I’m late to Maggie’s funeral. If I told her I was fashionably late, she’d tell me I wasted my time. I’m wearing a trench coat because it’s raining. Maggie would remember this one, and she’d say it’s whorish of me because it goes down past my knees, further than my dress, so it looks like I might be naked underneath. She used to tell me that I should buy a new coat because this one’s too big for me, but I told her that it was my mother’s. She said that’s even more reason to get rid of it. Someone else has already taken the time to enjoy it. It’s no longer a waste.
She’d probably laugh if I told her I’d worn it to spite her. If the funeral were open casket, I’d whisper it in her ear and hope she can hear it wherever she is.
I remember once she told me I was going to Hell and I told her I’d see her there.
She said “I know, and I’ll be glad to see you. As always.”
I’m surprised she invited me - glad, honored, really, but surprised. Maggie hated almost everyone.
She hated Adam at first and said he was bad for me. I wonder if she knew how things worked out, not in the psychic way, but if she found me on Facebook before she croaked.
Adam and I are both late. I didn’t expect Maggie to invite him. I think now that it was probably her way of getting back at me, since she can’t say “I told you so”.
On the metro, I’m holding onto one of the poles in the middle of the crowded train. A man I don’t pay any mind to is holding onto the same one.
Until, I hear, “I like your jacket.”
It’s low, like he wants it to be a secret that he’s talking to me. Maybe he doesn’t even really want me to hear it, but I do, and I almost say a polite, “thank you”, when I realize.
“Surprised you even remember me,” he says, sarcastically.
I tell him with a bit of pride in my voice, “Guess where I’m going.”
“Did she invite you, too?”
“Of course, I was her favorite tenant.”
“Oh come on!”
I’m really pissed off at Maggie by this point.
“Watch your step,” Adam says, when we’re getting off the train and it almost looks like he’s offering me his hand, but I ignore it and snicker at him.
I scrape my knee when I hit the pavement. Adam doesn’t say “I told you so” when he offers me his hand.
“Thank you,” I say, and take it.
He notices I’m limping after I tripped in those heels, and he keeps my hand in his while we cross the street.
We walk into the church and everyone stops crying for a second to sneer at us for being rudely late. Adam sits down with me in the back row. Most of the people here are old, so the microphone is turned up to the max volume and we don’t miss a thing. I stifle a laugh when someone makes a speech calling Maggie “the sweetest woman”.
Adam notices and gives me a tiny grin, thinking the same thing I am.
During the time it takes for another person to stand up, Adam turns to me and whispers, “I hope the church is capitalizing on this - all the guests here are gonna be in the market for a funeral soon.”
I don’t expect him to say it, so I don’t have time to hold back my laughter, so everyone turns to me while I’m cackling in the back of the church. I don't apologize, though, because Maggie would've thought it was funny.
I turn to Adam and say, “They should replace the hymnals in the back of the pews with brochures with coupons in them.”
He starts laughing and his laugh is so stupid-sounding that I start laughing harder, and it looks like we’re about to get kicked out of Maggie's funeral.
But then, I stand up and ask if I can say a few words. I go up on stage and Adam looks way too excited.
“I just wanna start by saying thank you to Maggie,” I motion to the casket, continuing, “for kicking the bucket because that’s what brought us all together today, right guys?” No one is laughing except for Adam who's getting a kick out of it.
“Tough crowd,” I mutter, and then continue, even though no one wants me to, “I wore this coat here today for Maggie because she hated it and I wanted to spite her. And by that I mean that Maggie was the best landlady I ever had. She was like a grandmother to me. This coat,” I’m showing off the coat to the crowd while I speak, “was special to us because Maggie used to tell me I looked floozy - or whatever else old people say instead of just calling you a slut - and I wanted to wear it to honor her memory.”
Really, it was a coincidence that I realized after I’d already left the house, but I probably would’ve chosen the coat on purpose if I had remembered, so I ran with that version of the story.
“I also want to say something to Maggie directly,” I turn to her casket and say, “First, you were right, Adam was absolutely a bad choice for me. We’re divorced now, but guess what, you can’t say ‘I told you so’, so ha! The joke’s really on you, Maggie.” I think I’m finished, but then I remember, “Oh and fuck you, you old hag, for inviting Adam! It's rude to invite your favorite tenant’s ex-husband.” Everyone is horrified, except Adam, who is pretending not to laugh. I’m about to get the microphone taken away when I say, “See you Hell!” and then hand it over.
I’m still limping from the fall and Adam has to carry me out of the church, bridal style, which is ironic. We leave early for obvious reasons.
“Do you wanna get lunch? I’m starving.” He asks.
“Do you think your new girlfriend will mind?”
“Ha ha,” he says, “You know I don’t have one.”
“Bet you’re wishing you could take me home, then.”
“You act like I can’t afford you.”
“What?” I say because I really don’t get it at first.
“Sorry, guess I’m mistaken. Jacket makes you look like a whore, you know?”
I’m torn between saying “I know” and “Fuck you!”, but before I can, a car comes flying by, spraying rainwater all over Adam and I’m laughing too hard to say anything at first.
“You want my jacket?”
“No, it looks cute on you.”
“See, Maggie?” I look up to the sky and whisper, “Even Adam thinks it’s cute.”