5. june 26, 2012

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It was a closed casket service. His girls couldn't bare to see the body. His daughter was only eleven, a fifth grader now without a father.

Elle was sandwiched between Harry and her mother in the front row, trying so hard to control her tears but they wouldn't stop flowing. Even Harry cried, squeezing the little girl's hand, seemingly to comfort her but also to comfort himself. Anne sat beside her best friend and had an arm around her in support.

They had already said their eulogies and everyone sat in a grim silence as a final hymn played.

George Matthews was in a fatal car accident with a semi-truck on his way home from work three days ago. Elle didn't know what to do with herself. She had barely eaten or spoken since and hadn't left her room.

Harry came from college as soon as he heard the news and stayed the night at the Matthew's with his mother to support them.

Elle wouldn't even talk to him.

After the service ended, the group of four went back home, neither of the girls being able to handle a reception. They just weren't ready yet.

When they got home, Elle immediately went up to her room and fell onto her bed, still in her black dress and stockings. Her honey blonde hair was still tied half up in a ribbon when she pulled the blanket over her.

Tears fell from her eyes as she closed them, desperately trying to fall asleep to stop the pain she felt.

There was a small knock on the door and she said nothing. Slowly, it creaked open and Harry walked in. He knelt by the bed beside her and stroked her hair. She rolled over to avoid him.

He sighed, just as broken as her, but the gesture hurt so much more. "Elle, sweetheart."

She didn't move. He sighed, kicking off his shoes and laying on top of the covers beside her in bed. He knew she needed love right now, whether she showed it or not.

It was his job to take care of her.

He lied there, hands folded over his torso as a tear fell from his eye. He didn't speak. They just existed there in the thick silence.

After a while, Harry began to fall asleep, but he felt Elle shift beside him, turning back over, deeply asleep, and she cuddled up to him. He put an arm around her. He saw her wet cheeks and puffy eyes and his heart broke in two.

She lost the man that loved her most. There was no getting him back. The bond Elle had with her father was unbreakable and Harry knew that. From the day she was born, she was his little angel.

Harry couldn't even begin to imagine what the girl must feel like now, so he held her tighter, hoping the love would get through to her.

He wanted her to know he was there for her, whenever she needed him to be.

He needed to love her forever now that she felt she had no one.

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