The day after seemed to fly by. I should have felt tired or at least hung over, but every time I thought of Rob a volt of electric happiness lit up my body all over again. I walked home from school singing, hoping he would be around the next corner.
I was still propelled by joy as I climbed the steps and went into the house. I even shot a cheerful grin to my grandmother who was standing like a vulture waiting to put me to work scrubbing or vacuuming or making unpleasant phone calls.
Get your coat and bag hung up and then come on downstairs. We had an intake today. Start the paperwork for a cremation with one hour memorial, she barked.
Cremations with one hour memorials are the quickest and easiest arrangements to coordinate. It usually meant that the deceased didnt have anyone to be picky about caskets or bouquets or whether or not the coffee was fresh. I agreed cheerfully and went up to my room to drop my things. I picked up the guitar pick with Robs phone number and placed it gently in my pocket. I would have plenty of time to go see his band tonight.
I actually saw him much sooner. I walked down to grab the forms sent from the hospital and there he was. His face had gone grey. His cheeks that glowed in the cold and made such a perfect cushion for my face as he held me were hollow and cold. That body that made me feel as though I was being driven insane with pleasure was now no more than chilled meat on the metal table. He had let me out of the prison that I had built with stones from my past. He had told me that I was beautiful. I had felt beautiful. I let out a sob that shook the glass bottles on the shelf. Pressing my lips to his lifeless ones, I was overcome with sadness, and anger, and oddly, gratitude. Before Rob Husk, I never knew that such elation and excitement existed in the world, let alone that I could partake of them.
I learned that his name was Robert David Husk. He was 19 years old and lived on Sullivan Street. He drove an 84 Buick into an oak tree and his aorta exploded upon impact. I have his ashes and he has a piece of my heart forever. I will graduate from high school tomorrow (on time) and Im heading out west. Ill ride a bus as far as the money grandma paid me for 10 years of slave labor will get me. Ill work odd jobs. Ill meet odd people. Ill be frustrated, but I will never be miserable because I know that there is happiness and joy in the world for me. I just have to keep on singing in the street.