I never thought it would happen to me. I hear those news stories about a girl killed by her boyfriend or a girl with a super stalker but it always comes back to the idea that I am untouchable. Nothing is truly real until it happens to you, and then what? Carrianne thought that once but look at her now. As her best friend I get to say they did a decent job. The wig was expensive, you can tell how each brown root is woven in nicely. Her favorite paisley scarf covers nicely and well, I guess you don't have to show hands if you no longer have finger nails. The details on her casket are so intricate. Perfectly straight lines ending with small curls. I wouldn't expect anything less. Her parents are some of the richest people in LA.
"Rani." Duke whispered as he poked my knee from the chair next to mine. I pulled my skirt down and looked at him. His brown hair has grown quite a bit. I can barely see his baby blues.
"What do you want?" I said from clenched teeth.
"I'm glad you came. Carrianne would be real happy to see you. You're like family so I still want you to come around. I know mom and pop and the kids do too."
I gave a half smile before trying to respond. I was cut off by whimpers coming from the young kids and their mother. I noticed the kids were in age order, Duke, (Carrianne would've been here), Lisa, Leroy, Kyle, and Wanda. Darla and Jim sat at the end, her parents were beautiful people. Honestly, their whole family was. Each member had chocolate brown hair with sweet blue eyes. They all had glowing skin to go with their fresh jewels they wore and polished daily. I will never understand why Carrianne or any of them accepted me into their home.
The preacher man is finally done and people are going to their cars. I just need some sleep. I stand up and straighten my skirt. Wanda waddles over to me and I pick her up. She is light as a feather in my arms. Wanda has no idea what is going on. She grabs my nose and plays with my plastic pearls. To be her age and to have her innocence would be something like a dream. After pulling her little fingers out of my mouth for what seemed like the one hundredth time, I put her down. Since when did funeral homes start leaving doors open? Being the mischievous person that I am I go right for the basement. Who doesn't want to see some stiffs?
I walk to the basement and there they are. Three cold, lifeless bodies laying in caskets ready to go. Carrianne was one of them, the funeral director sent her down earlier in the elevator. I glance over but the other two are just old people, nothing interesting. A-ha. A blue file with Carrianne's name on it is laying there in plain view. I look to my left and right. No one. I open it.
BECHTOLD, CARRIANNE LUCINDA / DOB JULY 28 1946 / DEATH APRIL 17 1966 / CAUSE MISC
EYES BLUE / HAIR BROWN / HEIGHT 5 FEET 6 INCHES / WEIGHT 136 POUNDS / CAUCASIAN
IN DETAIL: BRUISING AROUND THROAT. CHUNKS OF HAIR REMOVED FROM SCALP. PRECISE INCISIONS TO LOWER ABDOMEN, CHEST (BETWEEN BREASTS). ORGANS INTACT. FINGERNAILS (10) REMOVED. BRUISING AROUND WRISTS AND UPPER ARM AREA. FRACTURE TO HUMERUS BONE (RIGHT SIDE). SMALL GASH ON TOP OF HEAD.
I stumble backwards and stare at my best friend. I try hard to picture what she went through. I try to imagine her pain and suffering. She was a fragile person. I was always the fighter, the back bone. She kept me grounded and I kept her informed. Something most people don't realize is that Carrianne was a dreamer. She never really knew what was going on because in her mind, everything was okay. Always okay.
"She's beautiful isn't she?"
I flip the files in the air and jump around. "Duke what are you doing down here?"
"I came to find you." he said wrapping his hands around my waist. He kissed my forehead. I pushed him away.
Duke is three years my senior but if you were to look at him you'd guess maybe ten years at minimum. I remember when we were all little kids he was so feminine. When Carrianne and I were fourteen we went away to summer camp. When we got back he changed. He had muscles and grew taller. He was hairier and his voice, oh his voice, it rumbled and it was smooth and deep. He was something from a fairy tale. I stayed with Carrianne that night and after she fell asleep Duke took me to their huge garden they had in the back yard of their summer country home. He kissed me that night. That's all it's ever been is kisses here and there. For years now. Carrianne never knew but I don't think she would've cared either way. She knew my feelings for him.
"Not now. Do you have any idea what happened to your sister? It's disgusting. They don't even know who did it!" I said as I collapsed into his chest.
"Shh. I won't let anything happen to you." he promised. I couldn't help but notice how he tried to hold back a grin.
© DeLaney Powell, 2019. All rights reserved.