Hello readers. Despite its title this little story is light and relatable. It is the first draft of a chapter in one of my books and taught me brevity is often best.
Already late at two minutes past midday I scream the car uphill and around corners, into the wrong gate of the Crematorium, back out, roar back up the road to the right gate and can’t find a carpark. Finally, I squeeze into an end slot, half on the grass and cut the engine. It starts to rain. Using my purse as a hat I run across the parking lot, take a shortcut through the gardens, rip my pantyhose on a bush and make the porch. My suit is clingingly wet.The Minister has beaten me. He’s already at the lectern. I squelch along the back wall and squeeze into the corner. Hiding and dripping on a Chapel carpet is not a good look but everyone is standing straight and tall and righteous. Good. Now everyone sits down. The place is packed. I know dear old Aunt Madge had been a sweet lady but this number of mourners takes me by surprise. I shrink into the corner.
The Minister adjusts the microphone. “We are here today to pay our respects and our farewells to our dear friend Cecil Bathurst.”
I’m at the wrong funeral and if I try to leave this funeral service now that it’s started I’ll be the cause of a maximum, congregational head turn. I could sprint out. I could shuffle out - or even pass out. I give up and decide to see it out.
At twelve-thirty I leave, the last unidentified mourner, sneaking away; but over by the gardens stand the cousins … waiting. There’s no escape.
“I tried to stop you going in,” Cousin Stan winks with a wicked grin, “but you did such an amazing sprint over those rose gardens I couldn’t catch you.”
We are all in black according to Aunty Joan’s wishes and we all go in together to sit like ten blackbirds in the two front seas. Damp but in the mood by now I relax with my family.
This is Jean Angel Allen hoping that whatever the weather your 2015 is happy.