Grayson Smith

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Chapter Thirty One. Mourning Doves.

Song for this chapter: Mikky Ekko-Mourning Doves.(I actually love this song idk why but I just do, plus the song title suits this chapter so viola)

I had heard once that grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith but simply the price you have to pay for loving someone. No matter the type of love, friendly, romantic or family. It will always cost the same.

I use to think death was selfish and I still can’t comprehend to this day why people leave the earth so soon, so unexpected, so painfully. I guess the white light you’re supposed to see is too enticing to just leave behind.

I was thankful my dad and Angie got to experience having a family of their own before they left this earth. They both lived their lives with bright smiles on their faces, love in their hearts and a clear head.

They were happy and that’s all I could have wanted for them.

I just wish we had them a bit longer.

In church, Grayson tried to keep his composure and tears hid away in front of Angie’s beloved friends and family but I knew behind his mask he was breaking down. We had sat at front at first besides Rachel who kept her words and saved us a seat but we soon moved to the back at Grayson’s request.

He buried his face into my neck.

I ran my fingers through his hair, soothingly.

And he cried.

People passing by to get to the top to say their goodbyes or leaving early because the pain of grief and loss was too hard to bare, dipped their heads low at the sight of Grayson who now didn’t care who was watching him. They gave me sympathetic smiles, their eyes saddened and dull, like all the love and life was sucked and drained from them.

His face was red and puffy by the time the three of us reached the cemetery. My mind hadn’t wondered to anything like who Rachel was to Grayson but stuck on Grayson’s well being.

I hadn’t only ever seen one in person before but on the grave beside where Angie was getting lay to rest, there was a beautiful white dove standing peacefully. Just taking in its surroundings around itself, I smiled at it and once it was happy with taking in its surroundings it flew off with it’s angelic wings.

I knew then Angie was happy, looking down on all of us with a smile on her sweet face.

Thinking back to Rachel was wasn’t in my top list of priorities right now, she seemed like a pleasant girl and I need to overcome my anxiety and to do that I need to not jump to conclusions so quickly until Grayson tells me himself who she is to him.

I can tell in a click of a finger when he’s lying or not, it’s quite easy to tell. His emerald eyes give it away every time, they flick down to my lips first after a lie escapes his lips but if he’s telling the truth they will be held in place with mine.

I was a bit scared Grayson was going to yell out for the people who were carefully placing Angie’s coffin in the ground to stop. He held his breath the whole time, clasping onto my hand tightly but I didn’t mind. It was a involuntary action he did, but he looked down at me with a guilty expression on his face uttering out a million ‘sorry’s’.

I had assured him plenty of times it was okay and that I was alright and he didn’t have to panic and apologise but the look of regret never once left his piercing eyes.

It had been six hours. Six long hours of nothing but quietness, only the sounds of cars driving past and wind blowing in the trees around us.

He had offered to drive me home a countless amount of times but I had told him I wanted to stay with him. I would have taken up his offer if I knew he needed to be alone to vent but I could tell he needed someone, he needed me.

He needed me to whisper words of encouragement into his ear and I was more than happy to do so.

For once, someone needed me.

Someone needed plain old Libby who was bipolar to even know herself.

But he knew me.

Unlike no other.

Thinking back to the cemetery I remembered the white feathered dove. Doves mate for life, and they’re a symbol of love and peace.

Like Gray and I, I didn’t see a future without him in it. I said before I didn’t like to plan too far ahead into the future, but I know I have a future when I have Gray with me. If he isn’t by my side, his scent is enlaced in his denim jacket.

Which reminds me. I need for him to wear it around for a day again just so his scent becomes more empowering like it had use to. I think I sniffed the majority of his pine tree and cotton smell away.

″I’m not cheating on you″ His broken voice spoke out.

I took in the humid air, inhaling the crispness. I leaned my head on his shoulder, looking at the blinking stars above.

″I know″ I whispered.

″She-″ I stopped his words by lightly shushing him.

″I know, Gray″.

And in all honesty, I did know. I knew Rachel wasn’t someone for me to worry over, I think I could see ourselves being friends. Not exactly the sentence you would expect the girlfriend to be saying about the girl she thought was with her boyfriend.

But I knew by the way Grayson didn’t even blink that he was telling the truth. It was all in his eyes. If he was telling the truth, if he was lying, if he was okay and if he needed someone. I could just tell by taking a short glance into his emerald eyes.

We could read each other like an open book. And I knew our book would have a happy ending even if it didn’t start beautiful.

The Prince Charming and his Princess always get a happy ending.

We stayed like that for a while, just the both of us and the gravestones of people I had never met. Each of them with their own stories to tell, each different from one another. It’s funny how we all live and search for a different life but we all end up in the same place-six feet under the earth.

I knew Angie was watching down on us then, probably making a batch of brownies for everyone up in the clouds. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was to be honest, she makes a mean chocolate brownie.

Looking up at Gray who hadn’t moved an inch since we got here about three or four hours ago, his face was pale, bags under his eyes like he hasn’t slept a wink for a week and maybe he hadn’t.

″Gray″ I whispered to which he made a small ‘mhm’ sound. ″It’s getting late, I think we should leave now″ I suggested hesitantly, not knowing exactly if Grayson would comply.

It wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t want to leave but remain here staring at the deep hole in the earth where Angie now lays to rest. He didn’t let go easily, it was one of the many things I loved about him.

But I wasn’t dragging him away for my own self but because I know Angie wouldn’t want Gray to sulk and fade his life away staring at the ground where her tombstone would be in a few days. She would want him to be in the comfort of his own home,surrounded with the people he loves.

So I wasn’t doing this for my own pleasure, I was doing it for Angie.

For him.

To my complete surprise, he nodded. He slowly stood himself up using his hands to steady his weak knees, I looked up at him in complete shock and delight.

He still didn’t reach my eyes, he was staring blankly at the trees in front of him. Even when I snaked my hand around his waist and guided him to the car he didn’t blink once.

It was haunting how hollow he looked.

Like all of the light had been ripped from his eyes.

She was all he had left.

She was all her had left of her.

It would take a while for him to adjust to life without her, to get used to it.

Maybe he never would, but I would be there for him every step of the way.

That’s one thing I could promise him.

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