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- J O S H U A -

Once the fate is sealed, time will heal everything.

I know the moment I entered the threshold where she, no, they lay, there's no turning back. People enter the chapel as if they know very well who rests eternally, as if they know what happened, as if they feel how I feel.

They will never reach the ever so agonizing pain I put myself into.

People settled in once the chapel was half full; her relatives as well mine. Two caskets lay in front of the altar, one with gold design and one with silver.

As the priest started speaking about the peace they're in, I zone out. I stare at the coffin with silver details and a voice was heard in my head.

"I don't want you to cry if I die because then, how would I rest in peace, knowing I let your tears fall?"

I hold my tears back, thinking if I cry, she would be sad. How can I ever do that to her?

I turn to stare at the coffin beside hers. Memories with him since childhood came flashing back; him carrying me around the house on his back chasing the love of his life, him getting aggravated at the science homework I came home with, him almost burning the dinner his wife left him responsible.

"Mrs. Michaels, your speech?" The weeping woman beside me wiped her tears as she stood up with her great sorrow, bringing along with her as she steps on the podium.

She started her speech with his name. "Jeremiah Collin Michaels. A brave man he was. Saving lives inside a burning house without a second thought. He was so selfless that he couldn't even save himself." That one paragraph out of many, made my tears fall.

I'm so sorry.

She continued on her speech, all the while not averting her gaze from her resting husband. I zoned out again as I stare at her blurry figure through my tears. I try to listen as hard as I could, but to no avail.

I was broke out of my reverie when I heard my name being called. "Joshua Michaels, your speech?" Usually, I would stand proud with her eyes glinting with mischief but now, I only felt guilt, sadness, and shame.

I stood up with the heavy burden on my shoulders and make my way to the podium. I fix the microphone in front of me while fiddling with the promise ring she gave me.

"Felicity. Her name alone means 'happiness' and she would always share it to everyone around her. At times of doubt, she was there for me, bringing me the confidence I never knew I could possess. She was the best friend I could ever had, no one will ever take her place. I love you so much, Lis." I finished my short speech that I didn't even prepare with an intake of a breath.

I sit down on my place as two more people say a short speech. My shaking hands were held by my mother beside me, giving me the reassurance I know I couldn't accept. Instead of pushing her away, I held her hand even tighter, knowing she needs her only son as her strength.

The irony is, I don't even know if I'm strong enough to handle the longing.

- x -

A few hours have passed and I'm still sitting in front of her grave. Her name is carved on the headstone, as well as her dates and her remembrance.

A couple of nights before, we were just talking on my roof, discussing our future life with the stars as our audience. Now as I stare up, I notice two stars shining so bright, that's making the other stars jealous.

She is to become a big star, a famous actress with a grammy award at every show she starred in. Now, she is a star, shining bright looking down upon us.

"I'm sorry, Lis." I mumble softly. I closed my eyes and imagine what we are doing now if she wasn't dead.

As if it couldn't even make me worse, I felt her presence beside me. Saying she's here. I stare at her name and started to blurt out the things I should've said at the altar.

"I'm sorry you had to end up this way. It's all my fault, Lis. I never should've went to the store because of that goddamn screwdriver. I should've listened to you. If I did, you wouldn't be here right now, lying beside my father. I'm so sorry." Even though I promised her I wouldn't cry, I still did.

"I'm sorry I'm crying right now. I just miss you so much already." I sob there in front of her grave, not caring if she's glaring at me right now because of my wuss attitude.

I'm sorry.

- x -

I entered the house we are currently staying in; a modern looking house with a homey vibe in it, owned by my aunt, mother's sister.

I put my hands in my black slack pockets as I remove my shoes, walking to the kitchen directly for some drink. I open the fridge and what a sight to see. Varieties of liquor line up on one side and the rest are the necessities.

"If you think I'm going to allow you to drink, then you're wrong." A familiar voice said.

I groan irritatingly and opted for the water instead. I grabbed the glass beside the fridge, knowing they hate it when I drink water straight from the big ass bottle. I finished my business and turned to look at my aunt.

"Where's mom?"

"In her room, she fell asleep crying. Said she couldn't stay up late waiting for you." She said.

I mumble a small thanks to her before I run up the stairs to her room. Guilt is all I feel, with the thought that I hadn't texted her or told her I was going home late as I kiss her goodbye at the cemetery after the strangers buried my dad and my best friend.

Entering the cold room slowly gave me chills as I walk to the window, closing it to stop the cold air from coming in. I sit down at the space beside her and stared at her sleeping figure.

Usually, she would look at peace while sleeping but now, she looks troubled and sad. My shaking hand went to her face to wipe the tear that was almost drying on her face.

Forgetting she was a light sleeper, she woke up immediately and I gave her a reassuring smile. At least I think it is.

She sat down in a rush and cupped my face, searching for any injuries. "I was so worried about you! You didn't even tell me or text me that you're going home this late." I put my hands on top of hers and she calmed.

"I'm sorry. I didn't even know I was coming home this late. I lost track of time." She sighed and kissed my forehead tenderly.

"At least you're safe." She said.

All of a sudden, I was hugging her, with all of the strength I could muster. The tears from my eyes fell on her shoulder as she calms me down with her soothing voice.

"I'm so sorry." I kept on repeating but she hushed me as she wiped my tears away.

"It's not your fault, okay? If your dad and Felicity was here, they would've slapped you up side down on your head for being so stupid to think that it was your fault."

Instead of being reassured, I cried a lot more.

No matter who says it, it's tainted in my mind that it's my fault that they died.

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