Tears fell from the blondes eyes as she nodded to the passers by who were giving her looks of complete sympathy. Or pity she thought. Jeff stood beside her, holding her hand as she listened to all the kind words people were sharing with her. She just kept her head down, muttering a thank you here and there. She felt her husband squeeze her hand and she looked up, moving the black material out of her line of sight. She groaned internally as she saw her in-laws walking towards her. She really did detest them.
“Oh darling, we are ever so sorry to hear about your mother.” Carey nodded, hoping Jeff would speak to them, so she didn’t have to. Normally she made a vibrant effort to impress them but today she was sad. Today she didn’t care. Today they could crawl back into the hole they came out of.
“She could at least lift her head and show a little respect.” Was all she heard as she saw them walk away. Clearly they weren’t getting the attentiveness they were used to. Jeff sighed beside her. He was struggling too. He didn’t know how to cope with his wife’s mourning. Sometimes he sat with her as she cried, unsure what to say and sometimes he listened to her wail while she sat on her own, clutching onto the clothes her father had given to her of her mothers.
Isabella was the best mother. A daughters best friend. Carey went through high school listening to her friends moan about falling out with their parents but she never really did get it. They would spend weekends together, shopping, riding bikes or even just taking the dogs for a walk. She supported Carey the best she could, emotionally and financially.
When Carey got the phone call to rush to her parents house, she really didn’t expect to see her mother the way she was. To watch a woman as strong as Isabella lie there in her bed, unable to move was horrible. Beyond horrible. Carey knew she had to stay strong for her mother but as soon as the doctor explained what had happened, she knew she had to start preparing for a life without her best friend by her side. Her father, Ben, had been fabulous. He accepted it quicker than most although Carey expected it to sink in now that her funeral was almost finished and last with. She was inconsolable for days, refused to even speak about any funeral arrangements. Jeff got her out her slump and told her straight - She couldn’t leave her dad to do this on his own.
The set up her dad had orchestrated was amazing. Just the way Isabella would have wanted it. A keen musician, she had loved playing the harp and that’s exactly what you heard walking into her favorite cafe. They had offered to hold a function to remember one of their favorite customers. It was breathtaking with the gorgeous white lilies adorning the linen lined tables. Carey sat the furthest away from the crowd, pulling her hat down over her face hoping nobody would speak to her. She had stupidly agreed to go back to work the next day and she desperately needed five minutes peace with a coffee.
Everyone took the hint and left her in peace. She felt more relaxed listening to so many people reminisce about her mother. She truly was loved but it just made her pain all that more real. She needed back into a routine, something to keep her busy and her mind off what was actually happening in real life.
Tommy had just finished signing yet another fight contract when Dean burst through the doors. Even he knew how private these meeting were. Tommy gave him a fierce look but took it back when Babs walked in behind him. Shit was about to hit the fan. She had never been through these doors before, how could she, she didn’t know the place existed.
“Fancy telling me what this is?” She slammed a letter down on the table. She was angry and her long manicured nails were tapping on the table to show her husband she was waiting for an answer. The brown envelope lay on the table, his name and details printed on the front along with the address of the club. He squinted and took a deep, unsure how he was getting out of this one.
You know where
He didn’t even put the piece of paper down on the table before the screaming shouted. Something about a cheating scumbag, and how could she do that to him. He groaned, rubbing his temples harder than normal. Where she found the guts and energy from to accuse him, he didn’t know. Babs kept screaming and Tommy only looked up briefly to see Dean peeking through the window to see what the drama was about.
“You better not be seeing another woman so help you Tommy!” She yelled, pacing back and fourth the office. She started talking about money and where she was going I live and how dare he did that.
“BABS!” He roared, the noise getting to much for him. She stopped dead in her tracks and turned to face him. He never raised his voice but on this occasion, she suddenly felt scared as to what was about to leave his mouth. She clasped her hands together and winced as he walked towards her. He placed both his arms and squeezed affectionate whilst bending down to her eye level.
“I swear that I have no fucking idea what this is about. I don’t know who sent it or what it’s mean to mean.” She nodded and sniffed, showing him she was clearly upset but a little embarrassed. He kissed her on the cheek and walked back to his desk, ripping up the letter along with the envelope and threw it into the bucket. He nodded Dean in.
“Can you call my lovely lady here a taxi and make sure she gets home safe. I’ve a few things to do first.” He could see she wanted to ask questions, her eyes told that story. But he knew she wouldn’t, she never did. She was just one step further to finding out things for herself. Babs nodded, showing she was listening and left the room with her brother in law.
Tommy hadn’t been able to sleep since getting that letter. He tossed and turned every day for days on end, eventually taking himself downstairs and onto the sofa as not to wake his wife. She was becoming agitated with his moods and wasn’t talking to him. Therefore the silent treatment he was receiving was just making everything worse.
There was always one place where he could go that made him forget about the world around him. As soon as he placed his hands on the cold marble where his mother rested, he always felt the weight lifted off his shoulders. She always told him the key to a happy life was a happy wife. He just had never wanted that key.
He sighed as he placed the white roses at his mothers graveside. He usually came her and just sat. He never spoke, just thought about the things that were troubling him and usually by the time he left, his head was always somehow clearer.
“Oh Mam.” He slumped down beside her and stroked the photo that adorned her grave. She was in her wedding dress after she had renewed her vows, just before she died. They had worked so hard to make her day perfect for her and she looked truly beautiful. Tommy had shed tears as he and Dean had walked her down the aisle. His Mam had been his best friend. She was good to him, but gave him a kick up the rear when it was needed. She let him make his own mistakes and was always there to pick up the pieces. She had also been the only one to deter him from getting married. She told him he had been too young and needed to find himself before he tried to make a marriage work. Yet she supported him whatever decision he made and was the proudest mother when she watched him say his vows.
His thoughts were interrupted when a man spoke.
“I see you received your letter.” He turned swiftly, cocking his head as he tried to figure out what the man was on about. He was well dressed, a pantsuit and his hair slicked back into a perfect bun. He suddenly clicked when he realized what letter he was talking about.
“It was you again? How many times do you lot need to be told?” Tommy was angry as he stood up, realizing who the man was. The man shrugged his shoulders yet kept his hard stance. Months ago, Tommy had been offered a job. Not realising the details, he had accepted and what awaited him had left him reeling for months.
“I told you, that was the first and last time. You fucked me over majorly.” Tommy spoke through gritted teeth. He was offered a pretty sum of cash, to go in, mess a guy up and leave. He had managed to do just that, but nobody told him he would be chased from the building by masses of guys wielding guns.
“And you were paid in respect of that Thomas.” The man said with a slight smirk. He spoke with a dignified look. He was certainly more than a messenger boy but Tommy didn’t fancy waiting round to find out. He turned on his heel and started walking.
“Oh Thomas, this was non-negotiable.” Tommy turned on his heel to argue but was met with a club to the side of the head. The last thing he was his mothers grave stone before it all went black.