to be happy. And I want them, him, to be happy.
I don't feel like nothingness anymore. I can wiggle my fingers, lick my lips, see out of eyes. It almost makes it feel real again, like before. I feel a hand on my shoulder, and I jump on the inside a little. I thought I was the only one here.
I turn to look at JD Pollack, who gave me a little smile. He isn't pale or bloody or cold looking like the last time I had seen him. He has colour in his cheeks that looks healthy and natural. He looks happy. "Welcome," he says.
He isn't the only one here, either. I can see my friend from high school who was hit by a car. I can see my dad. I can see other people, lots of other people, people I don't recognise. Pollack walks away gracefully, much more gracefully than he ever could have back home, and my dad approaches me.
"Tallulah," he whispers, and his voice is just as I remember it. He reaches out to me and touches my arm, a warm smile on his face. "You're younger than I thought you'd be..." He seems almost sad about this, frowning slightly, "But just as beautiful." I throw my arms around him, grinning. I can feel his heartbeat, his breath on my cheek.
It feels so real. I know why it had to be like this. It's not quiet anymore. I can hear people talking, laughing. I can be happy here. I can wait for them, to tell them. I can wait for him and Jordan and mom and the rest to come and join me. I can wait.