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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2. Denial [2]

"I'm here. What do we do?" I asked.

"How long has it been since you've showered?"

"Excuse me?"

"How long since you've taken a shower?" He repeated.

"I'm not answering that." I looked away. "Look, if we're here, because you're going to-"

"Come on." He ordered, grabbing my hand and pulling me towards a car.

"Where are we going?" I wondered.

"There." He said simply.

I frowned. "There where?"

"There."

"Ugh." I groaned. "You are absolutely annoying you know."

"Have you spoken to your parents?" He liked to keep them coming didn't he.

"Um… Since Avery's death? No." I squeaked. It wasn't easy talking about her. She did die a week ago.

"Where have you been sleeping then?"

"Jade's."

"Go home after we're done today. Talk to them." He looked straight ahead, focusing on the road.

"Talk to her. I only have a mom. So stop saying 'them'." I was irritated. He kept on referencing to my mom as parents, but how was he to know that I never had a Dad? That they were divorced and I haven't seen him since I was six?

"Sorry." He muttered.

I finally got a good look at him. His hair was dark brown, and eyes striking green. He was good looking, to say the least. Too bad his attitude took him one step forward and two steps back. He parked in the driveway and got out of the car, gesturing for me to follow him. He began walking towards a huge, white house, which made my eyes widen to the size of saucers.

Parker was pretty wealthy.

He didn't even ring the doorbell, or have a key. He just flung the door open, yelling, "I'm home!"

"This is what people do to get attention." I muttered.

"What did you say?" He asked sweetly, batting his eyelashes.

I stifled a laugh, as I followed him to his room. The house was beautiful, with modern furniture everywhere, and walls painted different colors. At least it was a home-y mansion. Usually mansions were so formal, that it didn't feel like a home at all, but rather an exhibition. I looked around me, taking in the view.

"Like what you see?"

"A lot. It's a beautiful home." I admitted, feeling a twinge of jealousy that Parker's parents didn't have to work as hard as we did to earn income, and pay rent, and food. I mean, we got along, and had money and everything. My mom could probably buy something like this with her wedding money, and money from her dead parents, but she wanted to teach me what it was like in the real world so she left the money in a savings account, untouched, and it probably doubled now.

"I was talking about me." He stated.

"Oh, shut up."

His room was a typical boy's room. Clothes were everywhere, and, surprisingly, he had a stack of books in the corner of his room. I raised an eyebrow, and he flushed.

"Didn't know you could read."

"Don't judge a book by its cover." He grinned. "I don’t even know why I took you here. We have to go to my sister's room."

"Why?"

"To give you clothes so that you could take a shower." He said it like it was so obvious.

"Are you that disgusted that I haven’t showered in days?" I felt hurt.

"No. You just need to take one for your own sake." He was calm. I had to say, he knew how to deal with someone like me. He knew how to deal with them well.

"Hey Courtney. Mind lending this girl here clothes, and your shower?" Parker went straight to the point.

"Uh, sure?" Courtney looked exactly like Parker. Same green eyes and brown hair. I looked so plain next to them, with my hazel eyes and golden hair that was currently in a bun. "I'll deal with her. You go do what you got to do Parker."

She smiled warmly at me before dragging me to her walk in closet. It was the size of my room, with clothes in all colors, and shoes of all styles. Needless to say, it was a fashionista heaven. We efficiently picked out sweats, and shorts. She kindly let me borrow unused underwear, and gave me the bathroom to borrow.

I placed the clothes on the rack and stared at the mirror. I looked terrible; it was a wonder people were actually talking to me. I had bags under my eyes, and my hazel eyes looked drained. Lifeless. I felt lifeless. I had lost a lot of weight over the course of the week. I used to be fit, and have some muscle on me, but now I was all skin and bones, and my skin had an unhealthy complexion. I was so pale.

Avery wouldn't have wanted this for you.

The thought came out of nowhere. Even if she didn't want me to act like this, I had to. I couldn't act any other way. I felt so tired as I took quick shower, crying silently as the water washed away the tears that made their way down my face, marking their path, only to have it remade after it was destroyed.

As soon as I was groomed and ready to show myself, I stepped out of the bathroom. No one was in the room, so I walked out and made my way to Parker's.

"What the hell is she doing here Parker? She looks like a homeless person!" I knew it was rude to eavesdrop but I couldn't help it.

"You, Courtney, of all people should know how that feels. I'm just helping her." He tried to make her understand. Of all people? What happened to them?

"Oh rea-" I walked in, putting on a poker face, masking my real emotions. Hurt, anger, relief.

"Thanks so much for lending me the clothes Courtney. I appreciate it." I acted like I didn't hear anything as I thanked her.

"Anytime."

Yeah right. It was silent for a while, before Parker handed me a plate of fattening foods as well as fruits and vegetables.

"Eat." He demanded.

"I'm not hungry." I mumbled.

"Yes you are. I can tell. I'm not going to stop pestering you until you finish everything on the plate."

"You're serious aren't you?" I sighed, taking an apple and eating it.

"Yup" He popped the 'p'.

He watched me eat, and after twenty minutes of serious scrutinizing, he finally nodded his approval before announcing, "You have to go see your parents, I mean mother now." He hastily corrected himself as he realized his mistake.

I let it slide.

"Go on!" Parker encouraged.

I was standing in front of my house, too frightened to do anything about it. Mustering up all the courage and bravery I had, I knocked softly on the door. I knew Parker was driving off without even looking. After a few seconds, Mom opened the door, and as soon as she saw me, tears welled up in her eyes, and she hugged me so tight. I thought I was going to explode.

"I'm so sorry." I murmured.

"I'm just glad you're OK." She sobbed.

"I miss her." I was crying as well.

"More than she'll ever know."

To someone who didn't know what was happening, they would have driven by, and saw mother and daughter crying over nothing. Maybe they made up, or were crying from happiness. They wouldn't know since it wasn't so clear.

But to anyone who did know, they would have seen mother and daughter mourning the death of a relative, as well as reassuring themselves that the other was really there.

It was in that moment I completed the stage of denial, and finally told myself that Avery was really gone.

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