Yvonne knew she wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Going to his funeral meant that Kendo was gone forever.
Whenever she felt like that, she took a moment and remembered the morning on the roof. Some part of her felt like that had been her lover saying good bye. Not because he hadn’t loved her, no. But because she couldn’t keep living in this foggy state of denial. She was getting ready to peel back the protective layers she’d piled on from the moment the horrible phone call had ended.
Yvonne was aware that she had to get through the shell she’d started building when her mother had told her there were no survivors. The same shell which had thickened when she’d first seen the footage of the plane wreck and images of Kendo on the television.
Beyond that there were the thorns which had grown inward, piercing her heart every time she heard people talk about him like the corpse he now was. She had asked them to keep her fully informed of what was happening to him from the very beginning, but whenever he was mentioned or she saw a picture of his gorgeous face, she shrunk further and further inside herself. Cringing away from the barbs of reality.
It was time to come out again and that meant she was going to be full of holes, crushed internally, bleeding for a love that was being put in a coffin that very moment.
She would do it though. Yvonne had loved him in life, so she would honour him fiercely in death.
It was that decision that had spurred her to shower and get dressed in time to leave the house with her mother and father. She was going to go through the whole event as a tribute to their history and the future they’d lost.
The funeral service for Kendo Kunosawa was with closed casket. The picture of his face, however, was enough to bring tears to Yvonne’s eyes even though she had sworn to herself that she wouldn’t cry. After the short service, they headed to the crematorium to fulfil Kendo’s wishes.
Mrs. Kunosawa hadn’t seen Yvonne since the fateful appearance of Miss Konishiki. When, at the crematorium, she set eyes upon her, her knees gave way. Her husband caught her and Yvonne moved forward stiffly to hug her.
Looking into his parents’ faces was an almost unbearable reminder of who was missing and why they were all gathered together.
“I’m sorry, Yvonne. I’m so sorry, my dear child,’ she said to the woman who had loved her son as much as she did. When his sister grabbed her and wrapped her arms around her, Yvonne stood very still.
Mrs. Kunosawa could see it on Eve’s face that she was struggling to cope with the entire situation as the younger woman went to stand with her parents once again.
Yvonne shuddered. She didn’t know how to respond to the Kunosawas yet. It took a great effort to even touch a living human being, more so one who was related to Kendo when he was dead and she felt like she was too. She felt much safer next to her mom and dad.
They all saw the coffin move through the exit towards the flames. Yvonne turned her face into her father’s chest, unable to watch. He wrapped his arms around her and whispered words of comfort, urging her to be strong. It was almost over.
Later on, Yvonne was taken aback and deeply honoured when they told her that she would receive a box containing some of Ken’s cremated remains.
“We’ve asked that they be delivered to your house when the whole process is over,” Kendo’s mother said, wiping tears from her eyes.
Yvonne’s eyes widened in surprise.
“No need to be shocked,” Mr. Kunosawa said gruffly. “After all you are the woman who had been planning to marry our son.”
She looked questioningly at them, but her queries were only answered back at the Kunosawa home during the reception.
Mrs. Kunosawa told her that the engagement to Konishiki had not yet taken place. Kendo and the three Konishiki’s had been on their way to Japan to make introductions to the parents of the girl.
“So,” she finished, “as far as we’re concerned, you were the only lady in Kendo’s life. We know he loved you and wanted to marry you,” the older woman paused. “There is something else, but I fear I may shock you. Please stay until all these people go.”
Yvonne reluctantly agreed then watched Mrs. Kunosawa pull herself together to face the rest of the sympathizers. She was immensely touched when many people also came to her to offer their condolences.
It was a sign that she hadn’t dreamt the whole thing up. Yes, she had had a wonderful relationship with an amazing man and then the fairy tale had been viciously snatched from her grasp. The world around her knew it- and understood why she was sad.
Through it all, Mike was there. He only said good bye after all the other guests had departed. He had taken Terrence’s advice to heart and he was determined to lessen the pain his best friend went through until she didn’t have any more hurt left.
Yvonne’s parents only left when she assured them that the Kunosawa driver would bring her to their house once her discussion with Kendo’s parents was over. She told them she would be fine. This was probably going to be the last time she ever saw them.