My Mother Is Wrong
She could not believe I had the nerve to come, her twin brother, but whatever she said, that corpse used to be my mother. Death, a lot of death in the room, and they, all of my mother’s friends and distant relatives, were not surprised by me being there. I was her son after all, whatever my sister said, whatever happened.
I was chewing a very hard bread looking around. Tears and makeup, laughter and sobs, madness and death, closeness, everyone holding each other. I sighed. I could see my sister’s gaze upon me with every step, I could see her wanting to talk to me, but I did not feel like chatting up with her just yet. Funerals are dizzy and confusing since nobody acts like they often pretend to be and the food, like the one I have in my mouth, is often bitter. Could my sister take worse care of my mother’s mourners? You are no guest, she would say, you have what she would give you if she were alive. She would be right.
I lit up a cigarette and smoked while looking through the glass. I didn’t remember her being so lively and pretty. Must be the makeup. It, the face, looked better than when she was in the hospital. I was there, my sister was there, and our younger sister was there, and our older brother was there and she would look at each of us and her eyes would say everything her words didn’t. I confirmed what I always knew but she wished had not suspected.
Her glass then got covered in small ashes and dust and the painting lost all of its beauty. I pulled away and went outside for some fresh air. I could feel many eyes on me but since they weren’t my mother’s, I shrugged them off.
My sister followed me.
“Why did you come?” she asked me, crossing her arms but unable to appear as angry as she wanted. I looked up and saw the clear sky; I always thought that funerals were best when they occurred on rainy, windy days.
“I had to come.”
“Because you are forced by social norms? By me? That’s all?” she said. I could see her eyes wetting and her voice breaking. I did not like that.
“I’m not glad she’s dead.”
“Stop lying to me.”
“I’m not that glad she’s dead,” I said with which I thought was the truth. I remembered many of the games we used to play, my sister and I. We were always together when mother wasn’t at home. We could now resume our playing forever with no interruptions, but we were too old now, too untrue to ourselves.
She began to cry. I used to be the one that cried when we were young. I had never seen her cry. It was the most bizarre feeling I’d ever had.
“She said… she said… she was sorry…” she said as her face was reddening. “She asked… for you to be there… to say she was sorry…”
“Everyone can be sorry, you stupid moron!” I said without daring to make eye contact with her. “She only felt guilty because everyone made her feel guilty. All words, no action.”
She cried some more and I turned my back on her. People also commented on how similar we looked to each other but that was as far as similarities went, not only with her, but also with my family. My mother said once that four children were too many children.
She went back inside saying something I did not quite catch. I did not care anymore. I was going to wait outside for everything to end and then comfort her and then go back to what I chose. Heaven for me, surely, hell for my mother, not a happy end for anyone, just an end.
I lit up another cigarette, then another one, then another, and another, and another, and another. Hoping that the horrible scratch in my chest was due to the heat in my lungs and the tears of my eyes, from that sickening black smoke, swirling, but oddly static, like a dead body looking so peaceful, childless, and with no regret whatsoever.