Schadenfreude By D.I. Jolly

“Wait, say that again.”

“Christian, our friend.”

“Friend is a strong word.”

“Fair, that guy we’ve known since high-school, died on Sunday.”

Mathew sat back down on the couch and let the words wash over him as visions and memories flooded through his mind.

“Wow, so explain to me how that’s funny?”

Josh sat down next to him and smiled.

“Remember how he was a compulsive liar?”

“One of his best qualities, how could I forget.”

“Well, rumour has it that he got so deep into a story he was telling some girl about how he was actually a famous escape artist and magician that he got drunk, got her to chain up his hands and feet and jumped into a swimming pool.”

“Oh my God, that’s… hysterical, but terrible, but wow, couldn’t have happened to a more deserving douche bag. When’s the funeral and can we go and can we somehow do something terrible to him when we’re there?”

Josh’s smile broadened,

“Friday and yes, yes we can.”

The days passed quickly as they joked and made plans for things they never actually planned to do until finally, they arrived at the funeral and the reality of it all set in. They stood in the doorway and looked into an empty room where a priest waited quietly.

“Did… are we early or too late?”

“No, right on time, it just seems that no one else is coming.”

The two boys looked at each other.

“What about his family? His parents and his little brother?”

“I spoke with them this morning, they wired in some money and apologised saying they couldn’t make it, his father apparently has some business meeting today, and his mother has other engagements which she couldn’t cancel.”

“Jesus, I mean, sorry. That’s… Uummm.”

“Incredibly sad?”

Offered the priest.

“I was going to say really fucked up, but you’re probably more right.”

The priest frowned then smiled.

“Did you know him well?”

Again, the men looked at each other.

“We, we all went to school together.”

“And you were friends?”

“Not, not exactly.”

“I see, well it’s good that you came. Shall we?”

They slowly walked to the front of the room and sat quietly listening to the simple and humble service, both wondering what kind of life Christian had had at home and the effect it must have had on him. They searched their minds of hints of any kind that they couldn’t possibly have understood at the time but seemed so obvious in hindsight. And at almost the same time it occurred to them that not even the girl he was trying to impress when he died had shown up, and remembered the type of girl he always seemed to go for and how it made perfect sense, in a really, really sad way. And the two men who had originally only come to the funeral as a joke were now the only people who were sad that he had died, and that that, was kinda funny.

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