Losing Control Isn't Always Fun 30

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I didn't like this. The way her eyes completely filled with liquid when she saw who I was sitting next to.

_~_

I was standing in front of Kyle and Richy as they explained to me 'Plan B.' Riannan had just drove off crying, not three minutes ago.

"Are you kidding me?" I demanded. "PLEASE, dear god, tell me that you're kidding me!"

"Dominic, it's not as bad as you're making it seem," Richy said. "She'd go anyway."

"So?" I asked, outraged. "It's her LITTLE BROTHER'S FUNERAL! I am not attacking her when she'll be hanging on by a thread!"

"Dominic, she'll be fine," Kyle said.

"No," I said. "I'm not doing it. If you want to get us together, think of another way, because I'm sure as hell not doing that."

"Dominic, Lauren'll go anyway. You know her. She won't miss a chance to watch people suffer," Richy said. "Just sit by her. Let her hold your arm or whatever."

"No," I said firmly. "I'm not going to. It's taking it too far."

"Nick, dude, think about Max for a second," Kyle said.

I winced from the sharp pain that the image of Max's face brought.

"He wanted his sister to be happy. He wanted you to be happy," Kyle said.

"I know that," I said. "But I am so not going to just act like I brought Lauren as a date to his funeral. That's shunning his name, not praising it."

"Dominic, if it doesn't work and she hates you, it'll be our fault anyway," Richy said. "Our idea. Our fault. Not yours."

_~_

Lauren clutched onto my arm like it was the only thing keeping her alive.

"Um..." Riannan looked down, obviously blinking tears away. "Sorry, it's just..."

She looked back at me, but quickly turned to look at something else.

"He would have been six years old," she repeated. "Max was my best friend. He was the one that was always right there next to me.

"He was my whole world. I loved him with all my heart and soul. I did everything with him or for him. My life literally revolved around him. And then I found out he had cancer. You can ask anyone who was around at the time - I was devastated." Her gaze quickly flickered to me. "Everything was hard. I was living in fear that one moment he would just die.

"Max was full of love. Julia Burnstein? If you could stand up?" she asked.

I looked around to see a small girl stand up. She had curly blonde hair and stood with her hands behind her back. She was wearing a small black dress.

"I'll always remember the fact that every day, he would tell me what Julia Burnstein had done that day. He was completely enthralled by Julia Burnstein. He also loved his school, and his friends," she said. "He never complained about getting up early - too early, I might add - and going to school. He loved Kyle and Rusty. He loved Richy and... Dominic. He loved attention. He loved the botanical gardens. The day that he died, I had taken him there. I kind of knew that the end was coming. He passed away right inside the gazebo. It was his favorite spot."

Riannan was holding her face now, having given up on wiping each tear away.

"I'm kind of blabbering," she said. "But I guess my point is that Max was the biggest part of me and he will always be remembered as the grinning five-year old who loved everyone. The love was definitely returned."

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