Chapter 36|Do you kiss all your friends?

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Guys, I'm a terrible person. I promised @ellacx that I would mention her in my next chapter, which was like three chapters ago, so now I'm mentioning @ellacx as much as I can because I feel like a useless human, and hopefully you guys will get sick of this explanation and just go to @ellacx and read her stories.

Sorry @ellacx, I didn't mean to forget to mention you in my chapter. Forgive me?

I still feel bad.

Damn you conscience!


The funeral was devastating.

I barely knew Joseph Martinez. I mean, the only times I had seen him, he was in a coma, on the verge of death. You could say that the conversations were a little one sided. By the time I left the church I felt as if I really had known him. His friends and family had shared stories that told me a lot about what kind of person he was. I learnt that he was a firefighter, he liked country music, he was a practical joker, a happy drunk, he and Stella had been high school sweethearts, he was an easygoing guy who loved to spend every free moment with his wife and three boys.

Kyle was there, standing in the back of the church. Most of the times I saw him, he was wearing a fairly neutral facial expression, but I saw him shed a tear during the service.

Stella seemed rather relieved as she spoke to the crowd. She talked about Joseph being in better hands, that he was with the angels now. I wasn't so sure, not that he didn't deserve to go to heaven, because of all people he definitely deserved it. The afterlife always perplexed me. Was there a heaven? Or do you come back in another life as a completely different person? Maybe you just dissolve into the earth, turn into grass, and get eaten by cows. Who knows. I guess you can't really be the judge of that until you die, but each to their own.

Ryan's speech wasn't well rehearsed. He didn't have a sheet of paper to read off, and he didn't even try to pretend that he was coping, which I admired. It's easier to put on a brave face, than to admit to a whole crowd of people that you're not okay and you won't be for a while.

He cleared his throat before he started speaking. "My dad is my hero, the fact that he's no longer here will never change that." He looked at his mom who was sitting in the front row, and she gave him a watery smile, encouraging him to carry on. "I don't know how to live without him, I've never had to do it before, but I guess that's life. I hate that he deserved to live more than anyone, and he wanted to live, yet people commit suicide every single day and that's seemingly okay. I just don't understand how a perfectly good life can be waisted so quickly." I tear rolled down his cheek and he didn't even try to wipe it away. "I know that he was in pain, and most likely wherever he is now is better than here, so I'm glad for that. It just sucks that he's going to miss my graduation, all of Archie's kid birthdays, he's going to miss all his future grandchildren." He briefly glanced at me. "He deserved to see all that." He shook his head, another tear sliding down his cheek. "I just hope that one day I'll be half the man, husband, father, and friend that he was."

He left the microphone, but instead of walking back to his seat, he continued striding towards the back of the church, yanking open the heavy wooden doors and then closing them with a slam that echoed through the whole building.

People were looking at each other with worried glances, but nobody actually moved to do anything. Even Kyle remained standing stoically at the very back of the church.

I sighed, scooting out of the pew I had been seated on. People made disgruntled noises as a shuffled past their legs, falling on a few laps as I passed. My shoes on the wooden floor was the only sound that could be heard as I speed walked up the aisle. I grabbed Kyle by the arm.

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