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An apology can cleanse the soul sometimes.  Did it help David?  We’ll see.  Enjoy Part 4 of Sorry Forever.  Thanks. 

 

PART 4

 

DAVID SKIDDED HIS BIKE to a stop behind the tall hedges next to Guller Funeral Home.  He laid the bike down, crouched down and peered through small openings in the hedges.  Voices were coming from nearby.  But he could not tell how far or where they were.  The hedges distorted the direction of the sounds.

 

David stayed behind the hedges and moved along.  He could not take the chance to look up to see who was talking.  He did not recognize the voices.  They were not his mother or father.  They could have been his teachers.  He could not tell.

 

David was on his knees and stuck his head out further between the hedges.  Three men and one woman walked by.  He held his breath and sat down on the ground.  Did they see him?  He waited for a hand to reach between the hedges and grab him.  When it did not come, he crawled until he got to the end of the bushes.  A parking lot was in front of him.  Now he needed to wait until he could run across it without being seen.

 

He counted five cars in the parking lot.  One big man got into a small car and drove away.  He saw his chance.  No one else was around.  David ran from behind the bush to the funeral home and stopped at the corner of the building.  He realized he was not completely hidden.

 

David looked around.  He was afraid he was going to get caught.  His mother and father would be called to come and get him.  He would be grounded forever.  Worse.  Someone may call the police.  He would go to jail and miss school.  He would be locked up forever.

 

David looked back at where he had hidden his bike.  Maybe he should go back home.  He could slip back through the window before his mother knew he was gone.  But how would he get in the third-floor window?  He jumped from roof to roof to get down. That was easy.  He could not climb up the house.  The window was too high.

 

His thoughts were scaring him more than the funeral home was.  That funeral home scared everybody.  But, he had to be a big boy.  Be a little man like his father told him sometimes.

 

David ran to the first door on the side of the building.  He grabbed the handle and pulled on it.  It surprised him when it opened.  He had pulled on it so hard he almost fell down.

 

Now what?

 

David stared down a hallway that went straight back from the door.  It was long and spooky.  The farther back the hallway went, it seemed to narrow.  It appeared to end in a point.  The floor tiles were black and white squares.  The walls were a semi-dark green.  Silver drain covers were in the center of the hallway.

 

David swallowed and stepped inside.  He eased the door closed behind him.  He stood at the front of the hallway for a few seconds.  Rooms were on each side.

 

He took a deep breath and tiptoed down the hallway calling out in a whisper to Mrs. Dillard.  She had to be in one of the rooms.  What if she was dead like people said she was?  She would not hear him.  But if she was not dead, she would hear him.

 

Some room doors were open.  He looked in and kept moving.  Other doors were closed.  He opened those and whispered Mrs. Dillard’s name inside.  He got to the next to the last room on the right.  He took a breath and opened the door and whispered Mrs. Dillard’s name.

 

David froze.  It was not voluntarily.  His legs would not move.  They barely supported him.  His feet refused to take a step.  Even his hands would not let go of the doorknob.  He bit his lip.  His breaths were shallow, fast, and hard to come by.  He did not know what hyperventilating was.  But he was about to do it.  He was feeling dizzy.  His stomach was starting to hurt.  He wished his mother was there.  Why was he sweating so much?

 

David forced himself to take one step and stopped.  Then he forced himself to take another step, and another and another.  Until he was standing next to a stainless-steel table where Mrs. Dillard’s body was laying.

 

She was not in her usual skirt and blouse.  Her long hair was not in a bun on the top of her head.  She was not wearing makeup.  Her skin was pale.  She was nude.

 

David had a tough time processing what he was seeing.  Was this Mrs. Dillard?  He told himself not to run.  Steadying himself, he came to an adult decision.  He was still shaking, though.

 

The body on the table was still as beautiful as ever to David.  He would only look at her face, he told himself.  Minus not being dressed and looking exactly like herself, she was still pretty Mrs. Dillard.

 

David reached up with a shaking hand and touched her arm.  It was cold.  He stopped himself from snatching his hand away.  He did turn his head.  An object in the corner of the room caught his eye.

 

David walked over to a stool.  It had wheels on it.  He pushed it over next to the table.  He went from one side of the stool to the other.  He needed to stand on it without falling off.  The wheels made it move a lot.  He had to find a way to get on top of it.

 

David pushed the stool against the table and climbed up on it.  He gripped the table and held on.  He stared down at Mrs. Dillard.  She looked as if she would talk to him at any moment.  But, he knew better.  He was not stupid.  He knew she was dead.  So he thought he should say what he came there to say and leave before he really got into trouble.

 

“Mrs. Dillard, I’m sorry I said I hate you,” he said.  His heart ached.  He did not know why.  But, he was sad.  Never had he felt such sadness.  “I didn’t mean it.  I was just angry.  I’m sorry if I upset you.  I’m sorry if I caused you to die.  I’m sorry for everything I said.”  He paused and sniffed.  Then he rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand.  His face was wet.  Tears were beginning to flow.  “I’m sorry.  Bye.”

 

David leaned slowly toward Mrs. Dillard’s face.  He closed his eyes and brought his lips to hers.  The kiss was not like he thought it would be.  It was confusing.  What was he supposed to feel?  It did not help that he was the only one doing the kissing.  It also did not help that her lips were cold.  But he held his lips to hers for a few seconds.  He even got up the nerve to open his eyes while he kissed her.

 

It was time to go, he thought.  He straightened up and looked at Mrs. Dillard one last time before he would leave her.  He would never see her again.  One more kiss would not hurt either of them.  He leaned in and kissed her.

 

Her eyes opened and stared into his.

 

David jerked his head away from her and fell backward.

 

David tried to right a wrong.  Did he accomplish it?  Only time will tell. 

I hope you enjoyed Part 4.  I enjoy having you stop by.

I will see you tomorrow.  We’ll check in on David.   

Thank you.

Stephen Wallace