‘The End of the Road’- by Cherise Oosthuizen

No one was sorry to see him die, no one except me.

James Horne was the type of guy you had to have a taste for. A peculiar taste. It just so happened that I had just that taste. Or at least that’s what I always thought.

Walking beside the long, sleek coffin the stench of death laid heavy in the air. The narrow row of chairs were sparsely filled, the twenty or so on either side far too generous for the actual attendance. When I thought of death, I always imagined that I would be mourning for the person.

I thought I would be mourning for James.

That wasn’t what happened; I mourned for myself. The heavy weight on my chest was a far denser burden than the casket I held up. It was hard to move, one mechanical step in front of the other, the grass lush and green, the sky open and cloud free.

It felt wrong. The colours were vibrant: the blue and the white. Even the black wasn’t seen as deep or mournful, but as a deep relief of what once was. I knew I was the only one.

Words by Cherise Oosthuizen

Art by Joel Tuckwell

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