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I WAS SO MISERABLE

You were right by my side, yet I had never felt more alone in my entire life. My eyes stared straight ahead, lifelessly, as I waited for it all to be over.

My black dress crinkled as I stood up, but I made no attempt to smooth it down as I followed everyone else. You were quick to grab my hand for comfort; but unlike normal, it gave me not reassurance today.

It was raining as we walked out of the church and onto the grounds, the silence broken by the clicking of heels on the pavement from most women, and the gentle sobbing from others.

I broke away from you when we came to a stop, heading over to my mother whose shoulders were shaking as she examined the coffin in front of her. She clutched onto me and I shrugged an arm around her shoulder as she sobbed into my dress.

We weren't apart for long; you came over and stood by me as we watched the coffin get lowered into the ground; not touching me, but letting me know you were there for support, should I need it.

It was like I was trapped in a bubble of despair, with no signs of an exit. Grief and pain festered beneath my skin, gnawing away at my bones and wearing me down, stripping me of my soul and happiness.

But you were there; you were always there.

So, as I shakily rested the roses, beautiful arranged to spell out 'DAD' in big, bold letters, onto the coffin, I held onto you; because I couldn't keep pretending like I didn't need support. Not when I was breaking down inside.

Your smell was the only comfort I had as we stood there in the pouring rain; it filled all my senses, making me feel you, and only you. Your arms wrapped around me, pulling me into your chest and refusing to let me go. Your hands reached up and caressed my hair, stroking gently to try and soothe me as I started to cry.

I was ruining your tux, I realised, as the tears leaked out and hit the fabric that my head rested upon. This was the first time I had seen you looking so smart, with your short hair gelled back and the stubble fully shaven off your face. But there was a sadness held in your bright blue eyes; a sadness that you were sharing with me, almost as though you were trying to take half the weight that was resting on my shoulders.

I don't know how long everyone had been gone for before I finally realised we were alone; and I didn't seem to care either. All that mattered in that moment was that you were here with me; that you were there to hold me as I broke down.

You picked me up and carried me then—despite how often I told you I hated it. We headed for your car, clambering away from the rain into something dry.

I pulled on my wet hair, using my fingernails to try and loosen the knots but to no avail. You handed me a tissue and I wiped my face, removing all the traces of makeup off my skin and hiding all the evidence of crying.

You fumbled around with the car heaters, letting out a loud curse as cold air blasted violently through them. A small laugh escaped my lips as I watched you, and your head snapped up to look at me in surprise. A smile blossomed onto your lips as you stopped what you were doing and looked at me, and I couldn't help but smile back.

You reached out to grasp my hand, but a sudden blast of heat through the heaters had you recoiling in shock. I laughed louder this time, and you laughed with me, the noise filling the car and breaking the silence.

"I love you," you said, leaning over and lightly kissing my cheek. "I really, really love you."

The feel of your lips on my skin lingered even after you moved away, and a vast flurry of butterflies seemed to erupt in my stomach. "I love you too. So much," I replied softly.

There was a moment of silence as we just sat next to one another, my hands coming up to wipe away the lasts of my tears, and your teeth tugging on your lower lip as you thought about something hard.

"You know I'm always here for you, right? If you ever need me, for anything, there's nothing I wouldn't do for you," you said, turning in your seat so you could look at me fully; so I could see the serenity in your eyes.

"I know," I whispered back, the corners of my mouth raising into another smile and my hand reaching up to caress your cheek softly.

And you know what the saddest part of that day was? It wasn't the burial of my own father, no. It was the fact that I believed you when you said those words.

I guess we can all be fools sometimes.

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