Chapter 18 ~ Goodbye
The guys and Viola had set up camp at Quinn’s house, I guess we all had. The day of the funeral arrived so quickly and as the group headed off to the funeral, I stayed behind and waited for Quinn. I didn’t know what she was doing but she had been locked in the bathroom for quite some time, every now and again I would ask if she’s okay, but she would always reply with, “what time is it?”
“Time to go, baby, we can’t push it back any longer.”
I heard the lock unclick and the door slowly opened, the air was stripped from my lungs the moment she stepped into view. She was dressed in all black, it was the first time in days she had worn something other than Tim’s clothes and sweatpants. Her long sleeve dress covered her and ended at her knees, though it hugged her incredible figure like a second skin, she had chosen simple black heels and she had curled her long black silky hair but attached a fascinator that covered her face. Despite her makeup, I could see clearly the redness in her eyes, she had been crying.
She nervously pulled at the hem of her sleeves, “you look handsome.”
I looked down at my tailored black suit, absentmindedly brushing invisible fluff from the front. “You look beautiful, you ready? You can do this Quinn.”
“No, yes, I don’t know, I don’t think I’m ready.”
“The only sure thing in life is death but I’m right here with you, the whole way.” I held my hand out for her to take which she did, and we headed for the idling car, driven by Mr Striker, Tim’s former bodyguard and Bricker, Quinn’s current security detail.
The crazed paparazzi in front of the funeral home was chaotic, she squeezed my hand tightly seeking comfort and reassurance as we entered the guarded gates to the blinding flashes from their camera’s and the loud boisterous bangs on the windows. The shouting from them horde of vultures echoed through the cabin of the limo, I couldn’t believe the frenzy that surrounded this man’s death.
Everything in me wanted to rip those asses to shreds out of protection of her but thankfully, once, inside the gates, we were ushered through the back entrance and out of the leering glares from the reporters that surrounded the entry point.
Once inside, I was shocked by the sheer mass of the people who had come to mourn the loss of the man that had left such an impression on so many lives. We took our seats in-between Blade and Viola and thankfully, they sat in the row just in front of Mum and Dad. Vi collected Quinn’s other hand and held it firmly, I was happy to see how close they had grown this past week, it was about time she had a solid friend, even better because it was my sister and my family meant everything to me.
Mum and Dad both squeezed our shoulders in comfort but Quinn did not acknowledge them, in fact, her whole body was rigid and stiff from the moment she surveyed the large group of mourners. The funeral director took the stage and a silence fell over the crowd.
“Thank you all for coming. Tritium Brandon Xeal was a man unlike any other, he saw the good in everyone and lived a life full of hope, love and more Joy than he could have ever thought was possible…” the director wafted on as if he had known Tim his entire life, my sole focus though, was on Quinn, who remained in an intensely stiff posture, it felt like she wanted to turn around but out of pure stubbornness refused too.
As the important people in his life spoke of fond memories about him, I felt sorry for Quinn having to endure their reminiscing, considering this man was her husband, but as I looked over, she still held it all in, though her breathing had changed and become heavy pants rather than normal breaths. Bryce was the last to speak about how Tim had changed his entire life for the better and how he will hold him in his heart, it was a very touching and moving goodbye, yet Quinn still held onto it all, there was no obvious outcry and that had me rife with concern.
Finally, it was her turn.
She uncrumpled a paper from in her handbag and walked in complete silence to the podium. She remained silent for a moment, looking out at the weeping gathering, assessing them with scrutinising cobalt blues. She looked as though she had temporarily forgotten how to speak at all.
Clearing her throat after such a long pause, she began, though slowly and carefully thought out. “How do you say goodbye to the most brilliant man you’ve ever known?” Her voice shook with emotion, I had seen her address an audience many times but this time, it was coming from her heart and emotion was not easily controlled, especially in a situation like this. “Tim was always too good for this world, too kind and far too loving. He never allowed small stuff to deter him from his goals in life. I was there the day he received his diagnoses, in fact, that was the night he proposed.” She paused again, inhaling heavily attempting to calm herself but her body betrayed her and with a quivering chin, her hand unconsciously rubbed her chest as if trying to hold back or ease the hurt threatening to escape.
“There were times over the years that we spoke of many things, our dreams, our lost loved ones or just simply useless conversations about his extreme like for peanut butter sandwiches. I can’t believe he’s gone…” the tears finally escaped their imprisonment and rolled down her cheeks as her pitch rose. She was crumbling under the weight of everything.
“I’m so angry, angry that of all the horrible, selfish, nasty souls in this world, it was my Tim that was taken, ripped from me so harshly and well before his time when all he did was spread good upon this ungrateful earth. He faced everything against him fearlessly and loved me with more passion than I could ever describe. I prayed the night he passed, I begged for them to take me and not him, for anyone to take me instead of this man I love, but no one heard my pleas, no one could feel the pain in my heart as I watched him slip away, the unbearable hole that can’t ever be filled. For the first time in my life, I find myself hating, hating everything without him. My regrets in our relationship are simple, why didn’t I hold him more, tell I loved him more, kiss him more because now, I will never get to do that, I won’t ever feel his warm embrace again, get lost in his beautiful grey eyes or enter a room to see his smiling face beaming back at me with adoration, god I loved the way he would look at me, as if I was the only woman he’d ever seen.
“I don’t understand, understand why he had to suffer so much, why he was put through so much pain and torture in his last days and why this cancer didn’t just leave him the fuck alone? He didn’t deserve this, he didn’t deserve what he suffered through, and he sure as hell didn’t deserve to be taken away. I keep expecting to wake up and see him and every morning I open my eyes reality slaps me in the face, he is gone… he’s gone, and he’s never coming back… and it all hurts so god damn much, you speak of what he did for you but none of you really knew him, not the way I did… not the way I did and he’s gone… he’s gone.”
Quinn leant heavily on the podium and broke down, her harrowing cries of unrestrained torture echoed through the room. I jumped from my seat, not caring about the reaction or repercussions of me moving to comfort her, at that moment she needed strength, strength I could provide. Viola also moved, collecting the paper in her hands and then her face paled staring down at me.
I lifted my shoulders to shrug as I held Quinn tightly against my chest, “what?” I whispered.
With tears brimming in Vi’s eyes, she whispered, “the paper is empty, there’s nothing written on it.”
The director rushed to the stage and intervened, “Mr Xeal has prepared a little something to end on, please sit back and enjoy the memories you all have created with him.”
The lights dimmed and on a large projector, images and movie clips played out to both happy and sad music. His life immortalized on film, every important and captured image showed up on the screen as some laughed and others cried, I felt sadness for this man who loved so openly and with such strong conviction that he thought of every individual enough to add a memory of them to his farewell message.
When the film flickers to what I thought was the end, the song, you are the reason by Calum Scott starts and the screen was inundated with images of Tritium’s and Quinn’s life together. What blew me away and stabbed me in the heart at the same time, was the look of pure happiness on her face, she loved him, deeply, different from how she loves me, could she love me the way she loves him? Her face sparkled with incredible adoration for him and her smile was plastered on her face, the smile of love, capturing and expressive but when it cut to their video of their vowels, my heart clenched tightly, she has never looked at me that way, her eyes have never shone at me the way they do for him.
She removed her fascinator as the images of their love continued, the haunting memories flashed by as the tears streamed steadily from her eyes, her body was shaking yet, she remained glued to the video. Their years together showed just how right they were for each other and just how completely irreplaceable their love is.
When an image of him from their bed with his oxygen lines on his face came up, a collective gasp rang through the crowd, no one but a handful of people were allowed to see Tim this way. “My love, you made me a promise, one I intend to see through. You were my greatest adventure, the life I built with you was exquisite, stuff fairy tales are derived from. I can’t believe I have to leave you behind, I can’t believe that I have to say goodbye to the most remarkable person I have ever known. You have made me happier than I ever thought was possible and have shown me more love than I ever thought was capable and I have to leave you behind. Find someone Quinn, my love, find someone immediately to love you the way deserve, the way I have always loved you. Do not wait, do not suffer alone, you have sacrificed years loving this old man and I would die a thousand times over if it meant just one more night with you. Now is your time to grab life by the balls my love, you promised me you would, but I know the hesitation you hold in your heart. You will always be my wife, my hope, my everything but as a price for you loving me, you have lost so much. I am only the man I am because of you, the way you looked at me when I did something good inspired me to continue on my path. You are the reason behind every move and decision I have ever made. Without you I was nothing, but with you by my side made me fearless, untouchable… you are my angel Quinn and now it’s your turn. Let me go, forgive yourself, I know you will regret a lot after my death but don’t punish yourself, love like you have never loved before and show the world your incredible heart. Smile down on those who need your light, even if they don’t deserve it, and remember your love is what makes you beautiful both inside and out. My love, I will be waiting for you in heaven, watching you as you journey through life and inspire more people to become better versions of themselves, I know you can. I will miss you and knowing that I’ve been blessed enough to have had just a minuet moment with you allows me the strength to say goodbye, even though it will be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Fall in love my wife, choose someone that worships you. I have always and will always love you, I wish I had more time but it just wasn’t meant to be, my angel, my wife and my best friend, you were always for too exceptional for me, but you made my life complete, thank you.”
*** Did you know that on wattpad, under Tinksfantasyland, every chapter in every book has a song attached for what happens in the chapter?***