I’M WATCHING

AN ORIGINAL SHORT STORY BY AVNEET GREWAL

Look at the sky.

Look at the ground.

Look anywhere.

His words echoed in my head. I looked at the sky it was blue, a clear blue. I thought how unfortunate. It didn’t fit the mood. The grass I was standing on was a lush green. Pity that it wasn’t dead, like him.

The sky, the ground, anywhere I looked it was perfect. The day was perfect. The wind was blowing slightly; enough to keep you cool from the sun. The sun was fanning across the open fields enough to keep warm from the breeze.

I looked at where Jacob was standing; he was looking down at the casket staring at his own bed as he was lowered into the ground. His own eyes were confused as he looked up and locked his eyes with me. His lips were pulled into a thin line.

I pulled my gaze away from his and looked at my mother. Her hand was covering her mouth as tears rolled down her cheeks. Her shoulders shook with her sobs. My father was standing stone-faced, anger filled his misted eyes. My older brother’s head was hunched over, his hands trembled as he wiped at his face.

I watched because what else could I do? Crying wasn’t something I was capable of. Not where I was.

I turned my eyes back to Jacob; he had turned his eyes towards his family. The shattered and broken shells they were turning into.

Look at the sky.

Look at the ground.

Look anywhere.

I turned my head to the sky again before finally turning around. There it was. Mine.   

Rosalee Lane Vassberg

August 4th 1999 – December 24th 2017

Look at the sky.

Look at the ground.

Look anywhere.

But not here- that’s what he was trying to say. Look anywhere but not at me, yet I didn’t listen. I looked at him, trying to blink the blood out of my eyes. The stinging was harsh, but I had to see him.

He was worse. His head was bleeding badly, his legs were crushed and his breathing was laboured.

He died there. In front of me, and I followed.

Teenagers, drinks, cars, and blood.

Jacob was looking at me this time when I turned my head towards him. He was crouched by his tombstone. The graveyard held a gloom of sadness, no matter what the weather, it affected us as well. We were always stuck here. Everyone that came here was stuck here.

All the mourners, my family, his family. Everyone was gone.

Snow covered every inch of the ground, dead grass underneath the smooth blankets of white. The dead under the dead grass.

He ran his fingers over his name.

Jacob Becker Leckie

July 24th 1998 – December 24th 2017

Seasons passed summer, fall, winter, and then spring again and then repeat. My family came every week, then every month, and then twice a year. The day I died and the day I was born.

My brother cried over his lost friend and his sister. My mother cried over a lost daughter. My father cried out of anger. He cried over me the most. He cried when no was watching. I was watching. Jacob was watching. Slowly their tears stopped and their words came. Soon those stopped too and only flowers came with empty stares.

And we watched. That’s all we could do. Watch, because, we died.

We left a hole so big in the lives of our loved ones that nothing could fill it, not even time. We lived our life believing that no one cared about us. We lived thinking we were invincible, that nothing could touch us.

But here we were invisible not invincible. Learning that people did care, we were the ones who didn’t care back.

My mother grew old, and died. My father grew old and died. They stood next to us giving us sad smiles. Jacobs’s parents came.

We watched my brother come year after year until finally he never left himself.
Soon no one was giving us flowers.

The life we had, we wasted, and then we faded.

(Originally published December 11, 2019)

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