Chapter 36

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Chapter 36

"Fellow colleagues, beloved family and friends, we have gathered here today to not only mourn the death of a fallen agent, but to celebrate his life. Garret Thompson was a talented operative, a loving father, a beloved partner. He will be dearly missed. As we unveil yet another star on our wall, we remember his sacrifice to this nation. A nation built on the idea of freedom. The one hundred and three names on this wall represent the one hundred and three brave operatives who gave their lives to the side of freedom. He will be dearly missed."

I blinked, trying not to cry. On my right, Addy was sobbing silently into her hands. On my left, Joshua was looking down at our clasped hands in his lap. My free hand trembled slightly. I can't believe that Garret is dead. Truly, horribly dead. He always told me when I was younger that, if he were to pass on duty, I couldn't cry at his star ceremony or funeral. What had seemed like a joke then was now a brutal reality. Mr. Cross stood at a podium, set up in front of the Wall of Honor. I've passed by these stars for my entire life. Never have I ever played more attention to them. I blinked back another wave of tears. Sullen colleagues of mine sat around me, faces grim and silent. Some tear stained. I caught a few sympathetic glances sent towards me and Addy and all of my siblings. I ignored them. I appreciate the gesture, but that doesn't mean I like it.

Mr. Cross stepped down from the podium, holding out a black box to Addy. I tapped my mother's shoulder and she looked up, Her makeup was running down her eyes, but otherwise she looked calm. She sat up straight, dabbed her eyes, and took a deep breath. Even in the death of her fiance, Addy can be strong. I've wanted to be her and Garret my entire life. Now, I am them.

"I'm so sorry for your loss." Mr. Cross said, handing her the small black box containing a marble slab engraved with a replica star.

Addy nodded, forcing the slightest smile for Barnaby as she took the box and placed it in her lap. I cleared my throat, looking down into my lap. Joshua squeezed my hand. I looked up to meet his gaze. He gave me a small, sympathetic smile. I smiled back, slightly. He kissed my cheek softly, stroking my knuckles with his thumb. I blinked back more tears.

"Do you want to talk about this on the plane ride back?" he whispered in a low tone to me as Barnaby took his place at the podium and started speaking yet again.

I shook my head, appreciating his offer. He deserves an award for the kind of boyfriend he is.

"No. I'll just numb my brain with movies and kissing you." I said.

He chuckled low in his throat, a barely comprehensible sound to someone who didn't know he could do it. So, basically, everyone here except me. Perks of being a girlfriend.

"Fine with me." he answered before we turned back to the ceremony.

I clutched his hand. I need him right now, and I never need anyone. Joshua has been through so much with me. I've told him so many things that I wouldn't have if I'd never met him. I tell him because I know I can trust him.
That was something Garret liked about Joshua when we first started dating. Trustworthy and loyal. I felt my heart break a bit more at the memory of Garret officially meeting Joshua, as my boyfriend, for the first time when he picked me up for a date. I sighed, watching Garret's smiling picture set up next to the podium and praying. Thank you for being who you were and making me who I am. Thank you for being there for me through everything. But, overall, thank you for being the best dad anyone could ask for. I will never forget you. Love you, forever and always. My dad. Andthat was when the floodgates broke.

(I'm not going to lie, I cried writing this. And I was in math. FML. Anyway, vote and comment! Let me know what you think! RIP Garret! I will truly miss you! :( Why oh why did it fit so well?!?!?! Cruel world. Anyway, hope I didn't make you guys bawl too much. Bye Bye! BTW, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!)

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