The next fews days where hard. All I did was sit alone and cry. There was a gaping hole in my life now that nothing could fill. Dad had given me days off school because I was so traumatised. Lord Baenziger was with me in the sadness. He had lost his first and only full Ethelburgesan son.
Dad had called the undertakers and a small funeral was going to take place in a few days. I had to go because we were friends and I wanted to say goodbye. I just sat in my room looking at the faint dark red mark on my carpet. This was where Chris died. The ironic thing was he died in my arms. The only good thing that came out of his death was that my father and I were back as normal. We spent more time together and he said goodnight to me every night. And yet there was still something in my life that I was missing: Something that had seemed to be small and irrelevant had turned out to have shaped my life around it.
‘Taylor. Come on you need to get up. The cremation is in an hour.’ My father was knocking through my door. I glanced down at the stain again. A small knot appeared in my stomach. I missed Chris so much. I could barely remember his smile or how he laughed or how he would force be to do my homework before I could do anything else or the colour of his eyes. They were blue. What shade? Where they slightly green? I couldn’t remember. I lay in my bed staring at the ceiling. I had put up many pictures in the past days of Chris and me when he had taken loads of photos on my ipod, phone and computer. I could feel and dull ache in me where I knew part of me had died along with him. I felt like crying again but I squeezed my eyes together to stop the barrage of tears that was going to fall sometime soon. However hard I tried I couldn’t act like nothing hurt me. I wasn’t like Chris who could watch anything happen and remain impassive.
Shinji’s eyes followed me when I walked into the room. I was wearing my black dress which was a bit short but it was the only black things left to wear that I owned. I had not put on any mascara because I knew I would end up a mess. Chris had left me a message on my ipod to wear my crown. It was silver with white glass flowers around the edges. I smiled as I remembered Chris grabbing it before we left the palace for the second time. He had shoved it into his back pocket and told me to keep walking. I had put my my hair into a crown braid so that my tiara would sit nicely on my hair.
Shinji tried to hold my hand as I went to brush my teeth. I yanked my hands away.
‘Shinji I just lost one of my bestfriends. Just leave me be.’
‘But I want to be your friend.’ I turned to look at him.
‘I don’t have much time for friends right now. I am too busy for friends. Friendship kinda takes the back seat.’ I kept walking up the stairs towards my room.
The cremation was hard. Harder than I thought it would. Chris's stepmother and brothers talked the whole way through the ceremony and complained that it was too much money spent on a poor urchin. I still had the gun he gave me when we got off the bus only days ago. It felt way more than days. More like years and centuries. My phone pinged in my pocket. It was Phoenix. I grabbed my phone and read the text.
“Hey I heard about Two. Sorry for your loss. LYL” I smiled. It was only a half smile. I had not smiled in days. I missed Chris so much. He was like the boyfriend I never had. Okay he was my first boyfriend and I had wanted to keep him for a long time. I remember walking to the limo and going home. His stepmother was stroking the seats and talking loudly about how she wanted one of these. I found it so hard not to slap her around her stupid face.
School the next day was murder. I got off the bus and was pushed around enduring the endless cat calls.
‘Oi ginger where is your bodyguard?’
‘Not so big are you now ginger?’
‘Go back to where you came from nobody likes you.’
‘Sorry didn’t see you there. Too small I guess.’ I walked down the corridor ignoring all the penetrating stares. I had just missed a week of school almost. I was pulled into a big hug by Phoenix.
‘It is okay. I am here for you.’ She muttered in my ear. I smiled at her in thanks.
‘Thank you.’ Louis walked around the corner with Hugh. He saw me and his face fell.
‘Taylor. I am so sorry for what I did.’
‘I forgive you Louis. You never had a say in what Three did.’
‘No I stabbed Two.’ I took a step back like what he had said had physically slapped me.
‘What? You- you can’t have.’
‘I did. Taylor I am so sorry.’ I took another step back.
‘You killed Two! YOU KILLED ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS!’ I shouted. That had stopped Phoenix, Hughes and the two year eleven’s conversation.
‘Taylor. I- Please forgive me.’ He pleased. I shook my head.
‘I can’t. You killed Two. He was a better friend than you ever were to me.’ Louis looked hurt.
‘I had to. Or-’
‘Or what? Three would kill you. Well I am sorry but I put Three in hospital. Thanks to you, father is going to move me away from this country at the end of year ten.’ I was bordering on hysteria now.
‘Taylor. Please listen-’
‘No! I won’t. I can’t you killed a friendship I will never get back.’ Louis went to put his hand on my arm. I grabbed his arm and flipped him over my shoulder. He fell on the floor at Hughes feet.
‘What did he do?’ He asked stunned. Hugh was a boy with chocolate brown hair and green eyes. He had a kind face and a kind heart.
‘He killed my best friend. That is why I have not been at school. He died in my arms.’ Hugh opened his mouth to protest.
‘What he would never do that to anyone? He could not even punch a fly? He killed my best friend. You are too kind.’ I walked over to Phoenix and her friends and sank down on the floor and cried. Louis the kind hearted Louis had killed Chris. My Chris. I felt a hand on my shoulder.
‘Taylor. Please look at me.’ Someone had gotten Mrs Barr. She was the schools first aider. ‘Taylor come on we need to get you to the medical room.’ I saw Mr Obanstill the other first aider looking at Louis and making his eyes follow his fingers.
‘He killed my best friend.’ Was all I said when they asked me what happened.
‘Taylor we need to know what happened.’ The medical room was a small room in the reception where there were bright lights and everything was surgically clean. Too clean. There was a book on everybody in the school and what had happened to them. I had nothing on my record apart from the new term by my name penned in green ink: “Princess Taylor Athena Ayers third in line to the throne.” I buried my face in my hands..
‘Taylor. Come on.’ I looked up at Mrs Barr. She had grey hair and had kind grey eyes. She always wore grey and a bright neck scarf.
‘Well I came home from school on Monday and then my bodyguard died in my arms in my bedroom. I had the funeral and today is friday and I find out Louis Behan stabbed him. He tried to put a hand on my arm and I reacted in self defense. I threw him over my shoulder.’ Mrs Barr looked at me concerned.
‘You saw your bodyguard die?’ I nodded.
‘My father stood in the doorway. Lord Baenziger and his family were below us in the living room.’ I looked away from Miss. It felt like I was slowly deteriorating. All the food I ate tasted like ash in my mouth and I could not sleep. My dreams were plagued with images; Chris lying dead in my arms. Chris saying he liked me. Chris laughing and many more things like his love for his mini. I found out that he had left everything he owned to me. Including a small house on the coast of Sardinia.
‘Taylor. Come on please focus. Was there anything going between you and the bodyguard.’ I shook my head. It hurt but it was for the best.
‘No. Nothing at all.’ I croaked. I felt the tears splash down onto my cheeks and my vision blur. Miss raised an eyebrow.
‘Okay. I will send you to student support so you can go and cool off there.’ I nodded and grabbed my bag. I walked towards student support. The rumor that Two had died in my arms had spread fast for the school rumor mill. Everyone parted like Moses and the red sea as I walked down the corridor to student support.
I knocked and walked in. Student support was probably nearly as camp as the Youth Club. People went there to hide from bullies, cry about stupid boyfriends and Internals.
‘Taylor Ayers. I was sent by Mrs Barr. She wanted me to calm down.’ Miss James nodded and showed me to a chair.
‘Just sit here dear. I’ll get you a cuppa tea.’ I could barely keep in my tears as she came back with the tea.
‘Thanks.’ Was all I could say. Miss James was a very patient woman who knew when people were lying but never pried into their business and being only in her twenties she was very popular. She got a chair and sat in front of me.
‘Now. Taylor. Was there anything else between you and Two? More than friends shall we say?’ I glanced up at her from looking into my cup of tea.
‘There was nothing between us.’ Miss James looked at me closer.
‘I lost my best friend who had just told me he loved me when I was around your age. He was on one of the planes that crashed into the twin towers. We had just started dating. I have looked at the world the same way again.’ Her voice broke. I looked up at her. She had tears rolling down her cheeks.
‘Two died in my arms in my bedroom. He had told me he liked me only when I came home on monday. We were not dating for a whole day.’ Miss James squeezed my hand.
‘Thank you for telling me this.’
‘You can’t tell anyone. My father would kill me. He wanted me to be courted by Prince Donevon of France.’ Miss James looked confused.
‘Please give me what Twos full name was.’
‘Christopher Castiel Balthazar Baenziger.’
‘As in Lord Baenziger’s son who went missing?’ I nodded.
‘He became my bodyguard when I had to flee the country.’ Miss James looked at me closely.
‘Wait a moment. You are Her Majesty the Princess of Ethelburgesa.’ I gave her a tight smile.
‘I normally go by Taylor.’ Louis stumbled into the room looking lost.
‘Louis Behan. I was beaten up.’ Miss James looked at Louis.
‘So Louis why are you here.’ A cross look passed over his face.
‘Her Majesty punched me.’ Something was off about him. He was slurring his words like he was drunk but then he would have to of had loads of drink to get that drunk.
‘Well Louis why would her majesty punch you?’ Louis shook his head like a dog who had water in his ears.
‘No clue. Something happened on Monday I just can’t remember what.’
‘Would it be something to do with the fact that you broke into my family home and stabbed Two? Just before bedtime. Would it be because he picked me over you, or Three wanted him dead?’ Louis looked at me like I was mad.
‘Well. I did stab Two. But Three made me. He took my hand which had a meat knife in it and drove it into Twos back when he was busy.’ I slipped off my chair. I leaned against it as I sat on the floor. Miss James looked conflicted.
‘And why did you kill Two?’ She asked looking at me. Louis looked pained and shook his head trying to remember something..
‘Because Three wanted him dead and his feet and arm hurt too much to stab Two.’ I snickered. Miss James frowned at me.
‘Do you know how Three hurt his feet and arm?’ I could not keep in the laughter and let it burst out of me like a flock of birds bursting out of the tree tops. Louis glared at me.
‘Taylor knows why they hurt. Very well.’ Miss James looked at me expectantly.
‘I shot Three in the foot and then I think I broke his arm.’ Louis glared at me again.
‘It is not funny!’ I snickered again.
‘I think it is as he tried to kill me and I am one up on him.’ Miss James looked troubled.
‘I am going to put Taylor in a separate room and then Louis you can sit just here and think about what you have done.’ I felt outraged. Louis had killed someone and they were not giving two shakes of a rats ass. Wait do rats even shake their asses? I started to laugh.
‘Taylor are you alright.’ I nodded, gasping for breath.
‘Twerking rats.’ was all I could manage. Miss James nodded understandingly. I didn’t care if they were going to ship me off to a mental asylum. I was fine. Just spiffing.