“He was such a funny mate, a good brother and a loving boyfriend. I should have been there for him and stayed by his side. Ryan didn’t deserve to leave this world the way that he did. We should all know that he will love us all and we should never forget this wonderful boy, Ryan Jacobs.” I finished my speech and stepped down from the podium that was placed by Ryan’s casket.
Harry, Lucas and Marcus were sitting in the front row next to Ryan’s parents and his brother. They were crying and Lucas face was bright red. The preacher ended the funeral for Ryan and the four of us got into our cars and drove to the cemetery where they were going to bury Ryan.
He was dresses in a white suit with a green tie, his favorite color. I had placed in a picture of us when we had first met as kids. His hands had been placed one over the other across his chest and white rose was placed in one of the button holes on his jacket. Ryan has never looked so peaceful and relaxed. His lips were in a straight line but he looked like he was smiling. Not in a creepy way but in a peaceful way, like he was smiling at me, reassuring me that everything was going to be oaky.
I can’t imagine my life without Ryan. Who will I come home to when I have a bad day? Who will be there to comfort me when life gets hard? I don’t know if I can handle this. We had talked about what the other would do if the other dies, but I never thought that it would be this soon. I always imagined that I would go first, I don’t know what but I just did. There were so many things that we still wanted to do together and now I can’t do any of them with Ryan by my side.
Marcus pulled the car into the parking lot near the cemetery. Lucas hasn’t talked the whole day. He was probably worried that if he said something, it would be joking about Ryan and would have regretted saying the whole thing. This was not a day to laugh, but a day to mourn and cry. Ryan would have wanted us to laugh but I just can’t see how anyone could.
“Come on Liam.” Lucas said to me. I was still buckled into the seat while the other lads were already out of the car waiting.
“Sorry, I’m coming.” I said getting myself out of the car.
We walked to the spot where they had planned to bury Ryan. It was the perfect spot. The grass was a beautiful shade of green and there was a willow tree that’s branches were hanging over Ryan’s grave. There could not have been a more beautiful pot to bury him. And for everything that Ryan went through, he deserves it. The willow tree was a faded shade of purple. Not a dark purple not a purple but a light color purple. You could smell the buds on the tree that filled your nose with beautiful smells.
There was a green mat laid down over Ryan’s grave with a whole cut through the middle and metal rods used to place the casket in the burial ground. Bouquets of lily’s, tulips, red and white roses, daffodils, orchids, and any other flower that you could think of, was placed around the green mat. Ryan’s casket had arrived there before we did because their car was the leader of the line.
The casket had been closed and the preacher had held one last speech before we placed Ryan in the ground. Ryan’s mother had some flowers and she walked up and placed them on the casket along with Ryan’s father and brother. No parent should have to bury their child and it was a shame that Ryan’s parents had to bury him. Marcus , Lucas and Harry had walked up and they each placed a different color rose on his casket. Harry lay down and orange one, Lucas a regular red rose and Marcus a blue one. These were our favorite colors and we wanted to leave them to Ryan. I was the last to say goodbye to my love. I had taken my time and carefully placed the green and purple roses, crossing each other, in the center of the array of flowers.
My eyes swelled as I felt the waterworks coming on. My lip quivered and I let out a small whimper before sinking back into the crowd of people. Marcus held me in is arms and squeezed me tight. I felt his head rest on top of mine and he stroked the hair on the back of my head. Marcus was now my sense of comfort now that Ryan is gone. I wonder if he will be there for me like I was for Ryan?
The crowd around us started to break and I could feel Marcus let go of me while Ryan’s family walked up to me. His mother was trying to smile regardless of all the tears and gave me a huge hug. I returned her sense of affection and squeezed her just as tight. She whispered in my ear, “You were always good to him and you couldn’t have done anything to stop him. Thank you Liam, for everything.” And walked away to her car, Ryan’s brother also gave me a hug and his father placed his hand on my shoulder.
“You did good son. I am glad he chose you to be with.” I felt him tighten his grip on my shoulder, in a reassuring way, and left with his family. I am glad he chose me to. This was the end. The end of the Irish jokes, the five of us, the end of Niam. Everything was gone. Every memory still inside my brain. The good ones and the bad ones. From when we had first met up to now. No more Ryan Jacobs.
“Come on Liam. Let’s go home.” Marcus said and led me to the car. He placed me in the passenger seat and got in on the driver’s side. Harry and Lucas were in the back holding hands. They made such a cute couple. Like Ryan and I, they did everything together. Where ever Harry was, you could be sure to find Lucas. They have been inseparable ever since they realized their feelings for each other. I felt like the other half of my soul was missing, there was nothing there and I felt completely empty just watching the two holding hands.
Why did I let Ryan leave? I should have been more responsible. I should have grabbed Ryan and pulled him away from the edge of the dock and then explained everything to him. I don’t think I will ever find anyone who will love me as much as Ryan did or find anyone that I love as much as I loved him. I know that I will always have these three guys but Harry and Lucas are together, probably forever, and Marcus , well, I don’t even know about him. His emptions flow all over the place. I can never tell who he will fall for next. I love Marcus to death, but would we ever work out?
Marcus pulled into the front of my house and dropped me off. “Thanks.” I said and left the car.
“Liam?” Marcus said to me just before I could close the door. He took a breath like he was going to say something but then changed his mind. “Take care of yourself.” He said.
“I will.” I said to him and closed the door. I watched them pull out of my drive way and waved as the white car vanished down the street. Lucas and Harry had an flat down the street, about five minutes away, from me and Ryan and Marcus lived in the flat next to theirs. I walked up to the doors and walked into the building without even stopping to talk to anyone who was outside of their flats at the time. Many of the people on my floor heard about Ryan’s accident and stopped to say that they were sorry when they saw me coming down the hall.
I tried not to talk to anyone person for too long because I really needed to get home and rest. This was not my day, I just needed some time to think and just remember life with Ryan. What I used to do when I came home to the loveable Irish boy. I made my way to the front door of my flat and reached in my pocket for my keys. I unlocked the door and let it close behind me as I made my way to the couch. Dropping my keys on the table, I dimmed the lights and I played some soft music.
I dropped my tired body down on the couch and looked at the pictures that were on the side table to the right of the couch. One of them was when Ryan first moved to Wolverhampton. He was standing outside of his house with his family with a huge smile on his face. His Hollywood smile as I called it. That would be his signature smile if he was ever famous.
The picture next to that one was him standing at what looks like a football game (soccer). His hair was brown and he looked so adorable standing there. I remember that day. That was one of the longest days of my life. Ryan’s father had bought him tickets to a game and he was leaving at 9:30 in the morning to get there. Ryan had refused to some extent because he wanted to stay and play outside with me. His father had convinced him but Ryan promised that went he came back; we would play outside until we had to go to bed, which wasn’t too late either. I had waited outside all day for him to come home.
Ryan came back around 4 and raced from his car over to my yard and we embraced in a giant bear hug until I started to tackle Ryan. We had to go to bed at 7:30 because we were young kids and that was just the standard time for kids our age. That gave us three and a half hours to do what we wanted. It seemed life forever when we were that young because our imaginations switched from idea to idea within minutes.
I had been so caught up in the memory that I didn’t realize I was holding the picture and there was a clear spot that cleared away the dust on the picture from a tear that had fallen from my face. I would go back to that day in a heartbeat if I could. Those were the days that you didn’t have to worry what people thought about you, and what you felt for each other. I didn’t know I had feelings for Ryan yet but I knew that our relationship was bonded tighter than most kids our age.
We had been closer than the boys at school. We held hands when walking into school sometimes and some of the other boys would look at us. Things really got bad during middle school. I hadn’t realized what I was doing until one day when one of the more popular boys started calling Ryan a faggot—no Liam stop thinking about that. It’s over with; your eyes are staring to water even more. Stop thinking about that day.
I had fallen asleep on the couch thinking of Ryan that night crying my eyes out. The picture was still wrapped in my hands. I had a dreamt about that day in school about the boy calling Ryan a fag.
Shit, I thought to myself, that boy was Marcus .
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