The Funeral That Left Me Reeling

The Funeral - Little Authors - Stories

The Funeral That Left Me Reeling

I attended a funeral with my father. I was too small to understand the sombre atmosphere that hung in the air. For me, it was just another day, another place I didn’t quite comprehend.

As the ceremony proceeded, a stranger approached me. He was a man of deep sorrow, and he spoke to me in a voice that seemed to carry the weight of the world. “Death is inevitable, young one,” he said, his eyes filled with a haunting sadness. “Tragedy is a part of everyone’s life.”

I didn’t quite grasp the gravity of the man’s words, and I didn’t shed a tear. To me, it was all strange and distant.

However, when the time came to unveil the face of the departed for one last goodbye, I stood frozen, like statues carved from the icy grip of fear, my eyes wide as if caught in the blinding headlights of an oncoming train. Terror filled my veins.

It was the same man who had approached me, the one who had spoken of tragedy and loss just moments ago. My heart pounded in my chest, and I couldn’t look away from the lifeless face that now seemed to haunt my every thought.

I returned home that night with trembling hands and a mind haunted by a relentless chorus of questions and dread.

It was the very night I had come back from the funeral, a day that had left me feeling unmoored and uneasy. I found myself wandering near the window of my room, bathed in the eerie glow of twilight. The day’s events had already taken their toll, and the unsettling sounds outside sent shivers down my spine, making my palms sweat profusely.

I gazed out through the window, where the pale blue twilight seeped through delicate white lace curtains, casting eerie shadows across the room. As I turned to walk away, a sudden intrusion jolted me back to the edge of terror.

Footsteps. Loud, unmistakable, and bone-chilling. My heart pounded as I slowly turned to face the source of my torment. There he was, the same man, the very figure whose lifeless visage had haunted my thoughts since the funeral.

His gaze locked onto mine, and it felt as though he was peering deep into the recesses of my soul. My mind struggled to grasp the impossible reality before me, drowning in a sea of fear and disbelief.

I ran towards my bed and crawled beneath my covers, desperately yearning for more sleep. But an unsettling itch crawled beneath my skin, refusing to let me find respite.

The universe had been cruel to me, ensuring that even in the realm of dreams, the haunting specter of that man remained. Even when I slept, I dreamt of him.

My fear grew more profound as I reluctantly glanced at the digital clock. 4:44 am. In Chinese culture, this was an inauspicious start to the day. I had never been superstitious, but in that moment, I was a child—a child whose life had been marked by a relentless haunting.

I fought against the irresistible pull for as long as I could, until the delicate hues of twilight eventually melted into dawn. At last, at 7:02 am, a more respectable hour to wake, I escaped from that eerie room that had held me captive throughout the night.

I hastily changed into my school uniform and bolted from the oppressive atmosphere that had clung to my room. Little did I know, my life would never return to what it once was after that fateful night.

Sleep eluded me for countless nights thereafter, as the specter of that day continued to cast its long, harrowing shadow over my restless soul.

Those encounters left a deep scar on my psyche, my whole life. I grew up with a fear of funerals and a lingering trauma that I couldn’t shake. I went to therapy, trying to make sense of that fateful day, but the memory haunted me like a relentless ghost.

The trauma from that day weighed so heavily on me that it eventually led me to seek solace within the walls of a mental hospital.

It wasn’t until my adulthood that the pieces of the puzzle finally fell into place. Through one of my relatives, I learned the truth – the departed person in the funeral had a twin brother, and the man who had approached him was the very twin I had thought was dead.

The revelation shook me to my core, as I realized the depth of deception and mystery that had shrouded that funeral. I couldn’t believe what was the truth.

Haunted by the past, I began to unravel the secrets hidden in my town, slowly peeling back the layers of a chilling conspiracy that had changed the course of my life.

Yet, since I’d witnessed the only funeral I’d ever attended, the nights never offered me solace. Even after uncovering the truth, an unsettling sensation in my chest has never subsided to this day.

No matter which way I look at it, it’s clear that something is an illusion. The only question that remains is: Which truth was the illusion? The one that kept me awake every night or the one that my relative reassured me of? And who was the person in my room, that night?

By Rati Jha

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The Funeral That Left Me Reeling

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