You weren't supposed to die, Crimson. We were supposed to get married and have children. You said we'd be with each other for the rest of our lives. How could you let the last words you say to me be, "I'll see you tomorrow." You're way too strong for that. Since the beginning of the year I started seeing less of you and I was worried. I didn't think anything like this would happen to you.
That's what I thought to myself yesterday. Now she's gone. I can't do anything about it. She's dead.
"Oh well we can't do anything about it. It's her own fault" Mr. Lane says quietly.
Sam glares at me. "Is that really what he thinks?" She asks, "He's her father." She makes a fist and starts moving towards Mr. Lane.
I grab her arm. "Wait, Sam."
"What you're just gonna' sit there and let him say that about her? Sean, get up and say something to him. You love her, don't you?"
"Loved her," I correct Sam, "you can't love the dead and it's not like he's wrong. Death is an irreversible thing and we can't do anything about it. Now sit down and stop making a scene."
Sam stares at me quizzically. "You still love her. I can see the sadness in your eyes," She whispers, "You're in pain and you hate what her father said even more than I do." She takes her seat. I sit down as well. "But I'll do what you say only because Cream wouldn't want me to hurt the bastard."
"She wouldn't want you to call her that either." I remind her.
"I know." She says with a slight smile. I can see it in your eyes too, idiot. You were her best friend. I can't deny that I still love her deeply. But what's the point. After today I will never see her again. All I have are the pictures and the memories. And the presents. The ones gave me acting like they weren't originally for me. Then I'd see them and know they could only be for me since they were always what I wanted. I did the same for her. However, I was more honest about it.
I look around. Mrs. Lane is completely distraught. She is usually so composed. Now she is very antsy. Her eyes are red from crying. She is almost running around the house serving the guests and making sure that everyone is comfortable.
"Shouldn't a wake be just a bit livelier?" Someone's voice says. I realize its Marc's voice. "Don't you think she'd want that?" He jumps onto a couch and grabs a handful of chips. Marc is the most carefree person I know. He's my best friend. He's like a brother to me.
"Well at least you haven't cried." Marc says.
Yeah, at least not here. I save tears for when I'm alone.
"I wouldn't blame you if you did though." He smiles at me, "you are her boyfriend." Marc leans passed me and kisses Sam.
"Was. She's gone now." I explain to him.
"Wha - Okay, Samantha, I'm gonna see Sean outside for a second."
Not like he needs to tell her why. She knows what was next. We walk outside to the side of the mansion. Marc loosens his tie dramatically pulling it away from his neck. He takes a fighting stance. "Can't we do this some other time?" I ask sighing, "I'm really not in the mood."
"That's the reason this time Sean. It won't take long." He always says this. Whenever I say something I don't mean, whenever I feel down, whenever we are trying to decide how to solve a problem, or whenever we are just bored, we spar. Since we started taking martial arts classes in the first grade we have always done this no matter the situation.
"Let's get it over with then. Two clean hits and that's it," I say getting into my own stance. I bend my knees, stand with my left foot facing him. I put my guard up with my hands closed gently. I start bouncing on the balls of my feet.
He inches closer to me for about five seconds. Then when his foot is just an inch away from mine, he throws a roundhouse kick to my ribs. I move back to dodge. He follows up with another roundhouse. I duck under it and push his foot up causing him to lose his balance. You should have stretched first. I throw three fast punches. Right. Left. Right. He blocks them. He regains his balance with a grunt. We both punch at the same time. He hits me. My arms are a little shorter than his. That's one for Marc.
We step back into our stances and start again. I begin this time with a hook kick that nearly catches him in the back of the head. The second my foot comes down he throws a punch to my chest. I push his fist to the side as hard as I can. I move in close and palm his chin with just enough force to push his head away.
Now we both have one. We get into our stances and start for the last time. Marc tries to end it quickly by sidestepping and using a front kick. It doesn't work. I pull his leg towards me and punch him in the stomach. He falls back into the wall of the house
"You good now?" Marc asks me with a wild grin. I nod and we go back inside. Only five minutes have passed since we walked out. Three girls walk out laughing loudly. Sam is sitting quietly. It looks like she's holding back tears. She's grabbing one of her knees, digging her nails into it. It's obvious she is upset about whatever the three girls said.
"Why come if you're going to say stuff like that. I hate those bitches." Sam says just loud enough for us to hear.
"I'm sure Crimson wasn't too fond of them either." I whisper.
Little kids run around the house in their nice little suits. One trips bumping into the table that has Crimson's picture on it. It almost falls. It's not her best picture but it fits the occasion and atmosphere. She's wearing a black button up with a small red tie. Her head is tilted slightly to the side letting her curly hair hang down just below her collar. Mr. Lane doesn't even know his daughter's real smile. If he did, he wouldn't have chosen this picture. It's a little ironic that it's a fake smile for something so real.
"Jimmy, Michael, Karen, James, stop playing around. Have a seat, now!" Mrs. Lane demands.
James, the boy that almost knocked down the picture, walks to Crimson's mother. "Sorry, auntie," he turns to the picture, "sorry, Crimson," he mutters, straightening the picture and lowering his head.
I've been avoiding it the entire night but something makes me want to see Crimson's body as most of the people here have already done.
I stand up. Thirty seconds pass before I actually walk to the casket. Sam and Marc don't even look at me. They know what I'm doing. I wonder if I should say anything. I'll just hold her hand for a few minutes, I decide before opening the casket.
I inhale deeply and exhale quietly. "Okay, I'm ready." I open the coffin, just the top part to see her upper body. They did a good job cleaning her up. There is no evidence of any exit wound that may have caused her death.
Looking at her makes this seem a lot more real somehow. Something isn't right. There's something off about this. Her body... It must be because she's dead. Rigor mortis I guess. I have to get away. It hurts too much to see her. But for some reason crying seems impossible now after seeing the body.
It's a quarter to three when the last two people in our little group show up. The twins, Toni and Trinity have known Crimson since the fourth grade. Samantha, Crimson, Toni, and Trinity loved each other like sisters. I was happy for her. She finally had female friends that accepted her. She did hang out with them more than me at some point and I even got a little jealous. However, I was still happy for Crimson. Happy that she had more than just me and Marc. More than Katharine, Natalia, and Higgs.
Toni gives me a hug with tears forming in her eyes. "I wish this didn't have to happen," she whispers into my ear. She kisses my cheek gently. I hug her for another five seconds.
"What's done is done," I whisper back. She lets go and looks at me strangely.
"You know that's not how you feel," she mouths silently.
"It's the truth, right? Feelings aren't facts," I say in a voice low enough for only her to hear. She takes a seat on the couch.
Suddenly arms come around my waist. I know what will happen next so I plant my feet to the floor. It doesn't work though. I'm lifted off of the floor with a small feminine grunt. "Why are you so down, Sean?"
"Because you are going to put me down, Trinity." She lets go with a silly smirk leaving me to stumble awkwardly into Katharine. "I'm sorry Katharine."
"I told you to call me Kat, dear Sean," she said with a smile, walking into the kitchen.
I turn back to Trinity and sigh. "What was that for?" I ask. Then I notice that tears are forming in her eyes as well. She's not usually one to cry. I move closer to her and hug her gently. Then I pick her up quickly and drop her on the couch. She lands laughing with her head on Toni's lap.
"Thank you, Sean. I really didn't want to start crying yet," Trinity explains, smiling sadly. Sam and Marc started talking so they didn't hear. Only Toni and I heard her.
"I'd rather you not cry. I doubt Crimson would have wanted it." I tell her.