Five

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Chapter's song: Jeremy Zucker - comethru (I'm listening this on repeat all day)

Chapter's song: Jeremy Zucker - comethru (I'm listening this on repeat all day)

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Dad invited Marie over a couple of days later. She arrived with beef stew and a bowl of rice. My dad made us some salad and bought some chocolates. He set the table on the dining room going all the way. Taking out the fancy china and getting some flowers to put in the middle of the table. I helped him in silence feeling extremely awkward about it all.

I liked Marie. I really did.

It was just that she was my mom's best friend. She was sort of my aunt. Seeing my father act like this, for her, well, it was plain weird.

Nonetheless, dinner was good. Like absolutely delicious. Especially since we'd been eating take out for the last month or so. It tasted homey.

She was really attentive, too. She asked about school and stuff and she tried to make light conversation with me. However, there was this awkward feeling nagging at the back of my mind.

What the hell was she doing here? Why was she smiling so much at my father?

Why does he smile back?

If you put those questions alone they would make me look like a crazy egocentric teenager who was probably imagining things; it was just that Mom had passed away a few months back and it was absolutely strange to have another woman sitting on the table with us.

Kind of replacing her.

I couldn't bear to think that. I missed her. I could never replace her, not even with Marie. And Dad, didn't he love Mom? Didn't he stay with her until her last breath? Didn't he miss her?

You're one to talk.

My stomach felt heavy and uneasy during her visit. Maybe I was imagining it all. Maybe I was seeing things. Still, I stayed silent most of dinner and asked to be excused just as we finished eating.

After tossing and turning for most of the night, I grabbed my cell phone and read the time. It was almost past four. Sleep seemed like a luxury right now. I rubbed a palm on my face completely frustrated with myself and pretty much everyone else. Since I wasn't going to go back to sleep, I decided to go out for a run. I wasn't one to do much sports, but I needed to do something and running seemed like a good choice.

A part of me wanted to draw. I used to love drawing but I wasn't ready. I felt like I couldn't enjoy myself. I simply didn't have the right to.

Not after everything I did.

It felt like I couldn't bring myself to do something I could enjoy because I didn't deserve it and it felt like I was forgetting Mom. As silly as that sounded, that was exactly how I felt.

The cold air nipped my skin as I started to jog. The sky was still dark and you could already see the twinkling stars. A small smile played on my lips as my breathing started to hitch due to the exercise. Prickles started to tease my legs but I ignored them. I jogged towards Riverbend park and enjoyed the view of the river. I stopped for a moment to catch my breath as I leaned on a nearby tree. The sun was starting to rise and I couldn't take my eyes of the blue waters.

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