Stabbed Through The Heart Chapter 1: Prolouge


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The wake was done in an orthodox, nothing-out-of-the-ordinary manner. All the family members were present, along with a few distant relatives, yet much of the room remained vacant. Outside, the afternoon sun hid behind high, lofty fluff of clouds, and the sky was a serene blue. The perfect weather for an outing.

"She was so young."

"So much promise, wasted."

Between the intermediate sobs lay suppressed murmurings, there were shifting of glances towards the boy, who sat innocuously at the corner of the room, unabated by his surroundings. Occasionally, he scanned the room for abnormality, before returning to his established state of trance. He did not seem deeply engaged in thought, neither was he distracted by the sudden outburst of grief performed by the deceased's parents.

He simply was not there.

A photograph of the girl was placed upon the stone altar, buried in columns of bouquets of bright flowers in symbolic condolences. Piles of heart-shaped letters and paper-cranes crammed into a messy heap, they were delivered in the morning by the class rep, who stayed in mourning.
The deceased's name was Nao. She was smiling at the camera, lips curving up in both sides, exposing shy teeth; her hair parted in middle, twirled into a ponytail, eyes squinting upwards by facial muscles. If not for the tiny mole right below her left eye, the photo would have been in perfect symmetry.
After the wailing was broken into silent protests, the room was uncomfortably quiet again. The mother of Eileen, a tall and dignified upper-class office lady, staggered in broken steps back, all the while glancing momentarily over her shoulder towards the pale-skin corpse of her daughter. Her husband had his arms around her shoulder, an attempt at comfort. His gray hair was overwhelming for middle-age, back slouched like a crane. He whispered a few words into the ears of his spouse, recognizing their futility in consoling the damaged woman, all the while battling his own tears.
The lady did not return to her seat. She stopped abruptly ahead and stood to stare at the boy, who in return stared back. She walked into the row of chairs, till her shadow blanketed the boy, and her figure towered over him. No words were exchanged, and the husband, along with everyone else simply watched the impending events unfold.

Her hand stroke precisely across the boy's cheek, and a silent crack of the air, red marks formed in dappling shapes. The boy's head was thrown sideways by the force of the slap, his neatly-combed hair flew and landed in a mess. His eyes unabated, and continued staring at the mother of the deceased.

"You dare…" Drained from the slap, she gasped for bitter air, "you dare… to show your face?"
There was no response. She grabbed the boy by the collar, her bony fingers digging into the fabric, nails biting its own flesh.

"You dare…How could you? How could you?"

Her voice raised in sudden crescendo and the grief exploded.

"IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT! YOU HEAR ME? YOU KILLED HER!" She cried and gasped. Blood oozing out from her hands, hot tears soaking the boy's suit. Her voice resonated in every corner of the room, bounced off the walls, and fell flat onto the ground.

"You killed her… you killed her, my daughter." Her voice trailed off, becoming inaudible.

The husband took his wife into his arms, where she wailed and punched his scrawny chest in denial.

"I'm sorry, Peter." He spoke in harsh tenderness. And they staggered away in entangled arms, exiting the premise.

After the departure of the couple, the rest of the family member began to take their leave, seeking the respite in fresher air. Vincent stood up, walking in the opposite direction as the crowd, shifting through the room almost without presence.

He stood in front of the coffin, over the powdered face of Eileen. She was more beautiful than he had ever remembered. He reached out to stroke her long silky black hair, letting it slip through his fingers. He caressed her cheeks, pinching it ever slightly, expecting her to wake up annoyed, flushed.
Then, under murmured breath, where no one heard him, Peter spoke his first sentence of the day.

"I'm sorry, I really am."

Bending into the coffin, he pressed his lips to hers. The room vanished, white, back to the days of adolescences.
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