You always told me that funerals were depressing, the town seemingly cloaked with ebony silk and that lingering stench of roses that trailed behind you that only came to cease three days later.
Even back when we were young, we always knew someone had died from that notorious smell and the rattling hearse kicking up dirt, passing our house to the highway to the cemetery.
It never affected me, those sickly roses and dusty roads. Not until now.
It's been five days since you've left us. The funeral was two days ago. I'll try and describe it to you, because I made sure everything was to go as planned. I recall late at night with you in my basement, our legs touching at the ankles while we scribbled plans on my large roll of paper, including our prom, with you as my date, and every last little detail until death.
It's a shame we never made it to prom. I was looking forward to finally dancing with you, kissing you without fear.
You were dressed in the pastel violet summer dress that we bought on our class trip to Chicago, the one with Navy Pier sewn into the edge. Your ***** blonde hair was untangled for once, shiny and clean. They hid your scars, your freckles, with thick pastes and ointments. You looked so unreal, so perfect, and I hated that.
I was so used to Julie, with her hair in a knotted ponytail, covered in bruises and scrapes from adventures. Julie, with a crooked smile that braces held together. Julie, always singing in an off-tune song.
I wasn't used to Julie, lips pursed, green eyes closed, not moving. I was waiting for you to wake up, to giggle at your newest major prank. But that never happened, because you weren't Julie anymore.
The service was held at the church you and I were baptized in, with the same priest who looked unwell and broken, just like me. Your coffin was light green, like your eyes but diluted more. Everyone was sniffling, trying to smile because that's what you would've wanted, but we were all hanging by a thread, and if one of our threads broke, we'd all go down together.
They took you to the cemetery your grandparents were buried at, just west of my house and yours. The cemetery that we spent the night in at age thirteen on Halloween, cameras focused and ready to leap at any slight rustle of the leaves.
They laid you down gently, and it was as the first mound of dirt was scooped onto you that my thread broke. I screamed, my entire body collapsing. I couldn't see, couldn't breathe. Just writing this letter makes me hurt, Julie.
It wasn't supposed to happen this way. Not this soon. We were going to grow old together. *******, they haven't found the guy yet, but they have to. He can't hide forever.
So that's how your funeral went in a nutshell. You, too pretty for realism. Me, ****-crying in the rain.
I miss you, Julie. They'll find who did this to you. He may have sped away, but they'll find him.
The smell of roses is starting to fade.