THE BEGINNING OF A LIFE MISUNDERSTOOD
I feel my eyes open and all I see is black. I squint my eyes, to try to see where I am, but I feel dazed and my body feels heavy, as if someone had tripped a switch and gravity was increased by a hundred-fold.
I hear sirens in the distance. Living in a city you would think a person would eventually block sirens out as white noise, yet always there is a little voice at the back of your head, a curious little voice wondering – what happened?
The sirens are coming closer towards me, the hee – haw – hee – haw of the death wagon.
Silly thoughts rush through my mind. I wonder why an ambulance is white and a hearse is black? Why do brides wear white and people at funerals wear black? How did this all come about?
I decide the next time I, Arrabelle Smith, will go to a funeral, I will be wearing psychedelic pink, luminous green and shimmering yellow.
Suddenly a light wash over me, and the sirens of the ambulance make a sad ‘eeu-oy’ sound as they are switched off.
I see me laying on the ground, chopped in half. Horror rushes through me at seeing myself so mortal and so very, very dead.
I never even noticed it happen. I thought I would live forever. There was still so much I needed to do, so much I wanted to learn.
A man dressed in white kneels next to me, and then shakes his head, no. Obviously, I think to myself sarcastically, did you not see my top half separated from the bottom half.
The man in white has the mannerism of a gay fellow – you can always spot them a mile off. I am, and not scared to admit it, homophobic. I do not know if homophobic would be the right word for a girl who does not like gays of any kind, and no, I am not one of those religious nuts, but admittedly, I do ponder the idea of perpetual sin.
True, I believe every man for himself and if one man falls in love (sounds weird) with another man, it is his own choice, but I would not want them to intrude in my life. I keep gays and me apart. Thank you very much.
Ironic though, one of the gay people I avoided all my life is now kneeling beside me, pronouncing me dead at the scene. I must laugh.
I am still smirking when the heavens above me open, and I see the brightest, most beautiful light I could have never imagined.
I feel myself float up involuntarily and then I am looking down at the devastating scene I left behind. I always wanted to go out with a bang, but not this kind of bang.
As I enter the light and wait to see the splendour of heaven surrounding me, I find myself in the hands of a man in a suit of hospital green clothes.
Bright lights and loud noises surround me.
Where am I? This does not look like the heaven I imagined.
The man in green is holding me up by the ankles, and I dangle down. My face is close to the blood-smeared thighs of a woman lying on a bed beneath me.
Through the hazy, greyness that starts to surround me, making my thoughts and memories scattered and incoherent, I hear someone announce excitedly, “It is a boy!”
I think frantically, panic briefly clutching at my heart, “But I like boys.”