“Isabella please come back inside, people are waiting to show their condolences.”
Letting out a slow breath, I turned around to follow my father inside. Only two more hours until I can get out of this hell hole.
As I entered through the doorway again, the smell of flowers almost suffocating. Everyone dressed in black walking through the line to hug the family. This is not what she would have wanted .
I could feel everyone’s stares on me, all looking at me with pity evident in their eyes. Not long after people started approaching me, it was the same thing every time, ask how I was doing say sorry for your loss and move on to the next person. I just wanted to get out of here and not have to face everyone. Finally the last person went through the line. I walked around seeing everyone talking and enjoying themselves. In the see of black dresses and black suits something caught my eye. In the corner of the room was Aunt Mildred dressed in a hot pink floral dress. With a smile tugging at my lips, I walked over to her as soon as she saw me she started waving her hands excitedly.
“ISABELLA, come here girl” laughing I wrapped my arms around her for once feeling a moment of peace, I just wanted to stay here until this was over. Too soon though she pulled away.
“How are you doing sweet cheeks.”
Now would probably be a good time to introduce my Aunt Mildred, but she despises that name so we call her Aunt Millie most of the time without the Aunt part because she claims that makes her old. She is not really my aunt, but she basically raised me and Kate, my best friend. She is Kate’s dad’s sister making her Kate’s Aunt and my adopted Aunt. Considering that neither of our parents were around much both being workaholics, we always would go to Millie’s house spending many days and some nights there. She got married young at the age of 20, but after 7 years of marriage he died in a car accident. They always were too busy traveling and enjoying their lives that they never settled down to have kids figuring they would have more time. I do not remember her husband much, but I remember how heart broken she was and has not dated since.
She likes to call herself the purple sheep of the family. She always says it is like being a black sheep, but with more color and spunk. Her brother, Kate’s dad, started his own business along with my father right out of college. Millie never wanted to go to college, she just wanted to help people. She started working at a homeless shelter out of high school. She now manages that shelter and a woman’s shelter, while the owner travels the world. The owner, being an extremely wealthy man who just opened the shelter for charity, is generous enough to give my aunt a large paycheck every week to keep her from having to find a real paying job.
“I’m doing well, how are you.”
“Cut the crap honey, how are you really feeling.” That was the best thing about Aunt Millie she was always very good at reading people. That was also the bad thing no one could ever get away with lying to her.
“I’m hanging in there, I just want this day to be over with. Kate would have hated this, it is just another excuse for her parents to host a bunch of work associates.”
“Now come on, give them more credit than that, they lost their daughter just like you lost your best friend.” She was always trying to be the mediator between our parents and us, she always wanted to see the good in people.
“Yeah I understand, I just wish this all had been different this is a funeral not a business event. Half of these people I have never seen before in my life, they probably did not know Kate at all.”
“But you know Kate if she was here she would be making fun of all these uptight people. She would try to use her horrible fake British accent and interpret their conversation.” Millie then proceeded to pick up her glass raise her pinky and start talking in a fake accent. I immediately burst into giggles, she always new how to brighten anyones day. Just as I was calming down I felt someone grab my arm.
“Isabella, where are you manners show a little respect.”
I quickly sobered up, “Sorry mom.”
“This is not the time or the place for you to be acting like this, I thought we raised you better than this.” She then turned on her heel and hurried away motioning for me to follow her.
I lowered my head gave a small smile to Millie and quickly hurried after her. She led us over to where my father was standing. He turned to face us as we walked up and I got a glimpse of the people he was talking to. As soon as I saw them I froze in my spot, standing there was Bill and Susan Anderson, Kate’s parents and next to them was Bryce her older brother. I felt like I got the wind knocked out of me I haven’t seen any of them since the hospital. Anytime they were over I would hide in my room to afraid to confront them.
I slowly continued walking towards them. Thankfully my mother had already started up a conversation.
I stood their with my head down playing with the hem of my dress. I heard my name being called, when I looked up everyone was staring at me waiting for me to answer the question.
“Excuse me what did you say?”
My mother’s face turned into a glare, clearly not happy with me. “Really Isabella can you try to focus, the Anderson’s were asking you how school is going.”
I didn’t know how to answer that as I have not gone to school since the accident. Not really wanting to bring the topic up I put my head down hoping I would not have to answer.
“Dear, answer their question.” My father’s voice was stern demanding I answer.
Looking around everyone did not seem interested in what my answer would be anyway, so taking a deep breath I answered. “Well I actually haven’t returned to school since the accident.”
All eyes snapped to me, I knew that was the wrong thing to say I should have just said it was going fine. I started looking around, looking for anyway to get out of here.
I then heard a deep voice start talking. I looked across from me and Bryce was staring right at me.
“Don’t worry you have not missed much.” I just stared at him not sure what to say back to him.
“I am sure that is true, but school is very important the more you miss it will be hard to catch up on.” I glanced over at Bill who was now talking about the importance of going to school and getting a good education. I just wanted to roll my eyes at him. School is the last thing on my mind right now. Thankfully at that moment I heard someone call my parents name. As they turned to talk to whoever called them I immediately made my way out the side doors no longer wanting to talk to anybody.
I slowly lowered myself to the curb. Everything seemed to be harder to do when one leg was in a cast. Not to mention my foot constantly was itching, and I couldn’t reach it. Seeing a twig lying on the ground I reached over and started shoving it down the boot hoping it would reach to my itch. After a few minutes I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. Jumping I looked over at the person who startled me. Bryce was sitting on the curb next to me, letting out a little laugh he turned and looked up at the sky. “Sorry I didn’t mean to startle you, I thought you realized when I sat down.” Now realizing how silly this must have looked, I tried to pull the twig out without causing myself any more embarrassment.
“How long have you been sitting here.”
“Long enough to watch you try to scratch yourself with that thing. I just came out here to make sure you were ok” I just continued to stare at him I did not know what he was doing checking on me, I was a nobody compared to him.
Bryce Anderson was the most popular guy in our school he had the looks, the grades and he was the captain of the hockey team. He was also Kate’s twin brother. I spent a lot of time with him at Kate’s house or at the beach house our parents own. We were closer when we were younger, but as we grew up, he got better looking and some embarrassing events happened that left me wanting to avoid all conversation with him. He was always still nice to me and would try to talk to me, I just couldn’t keep the conversation going.
“I’m fine.” He turned and stared at me, I knew just like my aunt he would not accept that answer. Unfortunately he still could tell when I was lying just like when we were younger. He just kept staring waiting for me to answer honestly.
I looked away, trying to hold in the tears, I knew once they started it would never end. I was holding it all in so well until this point, I wish he would drop it, seeing that he was not going to leave without an answer. “I’m barely holding it together and if I start talking now I will lose it. I just want to be left alone by everybody.”
“You are not the only person that is grieving.”
“Yes, but if it wasn’t for me nobody would be grieving.” With that I stood up and walked away tears now coming down, that I could no longer control. I stepped through the door and was immediately met by Aunt Millie.
“Shh come here, I know I saw everything.”
“I just want to go home.”
“I know let’s go dear I will tell your parents go wait in my car.” I grabbed her keys making my way to the door I just entered in from. Bryce was still sitting in the same spot I left him. Although now he was hunched over with his head resting on his hands. If you looked close enough you could see his shoulders gently shaking. I quickly crutched my way over to her car waiting for her to come out so I could finally leave. As we were pulling out of the parking lot Bryce looked up to see who was leaving. Even from far away I could tell his eyes were red and starting to get puffy. I had to look away guilt over taking me. Everything was my fault I should have died not Kate and now I have to live with this for the rest of my life.