Past Tense

I am fifteen years old.

Icy wind whips around and rain showers fall down on Jake and me as tears slide, silently down my cheeks. I feel Jake put his arm around me and give me a slight squeeze.

We don't have an umbrella and we are both soaking wet. My long, brown hair is clinging to my face but I don't bother to brush it away with my cold, numb hand.

Jake steals a look at me; in a normal situation he would make fun of the mascara streaks around my eyes. He just looks sympathetic and that's no use because now, I can't stand the sympathy. People stare at me with pitying glances and it makes me feel different and depressed.

Jake tries not to stare and pity me but he does it accidentally, without even realizing.

I lean my head on his shoulder as I let more tears fall, freely from my eyes.

I lean down and place a single red rose on the grave in front of me. As I get up again I pause and trace the fancy letters on the gravestone with my finger:

Bethany Gold
June 27th 1960 – February 3rd 2004
Beloved wife, mother and friend

My mother is dead and I feel dead inside.