Chapter 23

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I followed dad to the living room and sat down on the edge of the couch. He took a seat right beside me, his body turned towards me. "Alright, what's going on?" he asked, and judging by the tone he was using, I knew there was no idea to try to escape from this situation. He knew something was up, and he was not going to let me get away without an explanation.

Looking down at my folded hands on my lap, I let out a deep sigh. "It's nothing, really. It's nothing worth discussing at least. Someone at school just told me something that I didn't want to hear, is all."

He leaned back against the backrest and folded his arms over his chest. "Something about your mum, maybe?" he guessed, and I looked up at him with a frown on my face.

"How did you know?"

He gave me a small smile. "I know you Louis, and you never get this upset by what someone has said unless it has to do with her."

I let his words sink in and thought about it. Was he right? I knew I got upset at the mention of her, which I thought was inevitable, but was I never upset by anything else? I doubted that, but maybe he just knew whenever it had to do with mum because I was his son and he had known me my entire life. "Well, yeah, it has to do with her. I just can't handle it, you know? It's as if there's a bomb within me that explodes whenever someone just mentions her in my presence, and so many feelings blow up inside me."

"And memories," he added, biting his bottom lip.

I nodded in agreement, turning my head to meet his gaze. "It's been more than two years, yet I still can't handle it. I mean, you have moved on. Why can't I do the same thing?" I asked, running my hands over my face.

He gave my thigh a pat and flashed me a reassuring smile. "There's one thing you should know, Louis, and that is that it won't matter what year or what month, I will never really move on from your mother. She is and will always be a part of my heart, Lottie too. Even if they aren't with us anymore, they're here, inside us," he said, gesturing towards his heart. "And they will always be no matter what. We won't forget them, but we still need to keep living, Louis. Our lives don't end because theirs did. We still have so many things to experience before it is our turn, and I know it's hard, but we have to fight through it, alright?"

Taking a deep breath, I gave him another nod.

"Maybe you still have a hard time taking in the fact that they aren't here anymore, but no one expects you to handle it better either. After all, it hasn't been a very long time, and I too have my times when my feelings overflow and I have to take a break for a couple of minutes. It's nothing out of the ordinary. You just have to think positively and remember the good things, and not the fact that you miss them. Think about the memories we have together with a smile on your face and be happy about that. That way, it's going to be easier to move on, Louis. Trust me," he promised.

I swallowed hard, looking away from him again. Why did it always sound so easy when dad explained things like this to me? He was always so rational and knew what the best thing to do was. I really admired that about him. I wished I could think as positively as him so I could avoid feeling so down sometimes. "Yeah, you're probably right," I mumbled.

"I know I am." He gave my side a light nudge in an attempt to cheer me up, and a small smile actually crept to my face.

"Thank you," I said. "For being here. I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have you either."

"Then we're two," he winked. "And you're welcome, son. I'm here whenever you want to talk. You know you can come to me whenever you feel like this, right?"

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