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by JJ Del
Rated: 13+ · Chapter · Death · #2221394
Chapter 28
It has been three days since Gwen burst into my home and ruined my life. I have no fear of losing Ben or John but I did lose my brother and I cannot forgive her for that. Out of my family I am the only one left which is sad. John and Ben have been watching me carefully. They do not hover over me or fuss over me but they watch me. I do not get angry or frustrated but it does get a little annoying from time to time.
I watch a crew place Tom’s casket into the ground and my heart breaks for it was not Tom’s time to die. I also feel guilty for I did not protect Tom from Gwen. I should have done something more. I should have dived in her direction and knocked her off balance but I did nothing of the sort. I did not even think of that until just now. Men start to cover Tom’s casket with dirt when Ben places an arm around my waist. Ben makes a weak attempt at guiding me away from the morbid scene but I will not budge. I cannot. I have to make sure that these men complete their job.
Only John, Ben, and I were here for the funeral. I did invite Sarah to attend but she refused by stating it was much too sad and depressing for her. I had shook my head and tried to convince her that Tom would have wanted her there but Sarah was not having any part of it. So I wished Sarah luck in whatever she does and I had hung up the phone. I really wished Sarah came for it would have helped her grieve. I know it is helping me come to terms with all of this.
Ben gives up trying to get me to move away from the grave site but John replaces Ben. John says Tom is at peace and it is okay for me to leave but I shake my head no. It is not alright. How can it be? I am burying my one and only brother. Tom has been a constant in my life, always there, and Tom had been an awesome brother. Tom really cared about what happened to people in general. When it came to me though he was over protective and extremely loyal.
John says, “Max, it’s time. Come on.”
I say, “I just cannot right now.”
John says, “We need to get some lunch.”
I say as my stomach rumbles, “I am not really hungry right now.”
John says, “Your stomach just growled and eating something small will help you feel a little better.”
I reply, “I know, I know. I am also eating for two. I know I have to eat but I am just not ready.”
John says, “You said you wanted to go to Mermaids for it was Tom’s favorite restaurant.”
I say, “We’ll go, I still want to go, but I need another ten minutes here.”
John says, “Max, I know this is hard. When my wife passed away it took months for me to accept the fact that she was gone. It was the worst heartache I have ever felt. I don’t think anything could be as painful as this you are going through right at this very moment.”
I say, “It is doubtfully the worst thing I have ever experienced.”
John replies, “Max, since you guys arrived here back in June, you gave him the greatest gift, and he loved you beyond the point of reason.”
I say, “What gift?”
John replies, “Freedom. You were always there for him. You initiated the escape. And I know for a fact that his love for you was true.”
I say, “John I know you are right, I really do, but I could not protect Tom when it counted. I failed him.”
John says, “Everything happened so fast Max, you didn’t have time to even think about protective mode, and you also did the best you could with what you had.”
I say, “John, did you feel his when your wife passed away?”
John says, “I beat myself up over that question every single day Max. What else could I have done? What am I going to do without her? And above all I feel she missed out on life.”
I say, “I feel like that too.”
John places an arm around my shoulder and he guides me away from the grave site and I really am feeling guilty for not staying there. John says that I could not stay by the site all night long and he knows I would have done that if had the opportunity. I let John guide me away from the gravesite. As John and I walk towards his car tears fall silently from my stormy gray eyes.
I climb into the backseat of John’s car and John drives us to Mermaids. The three of us sit in Tom’s and my regular booth and I smile weakly. I have a feeling that Tom is here with us at the moment. All of us order the haddock plate with fries and extra tartar sauce. Ben and John both order a beer and I order a soda. We toast to Tom and sit quietly for a few moments.
I ask, “Will this heartache ever go away?”
John speaks from experience, “It will, that I can promise you, it just takes a little time. Then the heartache will be replaced by fond memories.”
I say, “It just really hurts and it doesn’t seem to be real at the moment.”
John nods, “I felt that way too and I didn’t want to believe my wife was really gone.”
I say, “My heart doesn’t want to believe it but my brain knows it is very real.”
John says, “Your heart will accept it but just remember you are stronger than you think you are.”
I say, “I feel like Tom is with us right now.”
Ben says with fondness, “He is. Tom is at peace Max.”
I ask morbidly, “Do you think he felt anything when he was shot?”
Ben says, “I doubt it. It all happened so fast.”
I say, “I hope he didn’t feel any pain.”
John says, “Like Ben says, I doubt he did.”
I reply, “I hope Gwen felt every single thing. I hope she fucking suffered for what she did.”
John says, “I know you do.”
Ben says, “I hope she did too. I swear that woman was fucking psycho.”
I nod my head, “She definitely was. Her and Victor both were.”
John changes the subject and he asks, “What is the funniest memory you have of Tom?”
I smile, “It was a couple of weeks before he and Sarah broke up.”
Ben asks, “Is this about the weed?”
I laugh, “Yes.”
John asks with a smile, “How did he react to smoking weed?”
I say, “He thought aliens were coming to get him and that they wanted to have sex with him.”
John laughs as our meal is set before us, “Oh dear god. He must have gotten some good shit or something.”
I smile, “I guess. But all I know is I had to swear there were no aliens and they were not hunting him for sex.”
John says, “I would have loved to be a fly on that wall to hear that conversation.”
Ben says, “Max was telling me about it and I couldn’t help laughing. I laughed so hard that I almost wet my pants.”
John says, “Now that is funny.”
Ben says, “Tom one night came to me, Max you were sleeping, and he had questions on sex. Talk about uncomfortable conversations.”
I ask, shocked for I never knew that Tom had sex questions and Ben did not tell me at the time, “Like what did he ask?”
Ben says, “How did you know when the right time was to have sex and if it came naturally.”
I say, “That must have been uncomfortable.”
Ben says, “I thought it was kinda funny. Obviously Victor never had the sex talk with him. So a lot of his questions were if things he felt were normal.”
John says, “Tom obviously trusted you. A sex talk is never a comfortable conversation. I remember having it with you Ben and I was never so uncomfortable.”
I say, “I feel sex talks between men are so much easier than between two women. Women’s issues are so much more complex.”
John says, “How did you learn about the birds and the bees Max?”
I reply, “I did a lot of reading and I listened to the older girls talk.”
John says, “Tom use to call me from time to time, worried about Victor and Gwen, and I use to spend a lot of time assuring him that things were going to work out. I really feel horrible that I could not protect him for I promised Tom that everything would be fine.”
I say, “I promised Tom the same thing. Over the past few days I have wished it were me that was shot and not Tom but then on the other hand I feel guilty for thinking this but I am grateful that I am the one that survived.”
John says, “That’s normal Max. Try not to feel too guilty.”
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