The Guilt That Will Lie in Me Forever
Today is the day I’ve been dreading. I put on my black suit and went outside to start the rental car. I turned on the radio and listened to the news. “Police forces are still looking for the person who hit Laura Jones last week. They say the criminal was going almost thirty miles over the speed limit. If you know anything about the hit and run please…” I quickly turned it back off. It was a short drive to the funeral home but it felt much longer. I made sure I was driving the speed limit the whole time. As I made my way up the cobblestone steps, I watched the girl’s mother greet the guests, holding back her tears. I didn’t even know her name… how pathetic. I quietly sat down in the back and waited for the last people to wander in. “Thank you all for being her today. We are here to celebrate the life of Laura Jones, a young girl who died too soon.” I looked around at her family members staring up at the Priest with puffy eyes. She did everything right yet she was the one who was lying in the casket. When I looked up, the girl’s mother was standing at the front. “My daughter was the sunshine in my cloudy day. She made everyone around her happy… “ If only I had stayed calm and taken deep breaths…“Let Laura’s premature passing remind you to do things that make you happy. Life is too short to live on anger.” She was looking at me when she said this. Did she know who I was? Did she know that I was the one who killed her daughter? Did she know it was all because I was pissed off that she was driving the speed limit? I turned my head to the door. Maybe I should just leave… I was risking getting caught by being here. But I owned Laura that much to be at her funeral. I couldn’t leave her the way I left her at the scene of the accident. The Priest was standing back up. “At this time, if anyone would like to come up and pay your respects, you can do so.” There were some discoordinated shuffles as a handful of people stood up to walk to the front. I sunk down into my seat and watched quietly. I decided that I would stay in the back. As people continued to make their way to the front, the quiet whimper of tears lingered on. Laura seemed to be special to a lot of people. She seemed to have impacted many people’s lives. Before I knew it, I was at the front looking down at her. A tear started to fall from my eye and I quickly wiped it away. I didn’t know I had a reckless driving problem until it was too late. I should have taken a class or just channeled my anger. I could have done so many things to prevent what happened from happening. Laura Jones did everything right, but still she was the one dead. She was the one people would start to forget about in years to come. She was the one who suffered the consequences of my driving. I turned around and quickly walked out of the funeral home. When I got to my car, I had to take a few deep breaths before starting the ignition. I drove home, this time under the speed limit. I would never forget about Laura. The guilt would live in me forever.