Paradise Lost

Kim Bogg slid into the car with the rest of her family. No one said a word as her father started the car, and they made their way outside of the pastel living community. Kim kept her head down as she plucked at a loose string on her black skirt.

How benign their little community had been, everyone content to whisper scandals back and forth about one neighbor or another. She smiled slightly despite herself as she thought of how Edward had turned their lives upside down. Then she looked up at her family's somber faces and remembered today was not a day for smiles. Why was she smiling? She had lost her long-term boyfriend, Jim, under a week ago. She should be crying...but she wasn't. What did she feel? Relief? Sadness? Loneliness?

She shook her head and stared out of her car window. They were nearing the the church that doubled as a funeral home in town. Her reflection stared back at her, bouncing off the random buildings and businesses outside. She sighed and looked forward, catching her mother's eye in the side mirror. Peg gave her a weakly reassuring smile. Kim grimaced back.

They pulled into the full parking lot, and Kevin ducked out of the car before it came to a complete stop. Kim got out slowly, not feeling particularly stable, and stood between her parents as they all walked into the makeshift funeral home.

Walking down the aisle between the pews towards the casket and Jim's parents, Kim heard static behind her. Kim didn't care what these pathetic people thought of her now, but couldn't help but feel a pang of sadness as she saw Jim's parents. His mother was pale as a sheet, and looked like she could barely stand, clutching onto her husband for dear life.

When they reached the despondent couple, Jim's mother threw herself into Kim's arms, sobbing.

"Oh Kim, I always thought you would be my daughter in law," the woman said, struggling to make her words coherent through her cries.

Kim nodded into her hair, seeing as the woman was so short. She could smell the fabric softener that she had smelled so many times in Jim's arms. There were many good memories laced with this scent, but also many bad ones. One in particular that stood out to Kim was the time Jim had given her a black eye for saying that Tommy Dean had played a great football game. "So you like looking at other guys, huh? Well, I'll teach you some respect."

She shook the memory from her consciousness, storing it away where it might come back only late at night, in her nightmares. Lightly pushing Jim's mother away, she stepped back into her mother's protective arms, as they led her back to their seats in the rear of the church.

As the priest began his sermon, Kim tuned out his bull about how the dead truly never leave us. She allowed herself to get lost in the storm of thoughts swirling in her brain. The casket was closed, but she had this sick desire to run up and tip it over, spilling Jim's body out on the church steps.

She hurriedly erased the vision, and glanced at her father's stony face. Expressionless. The best word Kim could come up with was expressionless. What was he thinking? Her mother's face was a different story. Her face was twisted up in a frown, her eyes red from tears. Would she be crying like this if she knew how Jim treated me? Kim thought, considerably curious as to how her sweet mother would react to such terrible news.

The rest of the church wasn't any different from her parents. The men were stone faced, the women crying and blubbering like idiots. Mrs. Monroe was probably just upset she hadn't been able to get in Jim's pants. Kim snorted at this thought, and received a look from her mother. She faked sobbing, and buried her face in her hands. She was shocked to find real tears on her palms a few seconds later.

She lifted her face in surprise, staring down at the tiny pools in her palms. She felt her mother's soft hand on her upper back, and the other on her knee. She didn't find it comforting like she was supposed to, but found it rather suffocating. She shrugged her mother off, and stood up. Kim took one last look at the casket before bolting out the door.

On the way home, she let her tears flow freely. The tears cut tracks in the makeup she had numbly applied this morning. She realized how stupid this decision had been when she had no feeling left in her fingers with which to wipe the snot from her dripping nose.

The sky was her favorite shade of grey, the shade right before it snowed. But there was never any snow in paradise.

Kim broke into a run when she saw her street. Running out of breath by the fourth house, she slowed to a sloth like walk. Kim lifted her eyes from the ground, and caught sight of the mansion. She thought she saw a shadow shift in the uppermost window when she felt the first snow flake land on her arm.

A/N: Hi! Thanks for reading! Really hope you enjoyed :) If you are so bored you might sexually assault my lunch box, please leave a review.

Have a nice day,

Natalie