Touching On Grief

"I carry your heart in mine." Cecelia Roberts lost one of the people she loved most in the world. Avery, her aunt. Instead of working through the five stages of grief, and accepting the death of her aunt, she is slowly being chipped off, until she becomes a shell of what she once was. Jade Winston watched helplessly as her best friend wallowed away. She knew that she was only capable of comforting Cecelia, but not helping her, so she gives her an ultimatum. Parker Winston suddenly helped out, offering assistance to Cecelia for working through the stages of grief. But what began like assistance might not end like one. Will feelings blossom? Will Parker be able to help Cecelia? Will Cecelia finally accept the death of her aunt?

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1. Denial [1]

I've heard tales of people who have gone completely crazy after someone they loved died. Others just turned into a shell of what they once were. Grief is hard. Dealing with death is hard, but we all have to go through it. I just wish we didn't have to. 

You see, there's always a risk of loving someone. You could have a break-up, or you could loose them to something worse. Death. But in the end, we all die. Some people wish for immortality so that they could live forever. I used to wish for immortality. But my mother once told me that being immortal isn't everything. What are you going to do for the rest of your existence? No, she told me that it is better to live your life, and experience everything, and die when you are old. When you have a family, and have been successful.

That's the beauty of life though. You never know when you're going to die. You could be walking down the street and BAM. Blackness. But not everyone is successful in life. Not everyone has a family, and a successful job, with food given to them everyday. Those are the type of people who wish that they could die sooner, rather than later.

Some people deal with grief, and learn to accept the death of someone they love. But others start off by wallowing away. Piece by piece falling off, until they are practically nothing.

That's how I started off.

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I drank shot after shot, uncaring about anything. My eyes were bloodshot, and I was exhausted. Ordering another shot, I looked around, but I couldn't see anything clearly, as if it were all a dream. The faces where blurry, and it seemed like they could morph into anyone, anytime. I wished it were all a dream, that I would wake up, and see her smiling brightly, sitting on my bed, waking me up so that we could spend the day together. 

Just as I put the shot to my mouth, it went flying out of my hands, and I looked at it strangely. 

"Cecilia! What the hell are you doing!" a girl screeched. 

I looked towards her, and saw that it was Jade. "Jade! I missed you!" I stumbled towards her, trying to give her a hug. 

She mumbled something unintelligible, and dragged me out of the party. I didn't take in my surroundings, and I didn't notice where we were going. I didn't care. 

"I want my flying shot!" I whined. Then I giggled. "My shot was flying Jade! I told you I had magic." I slurred.

I realised I was sitting on a very comfortable chair, and snuggled deeper into it. "Avery would have liked this." I mumbled. I closed my eyes, for a few seconds then opened it. My eyes were filled with tears, as I sobbed.

I vaguely heard Jade ask for a cup of coffee, and a box of tissues. I shook my head, as my body shook from the tears, and how hard I was crying. I hadn't cried until now. Not once have I cried when I found out Avery was dead. I was numb. I didn't believe it.

"If she's dead, why should I go on!" I wailed to nobody in particular. 

Arms wrapped around me, squeezing me tight. I knew it was Jade as I leaned on her. 

"Here." she offered, handing me the cup of coffee. Wordlessly I took a few sips and set it down.

As I took in my surroundings, I saw that Jade and I were the only customers. A handsome boy our age, seventeen, was standing near the counter, watching us curiously.

"What are you looking at?" I asked rather rudely.

"The scene you're making." He shot back.

"What scene? If your aunt died, would you be throwing a happy party? I don't think so."

"If my aunt died, then I would be working through the five stages of grief. Not drinking until I drop." He was fuming.

"My aunt was one in a million. Ten times better than you'll ever be."

He stormed towards me and stared at me intently with such ferocity that it scared me. "Listen here, drunk girl, if you are going to come into the place I work in, then think that you're going to treat people with respect. Just because your aunt died, doesn't mean you have the automatic privilege to treat people like crap. They don't know what's going on in your life. You're being selfish right now. I'm sure your parents are grieving her death as well." He spat out between gritted teeth.

That shut me up. Even in my drunken state, I could tell that I couldn't mess with this boy. I looked down, as if in submission, and took a few more sips from the coffee.

"Cece, come on. Get in the car, and I'll be right there. I just need to pay for the coffee." Jade whispered softly.

I nodded and walked out-or rather, stumbled out-of the shop, and sat in the car. I looked towards Jade, and her body language showed that she was trying to convince the boy to do something, and he looked like he was saying no. I wondered what she was asking him to do. Probably apologize for being such an ass. I shrugged and closed my eyes, trying to loose myself, and not think about the situation at hand.

I woke up with a head cracking headache. I groaned as I put a hand to my head, attempting to recollect the events of last night. Slowly, I recalled what had happened, and plopped back down on my bed. I was so rude yesterday! But so was the guy I had met. In fact, he was even ruder. I thanked Jade's ability to think, as I took in my surroundings. I wasn't in my own room, I was in Jade's. She had taken me to her own place, thank God.

I couldn't bring myself to go and face my mother. She would have been so disappointed in me, but she didn't understand that grief does weird things to people, and that each and every person deals with it their own way. My strange way of dealing with it was just to drink till I dropped. 

"Hey. Feeling better?" Jade smiled tentatively at me, sitting on the couch opposite the bed.

"No." I grumbled.

"Let's go buy coffee. The shop we went to yesterday makes amazing coffee." She gushed.

"Jade. Do you not remember how I acted yesterday? I can't go to that coffee shop!" I argued.

"I'm going. You can stay here with my brother if you want."

I groaned. "You know me too well. Let me just get ready."

I hated her younger brother. He was such a geek, and all he talked about was anything related to Maths or Chemistry. I hate Maths and Chemistry.

"Two coffees with extra shots coming right up." The boy said to Jade.

I was sitting in the booth, while Jade went to order our coffee.

"Thanks Parker." Whoa. Parker? They knew each other?

"Here you go Cece." Jade handed me the coffee.

I stared at it for a while, thoughts of Avery swimming through my mind. I remember once I was in the pool learning how to swim, when Avery faked that she was drowning-in the shallow end might I add- and I genuinely thought she was drowning. I couldn't reach that part of the pool, so I swam towards her, grabbed her, and swam to the side of the pool. I didn't even realize I was swimming. I was so scared for her that it didn't even cross my mind. She just beamed at me and stood up, her hazel eyes glittering-the ones I inherited from her- and her light brown hair damp, clinging to her skin.

"You're not drowning?" I asked, but it was more of a statement.

"I wasn't drowning." She confirmed, grinning. "I faked it. And you swam!" She shrieked in happiness.

"I-I swam!" I stuttered, the situation dawning on me.

I didn't know why I remembered that, but after snapping out of my thoughts, my eyes blurred. I will not cry. I will not cry. I chanted. After taking a few sips from the coffee, I pushed it away. "I'm full."

"No you're not. You need to eat, goddamn it!" Jade exploded. "You've been pushing people away! People who care about you and want to help you!"

I felt guilty, but something in me snapped. "Help me with what? Getting Avery back to life? I'd like to see you try! Because that's the only thing that's going to help me!"

Jade looked like she had no words. Her mouth opened and closed, and then she finally gave me an ultimatum. "When you decide you want to go through the five stages of grief, and accept the death of your aunt, then come to me."

I took a step back, and she stormed out of the shop. People were staring but I didn't care. I just stood there; I couldn't believe that she gave me that ultimatum. I don't want to accept the death of my aunt. My life hadn't made any sense ever since I got the phone call. I didn't know how to act or what to do. Everyone gets a little lost when they are on the path of life, but most find their way back. I didn't think I would, or could.

"Pushed Jade to her breaking point huh?" Parker's voice snapped me out of my thoughts.

I glared at him before saying, "I don't see how it's any of your business."

"Whoa there horsey." He mock surrendered, putting his hands up as if a police man just came in and said to 'put your hands up where I can see 'em '. "I was just going to tell you that Jade left her bag here."

Sure enough, her bag was on her seat, left untouched. I grabbed it and thrust it to him. "You give it to her. I can tell that you know each other."

"Cousins actually." He grinned.

"I have to go search up the five stages of grief." I sighed.

"You know you aren't actually working through them right, or wrong." Parker pointed out.

"What do you mean?" I asked, confused.

"I mean that you are still in the first stage, denial, and you are working through it, right in some parts, and wrong in others." He looked at me pointedly. "For example, the drinking. That was a wrong part."

"Oh so funny." I deadpanned.

"I wasn't trying to be."

I sighed. "I suppose you know how to work through the five stages of grief?"

"Yeah. I did a paper on them. Come back here in," He looked at his watch, "two hours and I can help you."

"I wasn't asking for your help." I sneered.

"But you need it."

"Fine."

 "Fine." He grinned. "See you later."

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