Chapter 23 <As best as it gets>
I entered Riley’s room and still there was smell of Riley’s flowery perfume. It almost felt like she was still here.
Aaron went over to Riley’s shelf and picked up an old rusty keychain and held it up “is that what you are taking?” I asked him. It was old and broken.
“It was... kind of our friendship thing. Inside joke that I can never gift her nice things, only rusty old crap that I do not need.” He laughed “on her birthdays I always gave her as a present really useless rusty crap. And on my birthdays she re gifted it to me.”
It was sweet, a simple act of care...
I remembered Riley’s drawing box and got it out from her closet. Riley was an artist and there is nothing that can stop that. Not even death. I didn’t want to take all of the drawing because her parents have the right to keep them but I only want to take one. I looked through it and it was picture of girl standing in front of an empty grave facing it. But in the back she has people laughing, flowers blooming and everything nice. While in the grave there is some old bones broken wooden pieces. When Riley drew it I didn’t understand it, but now it was clear as day.
I took that one drawing and folded it in half putting it in my pocket.
Aaron walked to the window “this is probably the last time we are here” he pointed out.
“Yea” I said in sigh.
“Do you know when’s the funeral?” I asked Aaron.
“It’s on Thursday. Want to go together?” He turned to me and I nodded. There wasn’t any other person I would rather be with there.
We walked downstairs and said our goodbyes. Of course Riley’s parents said to come visit, but I think we all know that that won’t be happening. Just because we aren’t close. I was close with Riley but not them.
The next day Aaron had picked me up to school and we went over to the maple tree bench. There was also other guys.
I sat down and noticed that everyone was looking ... ill, or tired, or both.
“Hey guys” max said as light as possible.
“Hi” I say
“How you two holding up? You were the closest to Riley” Jack asks looking at both of us.
I didn’t want to answer and thankfully Aaron did “were doing as best as it can get. Just waiting for sorrows to die down” Aaron said.
“Well well. I didn’t know we had a poet here” Max said in a bad English accent trying to lighten up the mood. And it worked.
Few laughs escaped even I smiled at that.
Harry shook head “but in all seriousness Riley was amazing and truly magnificent human being. I just wish she would have had more time. Hell! If I’m being selfish. I wish she would have had more time with us. I will miss her. She would have done something great when she’d grow older.”
“Cheers!” Max half shouted holding imaginary cup.
Max was good at making these kind of moments less awkward. He just had a way with words. And with his facial gestures that made him comedic in every situation.
Jack stood up to Max imaginary toast. “Riley isn’t gone. She will live forever and why won’t we too? Let’s make the best out of worst and stop sulking about what we lost but start a blank page with what we have...” he looked at all of us “and that is the great memories that no one can take away. And let’s live with that forever.”
Truer words have never been spoken.
I couldn’t think about anything else but the funeral.
I was looking at myself in the mirror wearing black long-sleeved dress. I didn’t put on any makeup. Why would I? I’ve been crying for the past days.
We all decided to meet at the cemetery. I later refused to go with Aaron, I needed to be alone while I go to funeral.
I was the last one there and I walked to my friend group. They had put the chairs in a far distance away from others. In the far back. “Why so far away?” I asked them.
Aaron came to me and leaded me to get seated “so no one hears Max’s stupid remarks” he explained.
“You know the best place to make out in cinema is the back. So what do you say?” It was Max and he wiggled his eyebrows at me.
“Do you have popcorn as well?” I asked him sitting down next to him and Aaron on the other side.
“No... But...” he said and pulled skittles out of his pocket. “I have this.”
My mouth was hanging open “you brought snacks to funeral?” I asked him shocked.
Max looked worried at all of us. “Are you not supposed to do that? “He asked. Most of the times I couldn’t tell if he was being serious or not.
Aaron started laughing at him and so did the rest of us.
“Fine. Give me some. “I said to him reaching my hand for him to pour some. His face lit up.
I looked up to a tree that was near us and saw that there was bird sitting there, it looked like the bird that banged in my window the other day. That’s weird.
The funeral seamed to last forever. But strangely I didn’t cry. Maybe my tears were all gone.
Riley’s casket was being lowered and Max said beside me “there she goes” he sighted.
“Yup” harry agreed...
“Beautiful funeral” I said more to myself.
“Meh” max said twitching his lip “I’ve seen better” he mocked. And I slapped his side making him wince.
“That’s insensitive” I exclaim
“I’m sure Riley will forgive me” he said and laughed. Max wasn’t mean or anything he was just lightening the mood as much as he could. I don’t think I have ever laughed so much in funerals with Max beside me. And I am sure that even Riley would like that joke.
“Max. You are a dumbass but at least you made all this less depressing” Jack said and we all got up since funeral was ending.
Max spread his hands “and that my friends is my motto to my life.”
I swear if max doesn’t do something in entertainer industry when he is older, he is doing something wrong.
After all that, still in our black clothes us all went to burger place. We are all sitting laughing at Maxis jokes when two unwanted people walked in here. And sat down at some free table, mom and Veronica.
“Hey...that girl kind of looks like you” max said a little too loud because they looked towards us, but I quickly turned back.
“That’s... that’s my twin sister.” I said to him
“Yea right” max said smirking and looking down but then his expression changed to shocked “oh...“He said and I nodded.
Aaron massaged my back “do you want to go somewhere else?” He asked me.
She wasn’t part of my life anymore so why should I care “no. I’m good” I said.
I am not that weak, broken, naive, stupid person anymore still hoping for her mother to return. I don’t need her. And no matter how sorry she is. I can’t forgive that, and never will. Maybe I was a horrible person but in my heart I didn’t want her anymore.
In the next few days I started to feel better. When my friends were with me it felt like any normal day. But when my mind wasn’t occupied with school and friends I kept wondering back to Riley.
I was better and that I am thankful to Aaron the most.
Right now he keept texting me to come over because he didn’t think it was fair that he knew my family but I didn’t know his. I was worried that they won’t like me. They are more on the wealthy side, but I’m just in medium economic state.
Aaron called me and I picked up “what?” I asked irritated.
“I am picking you up. Get ready” he said.
I was about to argue but he ended the call. “ughh” I groaned and went over to my closet to get ready.
I tried to dress up nice but not as nice for them to think I am trying. I just put on my black skinny yeans and black v neck sweater. It looked casually classy I think after ten minutes he was already here. I didn’t wait for him to come me just vent to his car and met him halfway walking.
“And you said you didn’t want to go” he smirked and walked over to me to give quick peck on my lips.
“Do I have a choice?” I asked him.
“Nope” he said and leaded me to his car.
When the car finally stopped I was worried as hell. Aaron must have noticed it. I stopped him walking “Aaron why is this so important. It’s not like we will stay together after graduation” I tried to reason with him. “It’s not like this meeting is so necessary”
“So you think that our relationship isn’t important?” He asked mocking me.
“No, it is important I just think this is unnecessary.”
“Well then suck it up and follow me.” he just said and pulled me towards the house. Aaron walked in the house and it was even more beautiful in the inside. Aaron walked me to the back garden. And there was a big table there where a man and women sat both reading different book.
Aaron didn’t say anything he just leaded us to that table and we both sat down. No words were spoken they just kept reading.
I eyed Aaron “they don’t like to be bothered while reading, they will come back to reality when they end a chapter or some plot there. It doesn’t bother them that we are talking unless we aren’t talking to them” he explained.
And a women looked up closing the book but still kept silence. She had long brown hair and emerald green eyes, she was very pretty, quit curvy as well.
Finally the man looked up. His beard was slightly gray and hair too, but it worked for him. He was wearing a t-shirt and I could see he was ripped “so. How can I help Aaron” he asked Aaron and eyed me a little.
“You wanted to meet my girlfriend” he simply said. So did that mean he talks about me?
The man clapped his hands together “ah so this is the famous Victoria. I am Benjamin, and this is my lovely wife.” In introduced himself.
“Finally I see just how beautiful you are. Aaron had made it very clear that you are a magnificent piece. This boy can’t shut up about you” the women said.
Aaron looked down and got up “I think that’s quit enough” he said and reached his hand for me to grab and get up.
“What? She needs to know just how much you have fallen for her.” The women spoke and as soon as those words escaped her mouth we were walking back in the house and up the stairs.
I have never thought about us falling for each other. That would mean that we love each other I don’t know if I love Aaron. I don’t know what love is, but maybe, just maybe Aaron could be the one to teach me what love is.
They say that the first love you never forget. I would never forget Aaron. Even if we have a little time together. I am ready for the heartbreak after if that meant I get to love Aaron with whole my soul...