The crowd repeated the Preacher’s sentiment; except for my great aunt Lenore, who had been wailing since the beginning of the ceremony.
“Now her grandson, Jonathan, would like to say a few words.”
What?! I stopped myself from shouting; but just barely. It wasn’t the kind of thing you scream at a funeral; maybe a wake.
I shot my father a, did you tell them I wanted to say a few words, type glance, but it must have looked like a, thank you for this honor, type glance, because he only nodded his head in a reassuring manner.
I stood and walked the long walk to the front of the room where my grandmother laid, cold and frozen in a small box. Frozen dinners came to mind, and I almost laughed.
She was wearing a dress—which she never wore when she was alive—and had clown makeup plastered to her cheeks. Everyone kept saying how peaceful she looked, but I thought she looked like something that would be more at home in a sci-fi film.
The podium was unwelcoming and the crowd was cold and silent; except for my aunt Lenore of course. Lenore had hated my grandmother; I guess death makes you forget that kind of thing.
I braced both corners of the podium and peered into the audience. For a moment I thought, maybe if I picture them nude, but I quickly threw that thought out of my head.
“Oh, dear god, why!” Lenore’s voice echoed throughout the church and my brain.
“…My…” My voice started weak and unsure. In that moment, almost all words were lost to me.
“My, grand-ma.” I sounded out every syllable, trying to buy myself some time.
My grandfather was crying. I had never seen him cry before. My step-grandma was squeezing his hand while she dabbed her eyes with a handkerchief. Forgetfulness had become an epidemic.
“My, grand-ma…was…” I was making progress now; almost a full sentence. Just a few more words.
“My grand-ma…was a…” my eyes locked with my father. Go get em tiger, his eyes seemed to say.
“My grandma was a bitch!”
A unified gasp, ran throughout the crowd. The gasp was bad, but the silence that followed, was worst. Every eye in the room was on me. If looks could kill, I’d be laying next to my grandmother.
I turned, tail between my legs, and began to make my retreat. Suddenly, the silence was broken. A noise started out low but then quickly built. A thunderous laughter echoed throughout the church. I looked to the crowd, in search of my savior.
“She was a bitch!” Lenore screamed in between her laughs.
I always liked my aunt Lenore.
AUTHORS NOTE: THIS IS A FICTION INSTALLMENT FOR MY #FICTIONFRIDAYS. PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS BELOW, AND A VER SPECIAL THANK YOU TO VIRGINIA FINE, FOR BEING A GREAT EDITOR.