I finish pouring Clara’s and my water before heading upstairs. I walk down the hall. There’s a flatline sound and I feel so horrible for a moment, knowing that someone just lost a life and a bunch of people lost someone they loved. The sound grows steadily louder as I near Clara’s room and I assume it’s from the room next to her.
“I brought water,” I tell Clara, smiling as I walk into the room, hoping to get her mind off the steady beep coming from the room…next door. “Clara? Clara, love, wake up. Come on, that’s not funny. Seriously. Open your eyes. Stop it. I’ll tickle you to death if you don’t open your fucking eyes.” A moment later, while I’m still trying to shake her awake, Julia runs in. I meet her eyes and hers soften, tearing up. A single tear drops from her eye and I shake my head.
“No,” I snap. “Shut up. She’s not. She’s not. She-she can’t be. This isn’t funny, Julia. Stop it. Stop-stop it.” I laugh hysterically, even though the practical joke isn’t funny. Not at all.
“Harry, I’m so sorry,” Julia whispers.
“No,” I growl. “No.”
“Harry, please. Don’t do this to yourself. It’s not healthy, and if you continue on this path, when you accept it, it’ll hurt so much more,” Julia tells me softly.
“I need some air,” I snap, striding out of the room. I get in my car and drive away, to the recording studio. Maybe music can bring her back. Maybe—maybe she’ll hear the music and she’ll come home. I have to try. I have to.
I wipe my eyes, knowing who needs me the most right now. Eleanor is in pain, of course. Her and Clara were really close. But as much as I love El, Harry was married to her. According to the nurse, Harry left the hospital in a rush, and I know exactly where he is.
I find Harry exactly where I expect him to be—in the recording studio. He’s vigorously writing on a sheet of paper, surrounded by crumbled up paper. I sigh and open the door. I smile softly at my best mate and put an arm around him.
“What’re you doing, mate?” I ask him.
“I’m writing a song for Clara when she decides to wake up,” he tells me. It hurts to see him like this, in such denial.
“Look, Harry…I just want you to know that I’m here for you, you know? I understand that you’re going through a rough time, and…I just want you to know that you can lean on me,” I tell him.
“I don’t need to lean on you because she’s not dead!” Harry shouts, running his hands through his hair like a madman and stepping away from me. “She’s not, she’s not. She can’t be. She’ll be fine. She will. She’s always fine.” He sniffles, wiping his eyes roughly. “She’s alive.”
“Harry, you can’t do this. It’s not what Clara would want. She would want you to accept this, grieve, and remember her. Not deny that she’s dead,” I say, taking a step towards him.
“Stop it. Don’t act like you’re not in on the joke. It’s not funny. Louis, can you tell Clara that I already know that she’s pranking me and she can stop now? Please,” Harry pleads.
“Harry, I wish that were the case,” I sigh. “But I think you know, deep down inside, that Clara’s dead. There’s nothing any of us can do about it, Harry, as much as we wish could.”
YOU ARE READING
How would you feel if your whole world was ripped from under you, leaving you free falling? Wouldn't you want someone to catch you? When Clara Higgens's mom dies from an unknown disease, Clara has no where to turn, except to her new and unexpected f...