A/N: Please don't read this fiction if depressed. This is probably the most depressing thing I've ever written - it will get slightly more cheerier but for the time being it's all about loss and pain. Great, huh?
I'm not saying too much about this one for it is very special to me that I write this fiction. I'm not writing for reviews, I'm writing for understanding and peace of mind.
Chapter One - The Funeral.
"Come along Sophie. It's time."
Sophie didn't budge; she merely closed her eyes slowly before opening them with regret. Her head ached and her stomach was hollow. How could she possible eat at a time like this?
With a heavy heart, she stood up from where she had been sat on her bed thinking things over and not wanting time to move.
Her mother put an arm around her and led her down the stairs in silence. Sophie knew her body was in motion but her mind was else where. She really didn't want to go but on the other hand, she really wanted to. It would be the last time she'd get to see him.
Sophie didn't speak another word. She left her house and walked out into the icy January air, wrapping her coat tightly around her body. The day was horrible, the sort where you just wanted to stay in and curl up on the sofa with tea and biscuits. Or spending it with a friend.
Sophie got in the car and looked down at her lap, feeling her eyes begin to sting. She wouldn't cry today. Not today, even though inside she was dying.
The bunch of white calla lilies she had bought lay on the seat beside her, tied with white ribbon. She picked them up, feeling the smoothness of their brilliant green stems against the palm of her hand and fingers. She raised them to her nose and inhaled deeply, sensing the faint perfume of the flowers.
Her father had now pulled away from the house and as Sophie looked out of the car window, everything reminded her of him. Where they had played as children, where they had walked as teenagers, where they had their first revelation as friends, where they had shared their first awkward kiss as adults.
Sophie couldn't help it. A tear escaped her eye and trickled down her cheek but she didn't bother wiping it away or trying to hide her grief. She did miss him and he deserved to be mourned.
Unfortunately, Sophie knew if her tears started they probably wouldn't stop.
- - -
"Come on baby," Sophie's mother said gently, taking her hand in hers. Sophie looked up from the ground and took in the crowds of people gathered outside the church. It was a strange yet comforting sight to know that so many people cared for and missed Richard.
Sophie's mother began leading her toward the people and Sophie bowed her head down. She didn't want to look at anybody, she didn't want her tear stained face to be judged. She deserved to be here and she had received permission from Richard's parents but she still felt unwanted.
Sophie's mother held her own head high but her daughter refused to follow suit.
"Sophie?" A soft voice said as Sophie went to stride past everyone and get inside the church where she believed she would be safe. Sophie gingerly lifted her head to be greeted by Richard's mother.
She looked reasonably calm but her face was unreadable. She had the look of a woman whose grief was much beyond tears. Sophie however, upon seeing Janet felt a fresh tirade of tears sweep over her and began sobbing as she was pulled in close for a hug.
"Don't cry. Don't cry. He wouldn't want it, he wouldn't want you upset," Janet said softly but it only made Sophie cry harder. She felt a fool but a big part of her told her not to care.
Janet pushed Sophie away from her gently and looked at her. She didn't say anything but Sophie felt like she understood exactly what she just couldn't say. Everything from how sorry she was, how devastated she really was, apologies for everything over the years and how much she really did care for Richard and her pain at the fact he was gone.
Once again, Sophie's mum led her away but she just felt like she was drifting and not really there at all at her oldest friend's funeral.
They found an empty pew and shifted along to the end. Sophie hadn't seen any of her friends from school except Richard's friends who she didn't really know. The lack of her friends was unsurprising and she'd expected it. It hurt her a lot for them not to even bother to be with her on a day like this. A small sob escaped her lips as she realised Richard had been right all along.
Sophie looked down at the floor and allowed her mind to wander over all the old memories she held close. Her mind always fell back her first kiss with Richard whenever she thought about him.
They were walking home, along the road they had both grew up on. It was a summer night, the night just beginning to draw in although the unfamiliar British heat was still lingering. Richard was wearing his brown t-shirt that Sophie thought hideous but as soon as he put it on, it looked ok.
They were chatting about nothing really, their impending GCSE's mainly. As Sophie swung her hair over her shoulder and caught Richard in the fading summer sun, she saw him in a completely different light for not the first time but the feeling she got was the strongest yet.
He had laughed at her for staring at him and she had blushed and hit him on the arm but the feeling was still niggling at her mind.
As they had come to a halt outside her house, Sophie could recall the horrible but exciting bubbling in her stomach. They kept looking at each other and laughing nervously – it was obvious that something between them had now shifted and wasn't likely to shift back.
Sophie remembered being incredibly bold and stepping close to him, focused on nothing but his lips. Then before she knew it, his lips were on hers and they were kissing. Richard was careful and gentle and it took them a moment to get a rhythm going, something Sophie would blush about later. His mouth was soft and it felt wonderful against her own. Sophie didn't want it to stop as she wrapped her arms around his neck and felt his hands on her waist.
When it did stop, it was Richard who pulled away carefully with a stupid lazy grin on his face and love creased eyes. His face that night never escaped Sophie for upon seeing him after such a long awaited experience she knew just how much he really did indeed care for her.
Sophie had pulled him back in for a hug, inhaling his aftershave and general boy smell and instead of feeling content like she wished so desperately she could, she felt anxious and afraid of what would come because of this night.
They parted and she looked directly at him.
"I do Richard. I really, really do. But…" She had breathed and his lazy grin turned to one of sad understanding. He knew exactly what she meant.
Tears had prickled her eyes that night too and when she had gone inside her home, went upstairs to her room and spoken to her boyfriend, Sophie had curled up in her bed and sobbed her heart out for reasons she couldn't quite grasp.
Looking back now, Sophie knew exactly why she had cried and couldn't stop. It was because she had the best person she had ever met standing before her offering to love her but she was too much of a stuck up bitch to accept him and give up her uncomfortable and unnatural popular lifestyle which she thought she needed.
Sophie looked up as the funeral service began, tears spilling down her cheeks as she berated herself once again for being so stupid. If only, if only, if only were the only words a bereaved person knew.