There was an eerie silence
surrounding the place and time just seemed to have slowed down.
Either that or it had sped up, I really couldn't tell anymore.
The whole town was blanketed in snow like something you might see
in a movie. White snow with black curtains, reminding us of the
reason we were here in the first place and not out in the snow
playing like the children of our past, children we were meant to
have outgrown by now.
My fingers were bitterly cold and I
could feel the frostbite beginning to set in. Allie was shaking
involuntarily because of her constant weeping but the cold
couldn't have helped in the slightest. Stupid of her really to
wear a short, sleeveless dress in the middle of winter, but I had
no right to give out to her, make her feel wore than she already
Everyone seemed to be crying, which
I suppose was understandable; It was a funeral after all. However
I was unable to shed a tear, unable to feel anything besides
numbness. Well actually that wasn't entirely true; my collarbone
was driving me insane. It was still slightly swollen even these
two days since the crash.
It wasn't the only thing I broke,
but it was possibly the cleanest break. Needless to say my heart
was a mess; no doctor could even begin to save it. The pieces
seemed to be stuck inside me, like broken glass. I still felt
broken inside getting up in the morning. Is there an amount of
time allocated for mourning? Like a quota of some sorts? Will
there be one day where I wake up and it doesn't hurt?
The grave was surrounded with people
I didn't know. I sincerely doubt that Jamie even knew them! Who
were you? An uncle? Great-aunt? Third Cousin, twice removed?
People through whom the only contact you had with was an
occasional birthday or Christmas card. Maybe a random text to say
"Hi, long time, no see!" It was almost sickening to think that
they were really only here for the free tea and coffee.
I stood with my head bowed, holding
Allie's hand for strength. There was very little I knew about
what I was meant to do at occasions like this. Was I meant to
stay strong for Allie and Alan and the McKenzie family? Or was I
meant to run away and not come back until I had healed?
My mother was on the opposite side
to me, comforting Annalise McKenzie; or at least trying to. I
don't think there was anything you could have said to Annalise
that would have made the situation any better. Still my mother
tried, because she knew that Annalise appreciated her being
there, even if she wasn't able to say it.
The chatter died down and I realise
that this is my queue to speak. The silence reminds me of just
after the crash, the first moment when I opened my eyes. The
headlights flash before me and a shiver runs down my back. I look
up once again at the crowd around me and see them staring at
"Jamie…" I cleared my throat and
squeezed Allie's hand, begging the words to come out the way I
wanted them to. "…was a remarkable person." I glanced around the
grave at the McKenzie's; All six of them, missing just one. I
willed them to understand how truly sorry I was, how I knew that
it was all my fault, how I had just caused them the biggest
heartbreak that they would ever have. Yet I knew that no matter
what I said to them, they would never come to hate me the way I
"He lived life to the full; he'd
never make it through the day without a smile or a laugh, but
most of all he was... Loving and young and just an all round
beautiful person" Allie wiped my eyes and let out a little
whimper, but I kept going. I felt that if I didn't say this now,
I would never ever get a chance to say it again. "I pray to God,
that if there is any justice; Jamie will be in a much better
place than this." I looked up to the heavens, hoping that
somewhere above us, there was at least some sort of God, who
could hear me, who could understand how angry I was. Really at
that moment I wasn't sure if I was cursing God for taking my best
friend or begging him to give Jamie back.
People were still staring at me, but
I didn't really care all that much. I pulled the collar of my
coat up around my neck. You can see my breath in the cold air and
I have a sudden urge to exhale like I am smoking. I see my mother
looking at me. No, correction; she was giving me one of those
looks that always tells me to stop. I bit my lip to stop myself
erupting in a fit of giggles but still there is a smile forming
on my lips.
"Let us commend James to the mercy
of God" Somewhere to the right of me, I can hear some high
pitched squealing or wailing or whatever you would like to call
it. Personally I call it pathetic. I search for the source and
sure enough find a blonde, blue-eyed cheerleader. Goes by the
name of Stephanie Pritchard I think. "We therefore commit his
body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
In the certain hope..." Allie ripped her hand from mine and
rushed away from the grave. I paused a moment before deciding to
I had only taken a few steps when I
heard the crunching of snow coming from behind me. I looked over
my shoulder to see a couple of my friends following me. I almost
wished they wouldn't but it was nice to know that I had that
support there for me. I tried a smile, just something small to
let them know I appreciated the thought.
I glanced around at Alan who was
looking just a little fidgety. His eyes trailed over his mother
who was whimpering softly in his father's arms, then at the
coffin where his brother was enclosed and finally at us, slowly
making our way through the thin layer of snow towards a tall
sycamore where Allie has positioned herself. After a little
hesitation, he turned around, whispered in his brother, Andy's
ear and limped behind us on his crutches.
"Allie?" I called out, not all that
loudly. My voice shook even without my meaning to. It was exactly
the same tone I used when I was trying to wake Jamie after we
first crashed. The only thing was that he hadn't been asleep;
Death on impact they told me. They probably thought that it would
help but really all it made me feel was like he had been deprived
of the chance to fight.
Allie was sitting at the base of the
tree, with her face in her hands. "Com'on!" I swallowed loudly,
preparing myself for the onslaught of tears that would terrorize
me in my sleep for days to come. I sat down beside her and
wrapped my good arm around her, drawing her close. Instead of
weeping profusely into my lap like I had expected she erupted
into a small fit of giggles. "You're laughing Allie? You're
As Michaela and Damien formed some
sort of semi-circle around us, I worried just a little whether
they would think she was absolutely crazy. "You were blowing
'smoke' like you were a kid!" She exclaimed bend double in
another spasm. "Did you see the look your mom gave you? It was
like we were three again" She tried to replicate one of those
exasperated mom looks but failed miserably. This just made it all
the more difficult at maintaining a straight face and I
eventually succumbed to laughter.
"Did you see Bethany and Stephanie
bawling their eyes out?" I countered and Allie rolled her eyes in
response. Michaela, who had always had a hate-hate relationship
with Bethany Stewards, nearly tripped over at the opportunity of
mocking her. "I'm Ms. Bethan-slut Stew-whore!" She sang and
danced around aimlessly, making all of us laugh even harder; Even
Damien who up until that moment had managed to stay at least a
We all were laughing ourselves
silly, when suddenly Alan came around the corner. We all paused,
waiting for his reaction because; after all it was his brother's
funeral. "I bet Stephanie is really regretting turning Jamie down
for the prom last year!" He smiled cheekily.
I chuckled and pushed myself up off
the ground, allowing Alan to sit down. His knee must have been
killing him with all the standing and walking he had done all
day. He grunted as he settled himself on the ground.
"How are you feeling?" I found
myself asking him the question that I most despised hearing. I
could feel the blood rush to my cheeks but I was saved by the
sound of wailing girls tripping over each other to leave the
graveyard. They were followed by the rest of the crowd who more
than likely wanted to get out of the bitter cold.
The guys around me were laughing
hysterically at the sight of Bethany practically being dragged
away from the grave. I could hear her scream out "I loved him so
much" in between her pathetic sobs. "Wouldn't know love if it hit
her in the face and broke her nose"
Although it was meant to be a
serious comment, everyone was howling with laughter again at the
thought. The snow was settled over the whole graveyard, like a
blanket of cold harsh beauty.