It took me a while to realise that I was no longer on my bedroom floor, in my body. I was still waiting for the pain to hit when I suddenly couldn’t feel anything, beneath me or within me.
But by the time I turned around whoever had shot me was gone.
Even in heaven you can’t seem to rewind. Even in death not everything is clear. If only I could replay the last moments of my life, maybe I would know who did it. If only… the words everyone mutters under their breaths when they arrive here.
Nothing makes much sense in the first few moments of death. I once learnt that when a person gets shot they can’t hear it because the bullet moves faster than sound, but I heard it. There was a big bang, but no pain, no light, just a numbness that can only come from the separation of your body and your soul.
When I got up here, past the pearly gates and the confusion, I became determined to work it out. To me, there were only three suspects; three people in the whole world who could want me dead. It became an obsession. I made endless lists of all the people I had offended throughout my 17 years, how likely it was that one of them killed me, and why I didn’t see it coming.
My first suspect was, naturally, my mother. Although everyone has always regarded her as slightly eccentric, no one ever saw the gleaming hatred in her dark brown eyes, or the way she moved when she talked to me alone, almost as if she had never wanted me in her life. I was always the disappointment, the accident, and when I grew up I became the delinquent. The maternal love which is meant to transcend everything was forever a foreign concept to me.
My mother sank into depression two years ago, leading to high stress levels in our family, and leaving a large void between us. In a few short weeks I began seeking self confinement in any corner I could find, away from her. The things she said to me about my ‘lack of future’ had always made me shiver. She would have horrendous mood swings and fluctuating attitudes towards everything from people to food and once even tried to starve herself to death. She also had access to my father’s gun cabinet and a frightening habit of lingering there with a look of longing.
The second most likely person to have killed me is my ex-boyfriend Ryan; the dramatic type with the dark hair and dark eyes. The way his jaw was set made the whole world think that he had every problem possible, and he did, I guess; drugs and love, friendship and money. When we split up he was mad, but whether it was love or just his hurt pride I never really knew. When he was passionless and apathetic he was beautiful; with his hair falling across his face, shadowing his calm yet observant eyes he was the most lusted after guy in our grade. Yet once evoked, his anger always frightened me. When the constant fear of violence and my inability to stand his possessiveness finally ended our relationship he repeatedly told me he would kill himself. Once he realised I knew he was too selfish to do such a thing, he threatened to kill me instead. In losing him I lost a place to hide. My family troubles merged with those of my love life, and I began to sink.
When I think about the third suspect, I realise that all three were so close to me. They were once someone I could confide in and love, yet something always happened that made it all fade. That’s what happened with Rachel, my former best friend. It was the whole clichéd fight-over-a-boy thing according to her, but to me there always seemed to be more. Her eyes were always distrusting and defiant, seeking flaws within me and taunting me before her friends. I had lost her by then, to a greater force, the power of hatred. She had said things to me before my death, but I can’t remember any of them.
The events leading to my death are all a blur. I don’t remember clearly the last time I saw my mother, Ryan or Rachel, nor took any notice of how they behaved in my presence. I saw the world through unfocused, teary eyes which almost makes me think that I knew what was coming. I wondered around like a ghost that had forgotten where it was supposed to be haunting, but unlike a ghost I wasn’t transparent enough. People came up to me with concerned eyes, pushing their faces within inches of mine, but all I could do was walk away. I never heard anything they said. I don’t remember the last thing I did, only that I was standing in my room, near the window, dazed and holding something hard and cold. And shaped like my dad’s .22 revolver.