The saddest thing I own is a dead rose off of my friend’s casket. We were 13. I remember playing soccer with her for years until she made the dance team at her school and stopped playing. We continued playing without her, picking up new players to fill in. She came to our season opener on Sunday, September 7, 2003. I casually waved and smiled. Said Hello. The next day my mom came to my school to pick me up, crying. She told me to get changed and come back out. I did. She told me Kayla was dead.
My knees imploded. My heart dropped to my toes. I became angry and walked away quickly. It had to be a lie.
Kayla Laurencia Harris died on Monday, September 8th, 2003 of heart failure due to a unknown deformity. Her aunt had died of the same thing when she was her age.
On Saturday, we went to Kayla’s funeral, dressed in our soccer jackets to honor her. I spoke and said everything memorable about her that i could and then I pulled the flower off and sunk in my seat.
It’s hanging on my wall now in a trashed Ziploc bag. I still haven’t found the courage to cry for her. I’ll find it one day and water the dead rose with the tears I’ve mustered for you, Kay.
Tags: flower, heart, kayla, rose
The Saddest Thing I Own is a 2005 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It is supported by the Jerome Foundation in celebration of the Jerome Hill Centennial and in recognition of the valuable contributions of artists to society.