I was at a funeral of someone I didn’t know. But somehow, deep down in my heart, I felt I had known this person for years. It was the passing of a great old lady. She was laid in the coffin with such serenity on her face. It looked as if she were merely sleeping peacefully and not dead.
There was a grand carnival at the beautiful garden funeral. Yes, even funerals have themes now. There was a nice, cool fountain in the middle of the garden. There were children and parents chatting and helping themselves with food. If not for the funeral, it would be like a normal weekend of friends gathering for a summer afternoon fiesta, with endless champagne and wine.
When we were about to bid farewell to the old lady by closing of the coffin, I swore to God, I saw her face twitched. I was alarmed but I kept my cool. It must had been my imagination, I thought to myself.
As they were about to close the casket, the old lady suddenly opened her eyes. Everyone gasped. Thinking it would be some sort of reflex from whatever chemicals left in her body, we remained cool.
But we were no longer cool when she began to pick herself up and sat up in her casket. She started to come down from the coffin and everyone ran for their lives.
I kept my cool and told everyone to remain calm. After all, this great old lady could be their own great grandmother, grandmother, great grand aunt, great aunt, mother, god mother, etc. I was frustrated by the people’s reaction.
As I was standing there, pacifying people, the dead-then-alive elderly lady walked towards me with her smiling face. I trembled as she looked at me with her piercing gray eyes.
Then she held my hand. I froze for a moment and she started talking to me.
“Do not be afraid,” she said.
In my subconscious mind, the greedy Chinese in me started to pester me to ask the elderly lady for 4 digits. I wrestled with the idea toying in my mind and struggled to refrain from asking that question for the fear of stirring her wrath.
Seeing me struggling; she was able to read my mind and asked me if I wanted numbers. I didn’t react as I was dumb founded.
She suddenly started to decompose rapidly; turned grayish and strewn into ashes.
I woke up, wiping tears from my eyes, unsure whether they were tears of regret for not asking for the numbers or I was merely traumatized.