The Death of Christen

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The Death of Christen It snowed for three straight days after my grandmother died. I wouldn't think the two facts were related but for the fact that the roads were all closed on the second day of the blizzard, and we were stuck at the wake all night long, like someone or something was trying to keep us there. It was weird, spending the night with dead people. I wasn't alone, of course. There was my family, and then there were the Szerniaks and their dead father, and the corpse of some creepy guy named William Manfred III who had apparently been abandoned at his own wake because his family couldn't make it through the snow. I went in to visit him once, but it was just too creepy in there by myself. My own dead relatives were bad enough, thanks. I finished off another piece of cold, greasy fried chicken from the fast food place next door and looked up. My uncle was still snoring in the corner, my cousin was still trying to look up my skirt (the perv) and my dad was still just sitting there in front of the coffin, candlelight tracing shapes around his eyes, swallowing the few tears he had left to cry. My mother wasn't there...she was stranded like us, although she had it slightly better. While we were here with a bunch of corpses, she was at least stuck in an office with hot coffee and her computer and stuff. She was probably having a blast. I wasn't. After a few more minutes of boredom, I decided to get up, stretch my legs and look for some sort of entertainment. There was a television in a small lounge near the bathroom, but it was currently being used as a smoking room by some nervous Szerniaks. I wasn't in the mood for watery eyes and a hacking cough, so I avoided the low-tar menthol-flavored fog bank and went and traced my name on the ice that had formed on the inside of the outside glass door, watching the world swirl around outside as I tried to avoid getting slush on my shoes. That's how I met Christen. "Can I sit here?" she asked, sliding down the wall and landing with a thump on the floor across from me, knees drawn up tight because I was taking up most of the hallway.
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