Chapter 32: Final Chapter

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"Do I have to wear this dress, Katty? It's itchy."

"Yes you do. This was always mom's favorite on you."

At the mention of my mother, Charlotte bowed her head from view, nodding in acceptance and didn't speak another word as I drew a brush through her knotted, blonde locks.

She hadn't wanted to talk about our mother much since I told her in the most delicate way that I could. I still don't think she quite grasps the meaning of death yet. For that, I was thankful.

Death is the real bitch of finales.

Whenever you finish a book you love, you can always turn back to the first page and dive in again, reliving the journey all over. Same goes for movies, T.V. shows, songs, the weekend, birthdays and so on. You can revisit loved possessions time and time again and long awaited days of the year come around again like literal clockwork.

Few things are as final as death.

When something or someone dies, that's it. There's no 'one more time'. There's never a 'See you next year' or starting from the beginning no matter how hard you wish for it. Rarely do you even get a final moment with the dying. Possibly that's the worst part of death, the inability to get closure for the multitude of things you need it for.

Thinking about the number of things I need to tell my mom but won't ever get the chance to had the air sticking in my throat with every attempt at a breath I took. I couldn't tell her that I loved her anymore, not that I had in years. I won't be able to tell her how proud I was of her for taking a step towards recovery.

What pains me most of all is that I won't ever get to apologize for the part I played in sinking our relationship. I wanted nothing more than one more chance to see her, to fall to my knees in front of her and cry a river of sorrows and regrets and beg for a do-over; for one more chance for her and I to get it right.

But that would never happen.

I would never be seeing my mother again. Charlotte would never be seeing our mother again.

We were, in every sense of the word, orphans.

Our father wasn't literally dead but he was to us.

It was just Charlotte and I now. No mom, no dad, no Layla, and I wasn't even sure where Dominic and I stood at that point. I hadn't spoken to him since the day we found my mother nor had I made any attempts to converse with him. Both Charlotte and I were still staying at Dominic and Heathers, but aside from using the bathroom, I didn't leave my room. I didn't bother with eating as I didn't see a point; neither could I stomach much of anything. Nevertheless, small plates of food would appear outside of my door two or three times a day and I knew it was Dominic's way of telling me that he was there for me.

I don't remember much after I found my mom overdosed on the living room floor of our house. I knew Dominic was there for most of that night, holding me and supporting me, mainly making decisions that I was too numb to make for myself.

All I could think about then was Charlotte and how unfair a life she'd been given. A father who couldn't give a shit, a mother who chose her addiction over her children, and a sister who barely had enough pieces of her sanity to make a whole, functioning person.

I had to be better for her though. I had to be a mother and a father and a sister all in one because there was simply no other choice.

My mother had died four days ago, and today was her funeral.

A quiet set of knocks on my closed bedroom door earned my attention. It was time to go.

Bending down, a few, wild frays of Charlotte's hair tickled the tips of my lips as I pressed a comforting kiss on top of her head. "Ready, Bugs?"

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