The Dead Walking 4

(This is the 4th book in The Dead Walking series) I hate death. Its not even the fact someone died really its the after math when you look back and think "maybe I could have done something" and it just eats away at you until you cant take it anymore. And it seems no one really understands it, but you so you are left to face it alone. Just like you're left to face everything else alone now because we're all just monsters too.

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2. Good bye

         I don't know how long it is until I finally stop crying, but I know its a long time. People are probably looking for me now, but I don't care. I need to be alone right now. I need to mourn in private before the funeral because if I don't do it now there is no way I will be able to do it then, surrounded by people. I'm still saving my good bye, but mourning should be done alone, in private, away from other disturbances.

      But really I have mourned enough. As much as should be done alone I have done and now it's time to get up and face the fact that she isn't coming back and that I am going to have to move on. And that I know... I cannot do by myself.

      So I push myself off the ground and get ready to walk to the door. But before I reach it, it slings over and Carl rushes in. He throws his arms around my waist and lets out a relieved sigh. "Oh thank God. I thought you had left," he exclaims.

      "No, I couldn't do that. Not again. I just needed some time to be alone," I explain.

      "You know you can tell me that. You don't have to run off without telling anyone. You scared me too death Izzy."

      I smile a little. "Sorry. How long was I in here?" I ask.

     "A while. Like... 4 hours."

     My eyes widen. "That long?"

     "Yeah."

     I just shake my head in shock. "When are we having the funeral?" I ask.

     "Whenever you're ready I guess," he shrugs.

     "I'm ready," I tell him. "Just give me a minute to... cool down."

     "Do you have to do that alone too?"

     I think about it for a moment. I don't really want to be alone right now. "No. I really don't want to be alone," I admit.

     He smiles a little and grabs my hand. He pulls me to the side and for a moment I am confused. Then I realize he his leading me to our bed. I follow him, just a few steps behind. We get there in a few minutes. I walk down the isle and I take a seat on the bed. Carl sits beside me. He lets go off my hand and puts his arm around my back. I lean to the side and let my head rest on his shoulder. I let out an exasperated sigh.

     "I don't know why you try and exclude yourself from the group. You don't have to feel alone Izzy. I'm here for you. I will always be here for you, no matter what," he insists.

     "I know. I know you will Carl, but today I had to be alone. I had to mourn in private," I explain.

     He nods. "I understand that. I didn't know Katy very well. I didn't know her very long. But I know you cared a lot about her and I'm sorry. I'm sorry about everything that you have went through. If I could stop it I would. You don't deserve this. You deserve to be happy," he shakes his head. "Its not fair Izzy and I'm sorry."

     "I know it's not fair, but maybe I do deserve this. Maybe I did something and God is trying to make my life a living hell. Maybe that's why everyone I love dies," I say.

     "You know that's not true. It's this world now. Everyone dies."

     I don't say anything for a moment. "Lets just go. I'm not gonna cool down anymore than this."

     We stand up and walk back down the isle to the main one. "We're going to be having it outside. I guess in the parking lot, but I'm not sure," he tells me.

     We walk outside and I see everyone out in the middle of the parking lot, setting things up. The heat is very sudden and immediate. I am almost blown back by it. It has to be at least 90 degrees. I have to squint my eyes against the sun and I hold a hand up to shade my eyes. I walk to where the group is standing and I see a huge brown, wooden box laying on top of a table. Surrounding the big box is all different color flowers. I smile and a few tears roll down my face. They're happy tears though.

      I walk a little faster, all the way up to the long box. I look in and see her laying there. I can almost pretend that she is just sleeping. She doesn't look that much different except for her bandaged head. They wanted to cover the bullet hole. She is wearing a white tank top and her plain skinny jeans. I had gotten used to the look of her amputated arm. It really doesn't look that bad. Just a little ragged. It would look better if it had been professionally, not by an old knife on a checkout counter.

      More tears stream down my face and my smile gets bigger. Carl walk up beside me and rests a hand on my shoulder. The rest of them crowd around and one by one we all take each other's hands. Carl stands to my right and Mark stands to my left. So we stand there, hand in hand all together around her.

     "Izzy. You can speak first," Rick says.

     I clear my throat and wipe the tears away. "You were a good person Katy. You were my best friend. You are my best friend. You did not deserve to die and its stupid," I shake my head. "You lost so much yet you still pushed on. You were strong and resistant. I'll miss you... so much. I don't know what I will do without you Katy. I think back to when we were in school. All those times we laughed and made fun of teachers behind their backs and how we would check out boys when they weren't looking and how we shared all of our secrets. I owe you so much for being there for me when I needed you. I can't ever repay you, but I will never forget. Never forget all of the times we shared and all the times that I knew I could count on you to be there. And now that you are dead, I will always remember you," I finish.

     Mark goes next. "God I wish I would have payed more attention to you when I had the chance," he shuts his eyes for a moment before continuing. "I love you Katy and I can't stand you being gone. I can't stand the thought of having to live without you now. You kept me going. You kept me together when I most wanted to fall apart. Your death... it's not        right," he starts to cry a little. "I'm sorry I couldn't save you. I'm sorry I couldn't give you more than I did. I'm sorry..."

     Everyone else says what they have to say. Most of them short, but there are a couple that stand out to me. Especially Carl's. "I didn't know you very good. I didn't get to really meet you. But from what I have heard you sound like a very nice girl. I'm sorry that you died. If I could have some how stopped it I would have. I know Izzy cared a lot about you... and Mark. We will all miss you, but it's those who really care that you lived for. I hope heaven does you well," he finishes. I look over at him with wide eyes. I have never heard him say anything like that. Never.

      Everyone else has said what they wanted too. Rick walks forward and takes one side of the long wooden box. "Daryl... get the other side."

     Daryl gets the other side and they hoist it off the table with just a little strain. They carry it to the woods where I was once tied to a tree. We all follow them as they walk, but they don't go the same way so we won't pass the tree. Good.

      We walk a little ways in before Daryl and Rick set the box down. Glenn hands Rick a shovel and he starts digging. It doesn't take him long before the hole is at least 3 feet deep. He digs a little deeper so it is more like 4 feet. They set the box in the hole and the group crowds around it. We take turns throwing shovel fulls of dirt into the hole. 

      "Okay. Who wants to make the cross?" Rick asks.

      "Me." I step forward.

      He nods. "Okay Izzy."

      I pick up a stick that is about an inch wide and I pick up another stick that is just a little thinner. I get a really long piece of grass and position the sticks in a cross form. I take the grass and tie it around the middle so it will say. The whole process takes me no more than 2 minutes. By then the hole is completely filled. I walk over to the side where her head is and stick the cross in the dirt. I walk back over to Carl and he grabs my hand. For a moment everyone just stands there and thinks whatever they want to think. I don't have much to think about. I said everything I wanted to say and I already mourned for her.

      After a moment we all start walking back to the store. It won't be quite the same without her here. I will miss her everyday, every time I am reminded of her that dull ache will return to my chest, but I have to think about her too. She's in a better place now. She's in a world where she doesn't have to worry that she will die at every moment of the day. She will get to see her dad again and all our other friends. She'll even be able to see my family. This makes me smile. They'll be happy to see her. I'll join her one day. But until then I have to live my life. 

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