In Mourning

May 16, 2024

“You know I didn’t want to have to haunt you, but what a ghostly scene.”

-Taylor Swift, “My Tears Ricochet”

 

It’s a funny thing, being able to witness your own funeral. I wouldn’t have thought this many people would come. Sunlight streams through the window as people weep for me like I was some type of hero. And there you are, crying with them as though you weren’t the person that caused all of this. Crocodile tears, if I’ve ever seen them. And you’re even wearing the same necklace that I gave you for your birthday. Fitting.

The kingdom needed a strong and stable leader after our parents died, and you were always able to put on a good facade. I was the thorn in your side, an obstacle on your way to power. Is that how you sleep at night? Telling yourself I deserved it? And did I deserve it? All the hell you gave me? Because even on my worst day, I loved you. Until my dying day. 

We weren’t always like this, you know. I remember when you swore you’d always be honorable and kind, honest and true. I remember a time when I wasn’t constantly rebelling against your rules. When you weren’t always on my case about putting on a good face and following the kingdom’s laws and order. When we were kids, you used to tell me I was brave.

You were my home. You were my closest ally, my best friend, but then everything changed. The day you inherited the kingdom, it became your best friend. Not me. Now, I find that all I want to do is go home, and I can’t. I can go anywhere, just not home.

That night, the fateful night that changed everything, I was preparing to run away. I was going to leave it all, start over somewhere new. I was almost done packing when you walked into my room, drunk on power and alcohol. You told me you were shipping me away to a boarding school, somewhere I’d learn to shape up and follow rules. I screamed at you, told you I wouldn’t go and that I’d stay there at the castle, just to spite you. Then, you told me I was dead to you. I didn’t think you meant it literally, though. 

You can pretend I never existed, or you can pretend you hate me or you’re glad I’m dead, but I’ll always know the truth. I’ll always be a little voice in your head, a face over your shoulder. You can aim for me, try to hurt me, but you’ll always miss me, deep down. And when you can’t sleep at night, you’ll hear my voice, singing you soft lullabies.

My death will destroy you. You’ll be tossing out blame to everyone but yourself, drunk on pain. You’ll spend your life wasted on regret. 

 

***

 

I still watch you sometimes, standing at my grave. I wonder how you feel. Do you feel sad? Regret? Lonely? I do.

I’m less angry now. Well, sometimes I am. But I know now that death never really brings resolution. I wish I could tell you that. You and I will never get closure. I can reminisce forever, and that won’t bring me back.

I like to think you do miss me. I watch you, every day, pretending I was never alive. But when you’re alone, I know you feel me around, always with you. When you’re alone, you can’t pretend I don’t exist.

After all, if I’m dead to you, why do you mourn me? 

 

“You had to kill me, but it killed you just the same.”

-Taylor Swift, My Tears Ricochet

 

Maggie Handron is an eighth grader who loves writing, acting, and singing. She wrote this story after hearing the song “My Tears Ricochet” by Taylor Swift and being inspired by its lyrics. It will feature in Hey Young Writer’s Amazon Kindle Journal.

 

Featured image by Krisztina Papp.

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