It was practically like high school all over again. To be more specific, it was rather like those geometry classes that my classmates and I once hated.
The whole lot of us never really had anything against the teacher. Miss Ann was a lively person, and the only reason why people dreaded attending her classes was the subject in itself. Despite her best attempts at teaching us how to deal with the subtleties of geometry, most of us consistently handed in blank or horribly wrong answers when it came to her exams.
Admittedly, this was partially because we never did take the fact that she was a Controller all along into consideration when we normally dealt with her.
A pet peeve of mine was that I could never, despite my best efforts, sketch a three-dimensional solid on a two-dimensional sheet of paper. For those who couldn't understand that piece of mathematical jargon, it simply meant that I was horrible at drawing solid objects. Cones would be grotesquely mutated into pentagons. A sphere became into something almost resembling a butterfly. And every time, Miss Ann would wearily leave a note telling me to try harder next time at the bottom of my failed test answer script.
Come to think of it, my solid scale drawings usually ended up as little more than masses of messy lines. I couldn't see in three dimensions that easily, and that problem carried over to my artistic abilities.
Which was why I found myself at a loss for words presently.
I was supposed to be writing a letter of sorts. And the people that I would eventually be sharing it with ideally would get a decent picture of the topic I was writing about. But like my geometric drawings, the attempt to create an image of that particular somebody turned out to be disastrous. Every word I wrote down was defective in its own way. The tone of my writing turned out to be either too presumptuous, or too inadequate for the task at hand. Entire completed drafts were discarded, forming a small mountain of crumpled paper in the wastepaper basket near my desk.
How could it ever be possible for me to put a picture of this one person into words?
She had her faults, as we all do. But her spirit was a turbulent one, never content to sit back and feign ignorance when something went wrong. She was a warrior, that much was for sure. But at times, her mask slipped off, and the rest of us who were with her would get a brief glimpse of the scared girl behind the brave face. Some of us found it comforting to know that she had a human heart behind her mask of bravado, but to the rest of us, it gave the impression that she was holding on to her sanity by ropes that were probably fraying.
How could I paint a masterpiece with a pencil?
I could probably write a thousand words about her if I really wanted to. But somehow, it just didn't feel right when I actually got round to it. She never did bother much with words when she fought at our side, and so describing her with too many of them just felt... wrong.
Everything about the whole issue was out of place.
As the clock struck five, I realized that I only had about three more hours to go before the letter would be needed.
Wearily, I decided to go ahead with the words, but along a different train of thought.
Everyone was silent as I made my way to the little podium before them. The weather was fine, with just enough sun to brighten the place up, and just enough breezes blowing by to keep things cool.
I took the microphone from its stand on the podium, and turned to face the people gathered there. With a deep breath, I started to read the note I had written not five hours before I stood up there.
"I know that this might not be the best eulogy out there."
The audience of mourners remained silent, their expectation speaking for itself wordlessly.
"Rachel always said that someday, when everything was over, she would like to have what we felt written down as a story. So this is my attempt at doing that."
Several sobs could be heard, and misty eyes were dabbed at with handkerchiefs.
"My name is Jake. I am Rachel's cousin. But I never knew her that well as a cousin."
"I knew her as a warrior."