Chapter 3

I went back to work the next day, the same as I did every other day. I worked during the day, the time when it was the busiest and I was thankful for that because it helped to keep me from thinking so much. I tried not to think of my Dad or what had happened with Noah; both hurt too badly although I tried not to think about why the situation with Noah hurt so much.

I couldn't believe that he had brushed me off like that, especially whenever this was the time in my life whenever I needed someone the most. I think subconsciously that day in the cemetery I had hoped that Noah could be that person for me, that person that I could turn to in my time of need. For some reason, a reason that even I didn't know, I felt that he held some magic key that would help me and I chose to, in a sense, let him in even when I didn't anyone else. But whenever he had told me what he did, to forget about it and pretend that it never happened, it was almost like a slap in my face. I wouldn't admit it, not even to myself, but his rejection seemed to hurt almost as badly as my father dying.

So I went to work, everyday, although most of my family and friends seemed to think that it was unwise. They thought I should take time off, mourn my father's loss or something like that, but I couldn't do that. I couldn't stay at home day after day doing nothing because for one I knew that "taking time off" wouldn't bring my dad back, and two, because I couldn't stand to be still and unoccupied and have time to think. Working during the days was good for me; it helped me to keep my sanity. It was the afternoons and the nights that were the worse.

My mom who had stayed at home with me for the past seventeen years had taken up a part-time job after my Dad's death. We were getting some money from Dad's life insurance, plus the small amount that I made working at a convenience store, but still we knew that it would never be enough. So Mom started looking just days after the funeral. She found something surprisingly quick for a woman that hadn't worked in almost two decades; a secretary position at a small family owned business working a few hours a day during the week. The pay wasn't fantastic but it helped us make it through even if we had to cut back on some things.

So Mom and I were together during the afternoons, but it didn't really matter, we didn't talk to each other very much. I stayed to myself doing whatever I could find to do and I rarely saw her. She spent most of the time in her bedroom with the door shut where I occasionally heard her muffled crying.

She would sit sometimes in the living room or at the kitchen table and we would talk about each other's day, but we never talked about Dad. I wasn't exactly sure why we didn't but neither one of us ever brought him up. I knew for me it was too painful to voluntarily jump into that and I figured that maybe it was for her as well. So we went on and pretended as if he had never existed and sometimes, were it not for the deep pain that always occupied my chest, I might have believed it.

We still went to church every Wednesday and Sunday but I could tell that things were different. I knew that I hadn't really prayed or read my Bible since before the funeral. It wasn't deliberate, I had tried to. I remember the morning after the funeral, I woke up, took a shower, then went to my room and bowed in prayer as I always do, but I don't remember uttered anything other than "God, please help me" after several minutes of silence. I wasn't trying to be rebellious or stubborn or even blame God for his death; it was just that…I couldn't pray. I felt like God was a million miles away and I was all alone. I had been in church long enough to know and believe that wasn't true but that didn't change the way I felt.

I still went to church and smiled at everyone to make them think everything was alright but inside I was empty and hollow. I avoided conversation as much as I could and when asked by what seemed like a million people how I was doing I simply gave them the traditional 'fine'. Sometimes I varied it with 'okay' simply because I quickly grew disgusted at the previous word.

I wondered more than once why everyone kept asking me how I was doing; how did they expect me to be doing after my father had just died suddenly? But I kept my opinions to myself and told no one of my almost sleepless nights and my inability to pray.

Besides it wasn't like there was really anyone to tell. Yes, I had the almost the entire church and my family asking me how I was, but I couldn't help but wonder, how many of them really meant it? I wondered how many asked just because it seemed like the 'proper thing' to do and how many asked because they were genuinely concerned. And then even if I had the desire to talk with one of those that were genuinely concerned it's not as if I was given the opportunity. They always asked in passing, as we're leaving church or going around shaking hands. I wonder if they expect me to spill my guts right in the middle of church as everyone's walking around greeting each other. Yeah right. In my mind if a person was really concerned about me and how I was doing they would ask me at a time whenever we weren't surrounded by people listening in.

But then one day I realized even if someone had pulled me aside out of genuine concern I don't think I would have been truthful with them. I could never let down my tough-guy persona, never admit that I was doing anything less than 'fine'. For some reason admitting that I was having a hard time was like failure to me. I wanted to be strong and brave and almost prove to people that I was capable of surviving and because of this my pride wouldn't allow me to admit anything less. Well, other than with Noah and that hadn't turned out well.

So I bottled everything up, put on a smile, and let no one in. In my mind I knew that it probably wasn't the best way to deal with things but it seemed to be the only thing I could do. I knew that God could and would help me but there seemed to be a giant wall there and I couldn't get through. This was the way I dealt with my Father's death, by not dealing with it. I never realized though that doing this was probably the worst thing I could have done.

Okay so here is Chapter 3 and to those who've just read it, no, I realize there isn't much and this is probably kind of cruel to post so little. (I hate it when I'm waiting weeks on an update and then it turns out to be really short. I've already started Chapter 4 so maybe that will be up soon.) When I started writing the chapter I intended to move directly into what will now be my Chapter 4 but after writing this it just didn't seem to fit. It needed to be a new chapter. I'm not entirely thrilled with this chapter mainly because it read almost as a prologue to me, but in this chapter you get to see what Emma is going through now that her Father is gone, not only physically and emotionally, but spiritually, which as a Christian story is the most important thing.

If anyone sees any major mistakes, please let me know. I'm currently going through and reading these first three chapters together. Because they were written so far apart I know that there are some mistakes, for instance in Ch1 the Pastor's wife name is Martha, and in Ch2 it's Joann. So I'm going through and changing some things but I wanted to go ahead and put up these chapter while I had time. So please review and tell me what you think about it.

P.S. I know that most writers go through and thank their reviewers and I'm really horrible and haven't done that, but thank you to everyone that has reviewed this story. I know that I'm not the best writer in the world, probably leaning more towards the other end, but I'm very thankful to everyone that has reviewed so far (all 8 of you :D)

Oh yea, I almost forgot you finally get to meet Jack in the next chapter!!!!!!!!