Laying in bed, Mari was aware that time had passed. what had it been, an hour? Two? She lost count after a while, her eyes dancing as she memorized every small detail in her ceiling.
Calm down, her own voice whispered, a sickly sweet melody. It's not as scary as you think.
She recalled telling Sunny that.
What a load of bullshit.
She jolted up as a soft violin began humming throughout the house, and her heart raced.
Running from her room, and darting down the stairs she rushed into the music, ignoring the blood roaring in her ears, she gulped air into her lungs as she finally froze, surveying the room.
It was empty.
She felt embarrassment as heavy as a stone in her stomach. Of course he wasn't here.
Because he was dead.
Retreating away to the stairs, she had only placed her foot down on the first step, when she heard a voice that made her hairs stand on end.
“ Why would you push me, Mari ?” It wailed. “ Why? I was doing the best I could…”
She covered her ears, slamming her eyes shut though it did little to drown out the creature.
Its cries only got louder. “ How could you, Mari? I’m dead and it's your fault. Why would you kill me, Mari? Didn’t you love me, Mari? ”
She was sobbing now, collapsed in front of the stairs, trembling.
This is where Sunny died.
Mari sucked in a deep breath, keeping her eyes shut.
It’s not real.
It’s not real.
He’s not real.
She opened her eyes tentatively, dragging them up the stairs.
He was gone.
Shakily she pulled herself up, breathing heavily, as she staggered up the stairs, stifling another sob.
Oh, Sunny...I’m so sorry…
The funeral was held the next day.
Mari had pushed for it sooner, but her mother insisted they wait.
“ We don’t have the money, sweetie. Funerals are expensive. ”
But here they were now, standing in the church, with Sunny’s body lying in the casket.
Looking around she found some of her friends, Basil was sitting in the corner, crying, clutching his camera close to him as though his life depended on it.
Aubrey was by the casket, with such a sad expression it made Mari want to break down and confess. Aubrey had liked Sunny, and he had liked her back.
And now she’ll never know how much you cared about her, Sunny. She’ll never know and It’s my fault.
She looked around again. Kel sat alone in a pew, staring ahead with a blank expression.
Hero was not there.
Mari felt scared again, having to turn back to her brother's coffin, staring at it intensely.
“ I can’t do it, Mari. I’m not good enough. ”
“ Oh, come on, Sunny! Lets try again. ”
“ Mari, I- ”
“ 1, 2… and 3- ”
Sunny ran out the room, clutching his violin and staggering up the stairs, Mari scurrying after him. “ Sunny! What are you doing, the rictals today! ” He turned around then held the violin up, looking at Mari with such pain in his eyes she flinched. “ I don’t care about the recital. ”
And with that, the violin flew down the stairs, shattering next to Mari into millions of splinters.
She stopped for a moment, staring at him wordlessly.
Then, she felt anger. “ SUNNY! ” He flinched, but she did not relent. “WHAT WAS THAT FOR? EVERYONE WORKED SO HARD TO GET THAT!” As she was yelling, she had started walking up the stairs. Sunny looked terrified, backing away from his sister. Unfortunately Mari had reached the top, and grabbed his wrists, holding him in place. “You are NOT running away!” He tried to break away, reaching towards the stairs uselessly. "Mari, let go!" He wailed. Mari tightened her grip, and before she knew what she was doing, she shoved him to the stairs.
For a long, awful moment he was airborne, and Mari's eyes widened. "Wait!" She called, reaching for him.
His head hit a step, and like a lifeless ragdoll his body tumbled down the stairs.
Landing right on the broken violin.
"Mari," Aubrey's voice dragged her back to reality. "Mari, are you okay?"
She forced a smile on her face. "Yeah Aubrey, i'm fine. Just thinking, that's all."
Aubrey seemed to accept this answer, and she let out a sigh. "I miss him, Mari," She spoke quietly, and tears brimmed her eyes. "I miss him alot."
Mari sighed. "I do, too."
After the funeral Mari went straight to her room, ignoring the empty bed and flopping onto her own. She stared at the ceiling, before her eyes drooped and closed.
A moment later, Hikki opened her eyes.
Welcome to White Space. You have been living here for as long as you can remember.