“The sun stopped shining for me is all. The whole story is: I am sad. I am sad all the time and the sadness is so heavy that I can’t get away from it. Not ever.”
I watch drops of water fall from the ends of my hair. They streak down my towel, puddle on the sofa cushion. My heart pounds so hard I can feel it in my ears.
Mom says Ingrid’s name and I start to hum, not the melody of a song, just a one drawn-out note. I know it makes me seem crazy, I know it won’t make anything change, but it’s better than crying, it’s better than screaming, it’s better than listening to what they’re telling me.
“All right,” she says. “That’s enough. I want you all to remember that Ms. Emerson is not dead. Stop acting like she is. Until I have been notified that she is, indeed, destined for a coffin, I refuse to believe she is. So yes, I will hold her notes and schedule a day for her to make up for her quiz, though I’m sure she’ll blatantly ignore both.”
Life’s a bad writer, my father used to say. I think he meant that most of us would write our lives differently, given the chance. If I could choose one year to rewrite, it’d be my senior year of high school, and I’d probably start with that first shack party.
Or I might go even further and make Sid stay in the valley. I always wondered how it would have worked out if the five of us had stayed together. Who knows, maybe Sid could have been the one to stop me from making such a mess of things.