16 - The Shadow Of Death

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I got the call early the next morning, around five o'clock. The world was still painted in grey light, almost quiet and almost peaceful. Mary Jane had called, barely getting the words out through her sobs. I listened to her cry, tears stinging my eyes. My teeth bit down on my bottom lip, drawing droplets of blood which tasted terrible on my tongue. I didn't know what to say, didn't know what to do. I tried to calm her down but my efforts were pointless, she was too worried, too upset to even listen to a word I was trying to say. She kept on asking if I was alright, knowing I was already tiptoeing on thin ice this month, knowing the anniversary of Colton's death was only weeks away. I told her this wasn't about me. I told her I was fine, I told her everything she wanted to hear, everything that would make her stop worrying about myself and start worrying more about Peter and May.

Because it was the truth.

Ben Parker was gone, nothing more than a body without a soul now.

And even though this month was hard on me, hard on my family and hard on my friends. It was about to get ten times worse for the remaining Parker family.

It was nearly half past six when I ended the phone call with Mary Jane, dropping my phone to my bed and tucking some hair behind my ears. I closed my eyes, taking a number of deep breaths, trying to calm down my racing heart. Tears slid down my cheeks, silent and delicate. I cried for a moment, letting the heavy weight in my chest rise up and meet my sudden worry and fears. Suddenly, there was a knock at my door and my head snapped up. My mother poked her head through the crack in the door as she pushed the door open slightly. I saw how her eyes were ringed red and I knew she had already found out the news. "Florence, darling...I just wanted to check in."

My fingertips brushed away my tears, my chest hurting. "I'm okay, mum." It was a lie, one I had been telling myself all month. My mother stepped into my room, sitting on the edge of my bed. Her eyes watched me, maybe trying to see the daughter she once knew.

"It would be fine if you're not." She said slowly. "This month is hard on all of us and now--" She didn't finish the sentence but we both knew what she was referring to. "I offered to help May with the funeral. I'm stopping by her place later today, maybe it would be a nice idea for you to come. I'm sure Peter would like to see a familiar face right now."

I shook my head quickly, knowing the pain in my chest wasn't just about Colton, or Ben but Peter too. His uncle had just died, his only father figure gone. I knew what it felt like losing someone you loved and right now he was going through the very same thing. I didn't need to stick my nose in his grief, didn't need to try be a friend to him, he would see through that facade. "I don't think he would want to see me."

My mother gave me a sad smile, her hand slipping across my soft sheets to rest upon mine. "Well, you can change your mind. Why not take a shower, clean away those tears?" She leant forward, kissing my forehead before retrieving back to the hallway. My arms wrapped around my knees as I chewed my bottom lip, tears still swelling in my eyes.


The funeral had been the following week. A small crowd of close friends had gathered on the lonely hill in the Queens cemetery to say their final goodbyes to a man that was too kind for a world like our own. I stood with my parents, keeping my tears at bay. My eyes rested on Peter nearly the whole time, hoping he would look up and catch my gaze. He didn't. He stood with his head bowed, quiet and still.

The week went by fast, all a blur of hazy nights spent wondering about Peter and May, sleepless nights when my nightmares played on the back of my eyelids. Peter had been absent from school since the incident and I hadn't seen him, but he wasn't far from my mind.

The Weight of The World 。 Peter Parker [1]Read this story for FREE!