~ Chapter Twelve ~
I stared down at the ground, tears flowing out of my eyes like a waterfall. Luke's hand was intertwined tightly in mine, and the occasional squeezes he gave were the only thing keeping me from completely breaking down. I was already a mess, without Luke it would only have been worse.
They say that funerals are for the living, not the dead.
I think that they are for us all.
The preachers tell us that heaven will treat it's occupants well, that the dead are in a, "better place." That is their way of comforting those in the church. But they also pray for the person who has died. That is their way of comforting the dead. Maybe you agree with me, maybe you don't, it doesn’t matter.
What matters is that funerals suck.
Luke used his arm that wasn't in my hand, to pull me into a warm hug. I could hear his uneven breathing in my ear, which somewhat comforted me. Not because he was upset, but that he was upset. The fact that he was almost as sad as me about my father's death made me feel better somehow.
But not better enough. I’ll probably never be better. And I don’t think that I should have to be. Losing the only family member I had left, that’s leaving a permanent hole in my heart. One that I don’t even think Luke can’t fix.
You know what, maybe funerals aren't for the living or the dead.
Maybe they are for the sole fact that life ends, and that we need to make it count. For their are many people around us who love us more than anything. We just need to make that love count.
"We're going to make it count Luke." I whispered to him softly.
"Make what count?"
"Our love... our lives."
"That already counts more than you know babe." He replied, one hand playing with something in the pocket of his jacket, the other playing with my promise ring.
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Four months later, and that hole in my heart is as permanent as ever.
For awhile, I insisted on paying my own bills. But it wasn’t long until I realized that my mediocre barista job wasn’t going to pay for a full sized house. By then, I was ready to sell the house and move into a small apartment a few miles away. It’s not like one small girl needs a whole house to herself anyway. But just as soon as Luke heard about my plans, he insisted on giving me money for the house. He said that the house is the last thing I have that I shared with my dad, and I can’t get rid of it. I tried to tell him that it was okay, that it didn’t matter, but he wouldn’t let it go. He even said he’d sell his apartment to help cover the costs, if it made me feel any better.
So now here we are, Luke and I, sitting on the small living room couch watching random television shows. In what I now refer to as our house.
It wasn’t necessary for him to move in with me, in my mind at least, but he didn’t want to leave me alone. And even though I tried to protest, in the back of my mind, I was glad he wanted to move in. Of course living on my own would suck, but I didn’t want to show it. I felt like I had a duty to be brave, for my dad.
“What are you thinking about?” Luke looks down at our interlaced hands, and produces a sad smile.
“Nothing.” I say before pausing. “Everything.” I nuzzle closer to him, and rest my head on his shoulder. “You.”
“Mmmmh.” He hums. “What about me?” He rolls his thumb back and forth over my fingers, and I sigh.
“I don’t know, just everything about you.” I shake my head. “Everything about everything.” He smiles for a second, before letting his face fall back into it’s resting state. He moves his hand over to the promise ring around my finger, and slides it back in forth in his fingers.
“Why do you always do that?” I question his actions.
“Do what?” He stops playing with the ring for a minute, but then continues after that moment's hesitation.
“Play with my ring, you’ve been doing that a lot in the past few months.” I point out, and he then pulls his hand away. “It doesn’t bother me Luke.” I spit out, making sure he knows that’s not my point. “I was just curious.”
“I…” He trails off, like he’s debating his response. “I guess I just do that when I’m thinking.” He shrugs, but I have a feeling that’s not the whole truth. None the less, I decide to let it go. If it’s important, he’ll tell me.
Luke gets up suddenly, and walks towards the stairs. I tilt my head, and get up to follow him.
“Where are you going so quickly?” I ask as he hops down the stairs, towards our room.
“I just need to check something.” He walks over to the bed, and reaches down to his jacket that’s resting there. He reaches his hand into the pocket, and a flash of relief covers his face. I look at him in confusion, the look that only grows when he pulls his hand out with nothing in it.
“I was just making sure I grabbed the house key yesterday.” He says, before folding the jacket and moving to put it in a drawer with some of his other clothes. The confusion on my face is still evident, and I get a sinking feeling in my stomach. If he was just looking for the house key, then why is he being so closed off? There’s definitely something he’s hiding from me… But what?
“It’s late babe, we should get some sleep.” Luke wraps his arm around me and walks me towards our bed. I crawl onto the mattress with him, getting comfortable under the covers, but something still doesn’t feel right.
“I love you Faith.” He whispers into my neck as he wraps his arm around my waist.
I sigh, convincing myself that whatever he’s not telling me is nothing. He wouldn’t hide anything from me that isn’t supposed to be hidden. I know he wouldn’t.
“I love you too Luke.” I whisper back, falling into a deep sleep next to the man I love.
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"We're going to make our love count."