Inspired by the first line of Love Is Not A Pie by Amy Bloom:
“In the middle of the eulogy at my mother’s boring and heartbreaking funeral, I began to think about calling off the wedding.”
Her hair was black last I saw it, but I imagined it had since turned gray. She always had such rich hair, fake almost. But it didn’t matter now. I couldn’t see her hair flow in the casket.
The pews were aligned in four rows of fifteen, filling the whole cathedral. Only my pew was filled with people though, except five teenagers I didn’t know in the back, who I recognized from the police crime blotters. I didn’t think it would come to this. My mother wasn’t the most popular woman around, but I expected a few more people to come than those of us who were obligated. Unfortunately I didn’t think to send out invites.
It was pitiful, I’m certain I even saw the priest yawn at one point. My sister, next to me, was about two seconds from R.E.M., I swear. Her hat, way too fancy for the occasion, ticked my neck as she dozed. I really didn’t want to lower myself to that, despite my boredom. So I thought about things. Like my life.
How my girlfriend didn’t come. Or rather, my fiancée. She got tired of waiting for me, so she proposed to me herself. About a month ago. We met in college and started dating then. Nothing unusual. I was so in love with her. Her eyes, her smile, her body. I admired her income. I like how she talked to me. We had sex every other night.
Now we don’t really see each other all that often. She’s busy at work, I’m too tired for sex. When I told her when my mom’s funeral was, she said she couldn’t make it. She’d be out of town, on business. She never really went on business trips, but I was too tired to investigate.
I regret that now. To be honest, I don’t really care if she’s having an affair. I just want to call her off on something. Our wedding’s in two months. I don’t think I’ll be attending.
I pictured it, how she would react. I would tell her, she would listen. There wouldn’t be a fight. She would say that it was probably best for the both of us. Then she would say goodbye, and she would leave, calling her secret lover as she walked out. And I would be alone in the apartment, no steady income, no girlfriend, no furniture (she would take it all with her), and no real life. I would sigh every day, maybe once every ten minutes. I would masturbate to pass the time. My own life would scoff at me.
My sister’s hat poked me in the cheek, which startled me a bit. I straightened my suit as the pastor asked us to say “amen.” No one did.
I woke my sister up. She stretched slowly, her eye makeup smeared slightly from sleep. We all got up and walked to the front, stopping in front of the casket.
I looked in, at my mother, my overbearing shunning mother who we all hated, and was reminded of my girlfriend.
Their beauty, their hair, killed me to look at.
I belonged in that coffin, really.