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highschool art teacher

i sit on my roommates aris bed. shes lying down, and our other roommate willow is there too. we are watching an obituary video for aris high school art teacher.

a silence overtakes the room, for just one second. willow looks at her phone in a puzzled expression. i feel a lack of air. i can breathe just fine, but the act of doing so needs to be done with thought and conscious action. me and ari take in breaths like were about to say something, something that requires a physical effort to say, but we dont. in between these non-words, i look around at my surroundings and internalize the shift in atmosphere.

about 20 seconds ago we were joking about my funeral, and how i want it to be funny. i told ari and willow to hit the griddy at my funeral and post it to tiktok. we mimed the tiktok tts voice saying things like “Hitting The Griddy At My Friends Funeral. I Miss Them So Much. Rest In Peace Raine.” and we laughed. and wordlessly, we all remember that someones obituary video is being played on aris phone screen.

apparently, he was a “functioning” alcoholic. he mixed drinks in the back room, and some kids must have caught on and told the higher ups. the school gave him an ultimatum of quitting or being fired. ari doesnt know what happened after that, as the obituary doesnt state cause of death. we idily speculate what his death was. this is when the silence begins.

this moment does not last long, and soon enough were all back to joking about our deaths. ari asks what i want with my body after im gone. i say that i dont really know.

1/20/2023