Without Her

*Third book in the Different From the Rest series* After Kady's death, Liam is clueless on what to do. He always relied on Kady to take care of their daughter. His wife is now dead and he must take care of a God-loving toddler that thinks death is a good thing. Told in only Liam's point if view he must learn the ups and downs of parenthood, how to change his ways, and move on after a heart wrenching loss of the love of his life.


3. Speech

My hands sweat as I walk up with Nadi Drew to the microphone. I don't know what to say, I was certain I wouldn't be chosen to speak. 
"Um, hi, I'm Kady's husband, Liam. To be honest, I don't have anything planned to say," I stumble. Nadi Drew pulls at my pants.  Friends and strangers in pews look at each other uneasily. Their faces seem to read, he's her husband, he should've planned something. Almost all the faces are disapproving. I want to show the audience I'm worth something though, "well, it's all in my heart. I loved Kady the first day I payed eyes on her in one of my concerts."
Shoot. Nadi Drew's going to start questioning this whole "stage" thing, but I go on, "she stood out. Sure she was smiling and screaming with her friend like every other girl in the place. When I laid eyes on her, it was like there was a magnet pulling me towards her, I couldn't look away. Ever since then we have been unstoppable. We started off by going to Starbucks, and now it's being married and living together. She was the best six years of my life and I will never forget them. She was my built in best friend, but when you loose one…it's killing. I never thought I'd love her this much. I never expected to see her after that one day, let alone having her deal with the haters that didn't allow me to have successful previous relationships. We made small visits big. Playing on the Wii was like traveling the world together. The rare days we saw each other, we made them count, knowing they could be Kady's last. We never truly believed one day would be her last, but when it did come, it was a slap in the face. It caught me off guard though she repeatedly told me she was going to die. If I had to leave here with two regrets it would be not listening to her when she felt chewed up and to appreciate her more. I never told her I loved her just 'cause or bought her bouquet of flowers because I loved her and felt like doing something special for a day. You only love something when you let it go."
The disapproving faces are now smiling faces. Thank you, I mouth and I lead Nadi Drew back to our seats, "Good job Daddy!"
I high five her open hand, "Thank you so much baby."
 She wipes the tears that have snuck down my face and I tickle her, "I'm going to love you no matter what little lady."
"Pinkie promise?"
"Pinkie promise."
I interlock my pinkie with hers and she lets out a satisfied sigh. She puts her thumb in her mouth and lays her head on my chest as the priest does some finial prayers. 

We walk out of the church, Kady's coffin being carried to the graveyard. The crowd from the church follows. I carry Nadi Drew on my back as she giggles, "Higher, higher!"
People come and tell me how sorry they are for my loss, how much they loved my speech, and how I'll be an amazing father. I'm not sure if I believe what they're saying. Well, my speech moved me to tears, well it was more the memory of Kady then my crappy speech. Kenzie and Emme come up to walk with us. Once Harry sees them, he quickly pulls them back, "Leave Uncle Liam alone, he needs some quiet time for himself girls."
"No, let them walk with me, I like the company," I say. Harry shrugs and lets the girls walk with me. I hold Emme's hand and I walk right beside Kenzie. Emme's crying, but being nine means your too old to cry for Kenzie. In a few years they'll be crawling right back to Disney Channel. We arrive at the spot Kady will be buried. So, this is my last goodbye. Her coffin is put down and I put my right hand on it. I whisper to the coffin, "I love you so much Kady. Don't forget me up there. I'll take care of our daughter. And I'm not breaking this promise."
I turn away from the coffin. The priest, yet again, says a few more prayers of bullshit and they put Kady's coffin into the ground. Almost everyone is crying except Harry who is like superman. Even Perrie's crying who's known for being tough. I have all three Kenzie, Emme, and Nadi Drew in front of me. A flood of tears fall from my soggy eyes as they put the last shovelful of dirt over her. Gone, dead, done. Nothing to remember her by. Most people silently pray, then leave when done. I lean up against a tree. I'll have to stay after to review Kady's will. The priest talks, "Okay will the following people stay to review Kady Payne's will Liam Payne, Nadi Drew Payne, Melody Brown, Samara Brown, Niall Horan, Peyton List, Harry Styles, Lena Styles, Emme Styles, Zayn Malik, Perrie Malik, Cate Malik, Bradford Malik, Eleanor Calder-Tomlinson, Louis Calder-Tomlinson, Kensington Calder-Tomlinson, Michael Calder-Tomlinson, Danny Calder-Tomlinson, Adrianna Calder-Tomlinson, Dawn Calder-Tomlinson, Jana Rose, and Pearl Smith."
Jana was Kads' old field hockey teammate and I think Pearl's just one of her friends. 
"Follow me," says the priest. 
"Can I stay for one more minute, alone?" 
The elder nods his head and Peyton gets Nadi Drew. I sit down in front of the headstone that reads, Kady Colbie Payne, Loving wife, mother, and friend. December 21, 1999 to September 4, 2021. I just want to have a moment with her. 
"I brought you these Kady, I know they're a little late. Okay, really late. I guess I never saw the point of giving these to you. But I want to now. You will be the one guiding me through parenthood. Before, I had too much of a safety net with parenthood, I usually made you deal with it. That was awful, and what made it even more awful was, you were sick and didn't have the energy. I know you will never forgive me, but I hope you can hear this."
I stand up and wipe the dirt off of my hands, then I place three roses in front of her headstone. One rose for me, one for her, one for Nadi Drew. We all have our thorns which hurt, but we are beautiful at the same time. I turn around and follow the group that has become distant from my eyesight. 

"Okay, today we will be reviewing the will of Kady Colbie Payne," says the priest. Kady asked that the priest read her will rather than our lawyer. I don't know how that's legal. We are all squished into a tight room in the back of the church. Another request, it be read at the church.  
"Wow, there are a lot of people mentioned in this will," remarks the priest. Duh. 
"Okay, here it says she wants half of her money given to Liam Payne and Nadi Drew Payne and the other half goes to the Calder-Tomlinson's."

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