World So Cold

Love is never simple. Love is never easy. There is more grey than there is black and white. Zayn Malik Fan Fiction

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3. A funeral for a friend

Siobhan

My parents are sitting across from me, giving me looks that tell me I should prepare for the worst. My father wears his glasses, and there are lines that have formed in between his brows, they form a “V”. My mother looks tired and stressed. I want them to just spit it out already, say whatever they have to say and I’ll deal with it. I don’t know how, but I’ll deal. After the past week, I am sure I could handle whatever they are going to throw my way.

“The Fuentes’ are moving back to Mexico: my father starts. “Because of everything going on, its best for them safety wise”

No more Damien. No more Paco. I shake my head some and look at my mother. She is quiet, and it is unusual because my mother almost always has something to say. “There’s more?” I ask, and I’m afraid for what else will be thrown my way. I slouch in the chair some.

“We agreed to take Paco in. Mrs. Fuentes wants him to graduate, desperately, and make something of himself. She is adamant about that”, my father looks at my mother then quickly at me. “We told her we’d let him live here and finish school”

Paco, living with me, under the same roof? I don’t know how to feel about it. I am relieved that he wont be going to Mexico, but wouldn’t it put us in danger? Surely Honcho has men on Paco’s tail. Right? “We spoke with officers and they are cleaning the streets of Honchos men” my father says quickly.

“And, since this is the least likely place….police seem to think it’s a good idea. Things will work this way”, my mother adds. “Once the trial comes around…” she mentions the trial, but I know Paco. He would rather walk into traffic than go on stand and testify against Honcho. He knows better.

“Mom, dad….can I just take things one day at a time” *********************************

The funeral is held later that day, four days after Damien died. The past four days have been hard, inexplicably hard, but the past week, starting from the night when Honcho showed up…it seems like hell.

Pop! Pop! Pop!

I hear the gunfire at random moments, and whenever I close my eyes, I am on the swings sitting with Paco before things went haywire. I don’t know what is worse, the sound of the gunfire, the actual event or the sounds of Paco and Damien’s body hitting the pavement.

The funeral service is traditional, and the casket is front center. It is a closed immaculately polished cherry wood coffin, and atop of it is a recent picture. It is one his father took of Damien, Olive, Paco and I. Our arms are linked around one another, and we all have the same smile. A happy smile. In the first row, his parents sit and they are quiet. His mother rests her head on his fathers shoulder and her shoulders tremble. Two rows behind them, I sit in between Olive and Paco. Olive is crying, and Paco’s face is hard. His jaw is tense and his eyebrows are pulled together. Beside us is Mrs. Fuentes with Carlos and Josephine. For the first time, I think I see a spark of sadness in Carlos. Beside Olive are her parents. They are separated, and are usually at each others throats but they came together this one day. And next to Mrs. Fuentes, are my parents. Everyone in the cathedral wears the same face. We are all sad, we are all confused.

When I see Zayn, my heart sinks into my stomach. He is sitting on the other side of the church, listening to Damien’s uncle who gives a speech, and beside him is Brooke Taylor. She models for designers like Fendi and Louis Vutton. She looks immaculate and intimidating and her lips are a fire hydrant red color. What enrages me the most, isn’t the fact that he bought her here, it’s the fact that she sits beside him with tears streaming down her face. She is crying and sad as if she knew Damien. How dare she. My eyes narrow on her.

“Easy” Paco leans in whispering in my ear. “Don’t kill her” I look at him, and he is still tense. His face still hard and angry. I slide my hand into his, and give it a light squeeze. When I take back my hand, Damien’s parents stand and give their speech. There was not a dry eye in the house.

After Damien’s burial, Paco, Olive and I stand at his grave.

It is surreal, and it’s a reminder that nothing is ever certain, no matter how much we want certainty…certainty is untouchable. Paco puts his arm around Olive, pulling her close to him and she buries her face into his shoulder. The November air is bitter, and it is chilly as the sun sets. We stand there for twenty minutes, but it feels like an eternity.

Olive kneels down and places a kiss on the marble headstone. She whispers something and turns to us. “I cant take this, I’m heading home” she hugs us and makes her way to her car.

“It should be me in the dirt” Paco tells me once Olive is gone. “Not him”

I had had enough of depressing talks and miserable memories. I’d give anything for one moment of happiness, one second of joy. “Paco, it isn’t your fault, stop saying stuff like that” there is a desperation in my voice that makes Paco look at me. His face is different, it is less tense and more….he speaks, pulling me from my thoughts. “Siobhan, I’ll never forget the way his parents looked at me today. His mother looked at me, accusingly. And his father, his father thanked me. He said that I saved his son some more time”

“Because you did. He would have died sooner had he taken all three bullets” I run my hand up Paco’s back and rub it gently. “Come on, we don’t want to be late for Giancarlo’s bonfire” we make our way to my car. Giancarlo and Vita had planned a bonfire at Howell Beach for Damien. And instead of it being sad, they wanted to make it happy, they wanted it to be about life. A celebration of life.

Maybe a celebration of life was what we all needed.

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