I woke and read the display on my alarm clock. The numbers read 4:30am. The sky was still dark, and I quietly slid off the bed. I grabbed my jeans out of my drawer along with a t-shirt and got dressed in the dark. I walked out into the living room and found my mom sleeping. She was in my dad’s chair curled up under his jacket. In her hands she held the plastic that had a lock of my dad’s hair. I grabbed the afghan off the back of the couch and draped it over her. She stirred a little and mumbled, “Harry.”
I slowly stepped back and slipped out the front door not waking her.
I looked around and there was a dense fog. I took off into the woods. The guilt hung over me like a 100 pound weight. Once I was safely within the woods I let myself relax a little. I stopped behind a tree and slipped out of my clothes leaving them in a pile. I started to run and felt my whole body start to shake and I phased. I continued running. I just wanted to be free for a while. I was trying to discover this new ability I had. All of the sudden out of nowhere I head Sam in my head, “Listen we need to find her. The red head is after Bella.”
I listened and thought, “Sam was talking to someone and, who were they talking about?”
Then he spoke again, “What’s going on I just head Leah?”
I stopped running and didn’t move I just listened.
“If Leah can hear us, then we can hear her.” Jacob's voice was there now.
“Leah please just tell us where you are.” Sam’s voice was there again.
“I ignored him and ran back to where I left my clothes and phased back.
“Dammit, she’s not in wolf form anymore. She’s somewhere in the woods.” Sam thought to the others. He just shook his head and continued with the rest of his patrol.
I put my clothes back on and headed back to the house. Once I finally arrived there I sat down and leaned against the truck. I kept my eyes on the spot where he’d collapsed. I don’t know what I was expecting to see. The sky was still dark. I just thought about everything that had gone on. I blamed myself for his death. If I hadn’t phased he’d be alive. I was there for a while until Charlie pulled up.
“Leah, what are you doing out here?”
I looked up to see him wearing a suit that was a little dated, and he couldn’t button the jacket shut. It didn’t matter.
I stood up and shrugged. “I was just thinking and needed some fresh air.”
He nodded. We walked inside and my mom was just waking up.
“Leah, were you outside?” I started to nod and Charlie spoke,
“She was getting some fresh air.” He smiled at me and shut the door and took a seat on the couch.
I headed into my room and grabbed my towels. Once I was in the safety of the bathroom I locked the door and turned on the water. I stood there for a few minutes looking at myself in the mirror. There was a blank look to me. I climbed in the shower and just sighed. I stood there waiting for the tears to flow. Nothing came. Was I broken? Was I just dead emotionally? Why do I feel so confused? I finished up and shut off the shower and wrapped myself up in my towels and resorted back to my room. I got dressed effortlessly without any distractions. I put on a simple black sleeveless dress. I found a springtime sweater that was black. I grabbed a pair of black flats out of my closet. I pulled my long hair back in a ponytail and gave myself a quick look-over in the mirror. I let out a long sigh,
“You ok Leah?” Seth appeared in the doorway.
I stood there for a moment and looked at him using my mirror. He came over and stood beside me putting an arm around my shoulder. He was wearing a black suit with a white collared shirt and a nice royal blue tie. My little brother looked like a young man now.
“It’s going to be ok.” He smiled into the mirror so I could see him.
I forced a half smile.
“Guys are you ready?” my mom called out from the living room.
Seth yelled back, “We’re coming now.” He let go of me and we headed out of my room and down the small hallway.
My mom was standing there beside Charlie wearing a black knee length skirt, along with a black long sleeve blouse. She had on black high heels and was wearing simple small pearl earrings with a matching necklace. She had pulled back her beautiful silky black hair into this beautiful French braid.
“We all ready to go?” Charlie asked.
“Yep.” my mom replied.
“Actually I’m going to drive dad’s truck. If it’s ok with you, mom?” I asked cautiously.
My mom and Charlie exchanged glances.
“Well I’m ok with it.” she replied.
“I’m going with her.” Seth jumped at opportunity to ride with me.
“Ok well the two of you be careful. We’ll see you there.“ She gave both of us a hug.
I grabbed the keys and headed outside and climbed in the truck. I stuck the keys in the ignition and the engine came to life again. For a split second I thought I could hear my dad’s voice once again in my head.
He said, “Be careful.” Seth climbed in the passenger’s side.
“Ready?” I asked and he nodded. I backed out and shifted the truck into drive and we were off down the road.
The ride was quiet until Seth asked it, “Do you think he knew what was happening? “Like could he hear us or see us?”
I thought about it and didn’t have an answer. I just shrugged,
“I don’t think he felt anything.” Seth told me.
I just kept driving. After that the rest of the drive was quiet. I sat there remembering the times I spent with my father. Hanging from the mirror was my dad’s dream catcher. I would look at it every so often. Before I knew it I was pulling into the driveway for the funeral home. I found a space and parked. I took a deep breath and grabbed the keys from the ignition and slid out.
I adjusted my shirt while Seth fidgeted with his tie. He stood next to me once we were done. Charlie and my mom pulled in the space beside us and climbed out of her car and joined us.
“Well let’s head inside.” my mom spoke as she linked arms with Charlie.
Sharon the funeral director greeted us at the door. “Hello, how are you all doing?”
I thought to myself, “Did she really ask how we’re doing?” I clenched my teeth and gave an answer in my head, “Oh it’s sunshine and rainbows Sharon. We’re all so chipper.” I clenched my fists and looked down at the floor trying to stay calm. The last thing I needed to do was phase today of all days.
“Please come this way.” she directed us into a large room.
Once I stepped in I looked around. The walls were like a cream color. there was low lighting to set the atmosphere. There were several couches against a wall with little end tables and lamps on them. Then in the back of the room was the casket with tons of bouquets surrounding it. The casket was open for us to see my dad. I walked over and there he was. His eye’s were closed and one hand was placed over the other. He looked like he was sleeping. I touched his hands and held them, and they were so cold. My mom came up on my left and Seth was on my right. Charlie stood beside my mom.
“Harry this can’t be real.” my mom started to cry and turned to Charlie and leaned against him. He comforted her as best he could.
I just stood there as Seth put an arm around my shoulder.
Sharon came in, “I’m going to close the casket for the viewing hours.”
Seth and I stepped back. I watched as she closed it. She then showed us where to stand and receive our visitors. It was Charlie, my mom, myself, then Seth.
People started coming and so did the, “I’m so sorry for your loss.” accompanied by a handshake. I forced a smile that was so fake it made my face hurt but I didn’t let that show. Then Billy came with Jake.
“How are you all doing?” Billy’s face held the pain. He had lost a dear friend and basically a family member.
“We’re still in disbelief.” my mom replied.
Jake came up and gave me a hug and shook hands with Seth, “Guys I’m so sorry for your loss.” Jake tried to smile. I just looked at the line that had formed.
People continued to shuffle through. This humming started in my head. Everyone’s voices were just background noise to me. It seemed like I could hear everyone breathing, like they were right in my ear. Then Sam and Emily were in front of us, “Hey guys.” Emily smiled sort of, “How are you doing?” She hugged Seth.
I just shrugged. Emily whispered to Seth, “How’s Leah doing?”
He whispered back, “I think she’s at most said 10 words. She isn’t saying much.”
I could see the pain Emily felt for me. They went along and spoke to my mom and Charlie.
Finally everything wrapped up in the funeral home. Sharon came back in the room and looked between the four of us, “Would you like to see Harry, and your father one last time. It gives you a chance to say goodbye.” she smiled.
I snapped at her, “Get it right Sharon! It’s see you later, not goodbye. Saying goodbye implies you won’t ever see them again.”
My mom and Charlie’s head whipped in my direction to look at me, and Seth’s jaw dropped.
“LEAH SKY CLEARWATER! Apologize right now!” my mom was fuming. She looked back at Sharon. “I’m so sorry about that.”
I looked right at Sharon and glared.
I walked right up to her. “I’m not sorry.” I left them standing there and went outside and leaned against the truck.
“Sharon please forgive my daughters rudeness. She’s not typically like that.” Sharon smiled, “Sue don’t worry. I understand there’s a lot of tension right now. I know she didn’t mean it.” she hugged my mom.
Sharon carefully moved the flowers away from the casket and opened it one last time. My mom placed her hand on my fathers. Charlie placed a hand on my mom’s shoulder and spoke, “Harry I promise to take care of Sue and the kids.”
My mom smiled and spoke softly, “Harry I’m going to miss you so much. I will always love you. Until we meet again rest well.” she carefully leaned over and kissed my father’s forehead and then turned and walked out with Charlie.
Seth walked over, “Dad I’m going to miss you. I love you.” he leaned over and hugged my dad as best he could. I saw my mom and Charlie walking towards me and I headed back inside.
I walked over to the casket and Seth was still standing there. I held my dad’s hand as best I could and smiled. I started to sing to him, “I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean. Whenever one doors closes I hope one more opens. Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance. And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, Dance. I hope you dance.” I trailed off.
Seth gave me a huge hug. “I love you dad.” I gently let go of my dad’s hand and walked out with Seth. I let out a long sigh as we left. I turned to look back once and saw them close the casket and my heart sunk. I bit down on my lip so hard to fight back the tears. I walked out to the truck and climbed in and started it. Seth hopped into the passengers side. I started the truck and headed to the church.
Once we arrived at the church my nerves started. We were inside and I looked around and there was a large turnout here. Most of the people had come to the wake and were now here. Charlie escorted my mom down the main aisle to the pew we were sitting in. Seth and I followed in single file. Then the pack carried in my father’s casket. Sam, Paul and Jacob were on one side. Jared, Quil, and Embry were on the other. They placed the casket in front of the alter and took their seats.
I kept my eyes focused on the casket. Seth took my hand and held it. I looked at him from the corner of my eye and smiled faintly. He returned the smile.
The minister greeted us, “Welcome. We are gathered here today to remember Harry Clearwater. Harry left us unexpectedly on Thursday. Harry was a generous man who never said, "no" to anyone. He was very active in the community.” The minister continued, “I would like to allow the family and friend to share their memories with you.” he sat down.
My mom got up first to speak. She walked up to the microphone, “Where do I begin? Harry had a heart of gold. A smile that was contagious. A laugh you could hear for miles. He was my soulmate, my best friend and a wonderful husband and father. I can’t tell you all the great things he did, or we’d be here forever. One thing Harry loved was wind chimes. When you hear a wind chime, that’s him letting you know he’s still here and checking in on you, and that he’s ok.” she smiled and sat down.
Charlie got up next and spoke, “Harry was a close friend of mine. I think of his family as my own. I came across this poem and it seemed to suit my friends memory.” Charlie cleared his throat. “When I am gone, release me, let me go. I have so many things to see and do. You mustn’t tie yourself to me with tears, be happy that we had so many years. I gave you my love. You can only guess how much you gave me in happiness. But now it’s time I traveled on alone. So grieve awhile for me if you must, then let your grief be comforted by trust. It’s only for a while we must part, so bless the memories within your heart. I won’t be far away, for life goes on so if you need me, call and I will come. Though you can’t see or touch me, I’ll be near - and if you listen with your heart you’ll hear all of my love around soft and clear. And then, when you must come this way alone I’ll greet you with a smile and “Welcome Home.” Charlie came and sat back down.
It was now my turn and Seth came up with me. My palms were sweating.
Seth stood beside me and whispered, “Just breath and if you can’t do it I can take over.”
I took a deep breath and started, “I sat there for a while not really sure what I was going to say. I can’t tell you all the wonderful things my dad did. I’m going to share my memories with you. He was my idol, my best friend, but most of all my dad. I wanted to do everything like him. When I was scared, he made me feel safe. When I fell and got hurt, he made the pain go away. When there was a frown on my face, he made it disappear. When I needed a good laugh, he was right there. My dad always listened to my problems aka boy troubles.” I smiled and people chuckled. I continued, “He always listened even if he was busy. He made time for you. He always kept a smile on his face. He’ll always have a special place in my heart. Even thought he may not be here physically, he’ll walk beside me in everything I do. Now I would like to leave you with my dad’s favorite quote by Charles Dickens, “Have a hear that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.” I smiled and looked back at his casket.
My mom came back up and joined us. She spoke, “We would like to read one more poem together for all of you.”
“Don’t grieve for me now I’m free!
I follow the path God laid for me.
I follow His face, I heard His call,
I took His hand and left it all.
Seth spoke next,
“I could not stay another day,
To love, to laugh, to work or play;
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
And If my parting has left a void,”
My mom spoke,
“Then fill it with the remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss.
Ah yes, these things too, I shall miss.
My life's been full, I’ve savored so much:
Good times, good friends, a loved ones Touch.
“Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
Don’t shorten your’s with undue grief.
Be not burdened with tears of sorrow.
Enjoy the sunshine of tomorrow.”
We walked back to our seats and sat down quietly. The minister stood up and started speaking. I sat there again quietly. I leaned over and put my head on Seth’s shoulder.
He whispered, “Are you ok?”
I whispered back, “I have a headache.” I couldn’t believe I was using Seth as my support. He was only 15. He was too young to have this happen to him.
I kept my eye’s focused on the casket. Focusing helped me not to cry. Seth reached out for my right hand and I took held his my mom took my left hand. The organist walked over to the piano. This small woman who wasn’t much older than me walked up to the microphone and the music started and she started to sing my dad’s favorite song. My mom held Charlie’s hand and looked up like she was talking to my dad. I closed my eyes fighting back the tears. There were some sniffles from the others in the crowd. Emily was crying and Sam tried to comfort her. The song finished and my mom gently squeezed my hand.
The minister stood up to give the final prayer. He walked over to my fathers casket and gently placed his hand on it then nodded to the pack. Sam, Jake, Embry, Quil, Paul and Jared stood up and each took their spots again and carefully carried my father out of the church and to the hearse. The minister walked behind them and we followed. As we left Amazing Grace was being played.I watched as they carefully placed him in the back and shut the door. The rest of the people exited and went to the parking lot and got in their cars. My mom and Charlie were the first in line then Seth and I. Then the others followed.
I drove quietly keeping my hands tightly gripped on the steering wheel. Seth looked out the window as we drove along. Charlie was driving and I could see my mom and Charlie talking.
“How do you think Leah’s really doing?" she asked.
"She’s putting on a brave face.” Charlie spoke gently.
My mom leaned her head on his shoulder, “I know she’s hurting badly. Seth seems to be doing ok. I’m afraid she’s going to hold it all in until it boils over.”
Charlie sighed, “Sue I will always be there for you and the kids.”
She smiled faintly.
We followed the hearse to the cemetery up the long drive way. There was a fresh dug out hole in the ground. My heart just sunk. I parked the truck and cut the engine. Seth was out of the truck and at my door and had it open. I pulled the keys out of the ignition and climbed out. Seth shut the door behind me. Several guys gently removed my father’s casket from the hearse and placed it on these straps that were connected to these metals rods around the gravesite. On top of his casket were these beautiful flowers. The minister walked over to the grave site. Charlie and my mom joined us. Then Emily, Sam, Paul and Billy stood beside us. Jacob, Quil and Embry pulled up and joined. Then the others gathered behind us.
The minister spoke, “It’s at this time the Harry has reached his finally resting place. God has taken Harry home and to be among the angels. God will welcome him with open arms. Now let us pray. I will read from Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh to me lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul, he leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thous prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anoints my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen.” The minister picked up his head and looked at everyone.
“Please let’s take a moment for one last prayer.” Everyone bowed their head and closed their eyes. Then the minister started to speak. and everyone followed.
“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
Everyone picked up their heads. My mom stood strong and a few tears slid down her cheek. Everyone walked over and placed a single white rose on his casket. Then Billy cleared his throat and spoke.
“Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on the snow,
I am the sun on a ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the mornings hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die. “
Billy tried to smile, you could see his eyes were red. Everyone said their goodbyes to my dad and made their way back to their cars. The pack stood there with us. I just stayed quiet. Embry, Quil, and Jacob gave my mom a huge hug.
“I’m truly sorry for your loss Mrs. Clearwater.”
My mom nodded. The boys got back into Jake’s rabbit and headed back to my house. Charlie was busy helping Billy back to my mom’s car, my mom stood in between us holding our hands. “Harry sweet dreams.” my mom said, then she turned and went back to the car and I could hear her starting to cry. Charlie helped Billy into the front seat and my mom climbed in back. Charlie put Billy’s wheel chair in the trunk.
I stood there with Seth, Sam and Emily. I could feel my whole body tense up. I felt it rip through my body. This loud howl and I started sobbing. I dropped to the ground on my knees. “This isn’t fare. You’re supposed to be alive. You’re supposed to walk me down the aisle one day.” I just kept sobbing.
Seth kneeled down beside me. “Shh Leah.” as he held onto me. Slowly he brought me to my feet and got me back into the truck.
“Are you going to let her drive?” Emily asked Sam.
"I'm going to drive them home. I will meet you there." Sam kissed Emily gently and climbed in the drivers seat. I watched as we pulled away from my dad's grave. The silence was deafening in the truck on the drive home.
We pulled in the driveway behind my mom’s car. I was out of the truck, “Leah, wait up.” Sam called out.
I went inside to my room and flung the door shut.
“Leah’s, home.” Jacob informed everyone.
I changed out of the dress and threw it in the bottom of my closet. I kicked the shoes across my room. I grabbed a tank top, sweatshirt and a pair of pajama bottoms and got dressed. I flopped down on my bed and buried my face in my pillow and started to cry.
“What’s wrong with Leah?” my mom asked.
“She lost it at the cemetery. She just broke down and started crying. I drove her and Seth home.” Sam said undoing his tie and pulling it off.
My mom just nodded. “Thank you hun.” she smiled.
“We’re all still in disbelief and she’s taking it really hard. She’s in shock.” Billy spoke.
“I will go check on her.” Charlie said and left the kitchen. He quietly opened my door and came in. I had fallen asleep. He covered me up and walked back out shutting the door.
“She’s sound asleep. I covered her up.”
My mom smiled, “Thank you for everything all of you have done.” Everyone sort of smiled.
As the day drew towards the end everyone slowly headed home. Emily and Sam were the last to leave. Charlie dropped off Billy on his way home. My mom changed out of her clothes into her pajama’s and crawled into bed and picked up her book and started reading. Seth was still lounging around in his suit lying on the couch watching TV. I tossed and turned as I slept. Then the phone rang.
“Hello,” My mom answered it.
“Sue I can’t find Bella. I came home to a note that said,
I’m with Alice. Edward’s in trouble. You can ground me when I get back. I know it’s a bad time. So Sorry.
Love you so much. Bella.
I called Jacob and he said he thought she may be in trouble. I am not sure what to do.”
She sighed and was worried about Charlie now. “Well I guess just stay by the phone and see if you can somehow get hold of the Cullen’s and see if they know anything.”
Charlie went quiet. “I will try that. I will talk to you later. If you hear anything on the reservation…” she cut him off,
“Charlie I will call you. Now please get some rest. Everything will turn out to be ok.” She hung the up phone and leaned on the counter.