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MatthewTierney LynnC.Raymond CreativeWritingProject 24October2013 JaceLiberated Death is not so much a tragedy as it is an inconvenience to all those involved. I walkedstraight home from thefuneralI skipped theburying ofthecorpsebecauseIdidnt wanttobearoundpretendsadpeopleforanotherhour.AsIstrolledalongthepoorlypaved road, I noticed that there was a football game goingon. Twentytwokids runningaround, laughing and having thetimeof their lives.Its funny howwe,as humans,tend tofocusour attention veryselfishly.Justuptheroadwasafuneralassadasanyotherinfact,itwasthe only funeral I have ever cried at. Whatsworseis Iwasnt evenmentioned inthe will!And yet these kids are completely obliviousto my pain. Isuppose itsnormalfor us to stick to ourownbusiness. When I got home, the front door wasunlocked, which wasunusualconsidering the fact that we live on a highly trafficked road in Rome. But, as long as my wifeis home, I figured, everything is fine. I slipped in, locking the door behind me and Iheaded formy bedroom.There wasshatteredglassallovertheplace.Emptywhiskeybottlescoveredthe counter and a brokenwinebottle sat on the floor.Therewerentanyothersignsofabreak intherewasntanythingmissingIcalledoutformywife. Vi? no answer. I scuttled into my bedroom and quickly started to change my clothes. IhadjusttakenmypantsoffandunbuttonedmyshirtwhenIheardsoftfootstepson

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the hardwood floor in the hall.I stopped. Listened. Honey, is thatyou?I continuedtoput onfresh pants. More footsteps.I paused, silent foramoment,andthenquicklyreachedfor mycellphone. Myhandswereshaking,myheartwaspoundingandwhenIgotthephonetomyear, Iheard,Boo!andleapedtenfeetin theair.Iturnedaroundso mydastardlywifecouldsee the blend of fear, anger and relief simultaneously displayed on my face. What are you doinghomealready?sheasked. Apparentlyrunning into quitean elaborate prank.Westeppedoutofthebedroom, Jeez, Vi, look at the mess youve made! She looked around the living room, carefully surveyingtheopenphotoalbumsandemptyboozebottles. Ididntmakethismess!Anyway,Illcleanitup,youneedtogoseethegrave. No,Ijustleftthefuneral.HaventIdoneenoughfortoday? Look, Jace she scolded, Its important that you see that gravestone. Icould tell thatshewasserious,soIleftwithoutanymorefuss. Afewstepsfromthe door,I realizedIwasntinmySundaybestbutIcouldhearmy wife sayingYoull looklikeshiteitherway,so just go! so I didntturn back.Halfwaytothe cemetery, Ipassed thefootball field.This time,I feltcompletedisgust attheinnocent kids who were cheering that they had won their game. They had absolutely no regard for the tired,disappointedplayerswhohadjustbeendefeated.Butitdidntmattertome.Iwasjust asselfish,soIspedpastandtendedtomyownaffairs. Bythetime Igotto the gravestone, there wasnooneelsethere.Justsomeflowers, a rectangle of recently disturbed dirt, and me. I approachedit, holding backmy disbelief.

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Thereitwas.Violet Antonucci /R.I.P./ 23 May19736Dec.1999Ikneltdown,touching the dirt just above whereherhead rested. Asatear fellto the earth, mywife put her hand onmy shoulder. Ive never feltso empty,I whispered asI somehowgatheredthestrength tostanduptofaceher.Illmissyoumorethananything. Goodbye,Jace.Shekissedmycheekandfadedaway,forever.