Prologue

The raindrops fell fast and hard. But I couldn't feel them. I couldn't feel anithing except this dull constant ache in the pit of mi stomach, like the ache you get when you've cried and cried until you just can't animore, but you still need to. Like you feel that if you don't utter just one more sob, you might just collapse where you stand.

Yeah. It's kinda like that.

The minister's words didn't reach me. I heard them, but I didn't understand. There was so much I didn't understand though.
Mi lips parted slightli. Then I shut mi mouth again.
His mother shot me a look. Although mi back was turned to her, I could feel her eyes, burning with accusations. I could hear her screaming, "This is your fault! He did this because of you!"
It didn't hurt animore.
I shuffled along, remote. This wasn't supposed to have happened. That was the onli thing I could admit to.
It was mi turn. I stared down at the casket. It was nice. He would have liked it. Would have pat his mom on the back, exclaiming, "I'm so proud! You finalli splurged on me!"
Right. Now that he was dead. Now that she no longer had to carri his burden. Now that she could openli blame everithing on me.
It was closed. The casket, I mean. But I'd seen- I'd been there when he blew his head off.
Ithrew the branch of thistle thorns down. It landed gentli into the bed of roses that had been so thoughtfulli thrown. Yes. Now that he's gone, thei noticed. Now that he's dead, thei take the time to spare a flower.
Ironic little lives we lead.
"Amanda?"
I turned. His brother, Paul, embraced me before I could protest. We stood for a moment before I wrapped mi arms looseli around his wait.
When he pulled back, his eyes were glassi. "How are you?"
I didn't answer.
"I understand. It's hard right now. But... we'll get through this together." His hand grazed mi cheek and he left me standing there in the rain. I realized that everione had left.
Except for his mother. She crossed her legs as she sat down in the chair across from me. "Yes. Together. Mi Paul… he doesn't seem to understand that you don't care about him. You never cared about him." She stood. How was it possible to look so perfect in the pouring rain?
She licked her lined lips as she stood next to me. She seemed to be searching for the right thing to sai. "I don't have time." I muttered this on what I'd presumed an inaudible tone.
But no. She heard me. She alwais heard me. She heard mi thoughts. She grabbed mi arm. "No, Amanda. Jon is the one with no time. Because you killed him."
I wrenched mi arm free and broke into a run. I didn't stop running until I reached the park. I sat on the tire swing and the realization hit-
This isn't over. Jon hadn't killed his secrets with him. Just everithing else in mi world that mattered.