By John Gied Calpotura
Raindrops aren’t the only thing that’s falling this moment. Tears too. Vivien’s black dress is soaked from the rain as the priest says his final prayers before they lower down Beth and go home.
The funeral is not crowded, and it is really uneventful. Only fifteen people or so came. Three of them didn’t even bother wearing black. Some of them only came for the food after the funeral. But that’s not why Vivien is mad. She’s not mad that her uncle is dozing off while Beth is being buried down to be decomposed. She’s not even bothered that her cousins are actually glad for Beth to be gone. No. She’s mad because the world has kept spinning. She’s mad because the world has not even spared them a sun to shine, giving them gray clouds and wet grass to mourn with. She’s mad at the cars passing by, carrying on with their own businesses, while Vivien has just lost her only model, her only friend, while her mother and father scream at the top of their lungs, breaking everything that can be broken, including the innocence of their children.
But aside from being angry, deep down, Vivien pities the world. They have not gotten the chance to see Beth’s smile that beat the beauty of the moon or hear her diamond voice—sweet and soft but loud and clear at the same time. Beth never sang in front of anyone. She would only sing when she was in the shower, and Vivien would stick her ears to the door and close her eyes, letting her sister’s voice carry her to timeless lands. It’s sad that no one got to know her outgoing personality, how she would push Vivien when she was feeling unproductive, saying, “Tardiness only leads you to Strip Class!” with her best impression of Mrs. Herrera, their English teacher, but cried herself alone at night when she thought no one was watching. Because that was how she was; she didn’t want others to focus on her dramas, letting them focus on their achievements instead.
“Your dreams are more important than my tears,” she once said to Vivien. Beth was seventeen then, while Vivien was thirteen, it was the first time she caught her crying.
“Do you have dreams?” Vivien asked.
“Once,” Beth said, her eyes shining with wonder and loss. It was so strong that Vivien can actually feel the nostalgia. “But it’s useless. A dreamer does not live in a nightmare.”
Vivien didn’t understand what Beth said back then, but everything has been clear since Beth pulled the trigger.
Twenty-three. Beth was only twenty-three years old.
She still had so much to do, so many songs to sing, so many smiles to show.
But then, only Vivien knew these things. Only she paid attention. That’s why the world has kept spinning, the time kept ticking. People never knew her story.
For Beth is not worth remembering.
And the truth shatters Vivien more than anything.