Today's Reading

A better example is something I did three months ago—actually just a little less than three months ago; I mean the end of last May. It happened at this funeral, and it's a perfect example of how I can sometimes walk around and never be seen by anybody.

Now, I call that hiding because I can definitely be seen if I want to. But I usually don't want to.

The truth is, I never even meant to go to the funeral at all. I didn't, really. I certainly wasn't invited or anything. The thing is that I'd been walking around—it was a Sunday and this was almost three months ago, like I said, and I really never had anything much to do on Sundays anyways, especially right then after school had let out for summer.

I guess I wasn't feeling too good at the time. My girlfriend had just broken up with me. You get the idea. So I was out just sort of wandering, telling myself I was not headed anywhere, when I found myself trudging up the hill from my house, passing this intersection at the top of it, and crossing the street into the next neighborhood, which is, like, the pretty wealthy area, where all the houses are big, and where my girlfriend—my ex-girlfriend—lives.

All I can say is that I never really consciously thought about it or meant to do it, but pretty soon I was hiding in the bushes across the street from her house.

It's not like I expected to see her or anything, but I stayed in the bushes awhile, just thinking about her, and other stuff, too, but mainly her, and that's when she came out of the house.

Laura didn't look like herself. That's her name, by the way—Laura. She looked older. Serious and somber. Like a real young woman, not a girl anymore at all.

She looked different than I'd ever seen her.

For one thing, she had on this very sheer black dress that went down to her knees. It shone really brightly against the green grass of her lawn. She didn't usually wear such stuff. Her hair, which fell to her shoulders and is dark brown, shone too, just like the dress. She had a little shawl around her shoulders, black as well. And she had on black shoes with pretty high heels.

She looked beautiful, as usual. Except her face. Her face looked terrible. I don't mean she wasn't pretty anymore. She was always pretty. But she felt sad. I could tell.

More than sad. She felt terrible. I could see it.

Something awful had happened. I didn't know what.

Her mother was there with her. She also wore black. Not Laura's dad—he was off somewhere on business, probably; he always was.

Her brother, Jack, was there, though. Big guy. Football. Stanford, I think. He didn't wear black. I seem to remember he didn't wear any black at all.

They stood there a moment, close together, in front of the very green lawn in front of their house, in relief, almost, because of all the black they had on—except of course for Jack. None of them said anything. It was like they needed to take a moment, or hadn't quite made up their minds about something.

Then they all piled into their car, which was parked on the street, and headed off down the road, with their headlights turned on, even though it was daytime.

I watched the car drive away. But it didn't feel right just to stand there. I had to know why she looked like that. So I came out of the bushes and followed them.

Well, I don't know if followed is the right word. Let's just say I walked in the same direction they drove, because it isn't like I could keep up with the car or anything. It was out of sight pretty quickly.

But other cars came by, with their headlights on too.

I knew what that meant. The cars were driving to a funeral.
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