"And as I sit there on this swing, as I trace the metal loops with my fingertips, I don't feel anything, suddenly. I just focus on the feeling of the cold metal on my skin, like it could somehow freeze the sorrow running through my veins."
My grandfather said goodbye the same way he lived: Surrounded by a ton of people who cherish him dearly, making them laugh, cry, and believe in the one thing he deemed irreplaceable: Love.
We decide to leave the room, giving Grandma another chance to properly say goodbye to her husband. When Mom runs into Dad's arms I use the moment to slip out of the group, through the back door and into the garden, aiming for the swing set my grandfather built for all of us.
And as I sit there, as I trace the metal loops with my fingertips, I don't feel anything, suddenly. I just focus on the feeling of the cold metal on my skin, like it could somehow freeze the sorrow running through my veins. I just stare out into the woods behind the house, trying to figure out what to feel. Because honestly, it's too much. I don't know which emotion to prioritize, and so I end up feeling numb, taking deep, shaky breaths while pushing myself off the ground, the swingset carrying me back and forth.
I don't know how long I sit there, but it must have been long enough for me to completely disregard my surroundings, because I suddenly jerk up when I hear my brother's voice next to me. "So that's where you are hiding."
Max sits on the swing next to me, and I turn to look at him, studying his face. He looks pissed, somehow, like I've done something wrong. "What is it?" I ask, really not feeling in the mood to have any sort of discussion now.
"You'd know if you hadn't run off."
My eyes widen at his words, and I blink a few times before I answer, "Are you really going to berate me on being there after you kept all of this from me for days?!"
I know which emotion to focus on, now.
It runs through my veins when Max gets up from the swing, looking even more pissed now. "You have no fucking idea, Mia. There are reasons we didn't tell you about this shit!"
"Yeah? Well, tell me a good one, then. Come on, I'm waiting." I wave my hands, gesturing for him to continue.
"Fucking hell, Mia. You have enough shit going on with uni, you didn't need this burden, as well. We were just looking out for you."
"What?!" I jump from the swing, about ready to punch him right in the face, "Is that why you did it?! Are you serious?! I don't even go to uni at the moment, you dumbass!"
Now he's the one who widens his eyes, leaning back as he looks at me, "What?! Why?"
"God, Max. Because I needed the break. Because I needed to breathe."
"You needed the break?" he scoffs, "Are you kidding me?! A break from what?! From hiding shit behind our back, from doing whatever the fuck you want, from focusing on anything and anyone but us?!"
His words feel like a shot to the heart, and I physically stagger backward, bumping into the steel frame of the swing set. Saying that I wouldn't focus on my family hits me on a deep level. I've always been there, for everyone. The fact that he acts like I haven't done anything for my siblings shoots straight fire through my veins, and I find myself approaching him, hands balled into fists by my side.
YOU ARE READING
What happens when a man who should be at the top of the world suddenly decides to take his life? Lincoln, a pediatric surgeon who has been confronted with more than one disaster in the past weeks, is convinced his life is not worth living anymor...