I was going to do this tomorrow, but then I decided to do it now. You guys have waited long enough for this story, and it's finally time to end it.
And, I just wanted to say thank you, to everyone who reviewed and subscribed, and put their time into reading this story and thinking that it was good. I want to thank every one of you, even if you didn't even read chapter 28 all the way. I love you all, and I'm going to miss the reviews and everything.
Also, remember this is in Jace's point of view here.
Everything felt muted.
I sat next to the bed, watching his body and waiting for... Something. Anything.
But I knew it wasn't going to happen. And I knew it was over.
As much as I wanted to, I wasn't allowed to break down yet.
I stiffly stood, leaving the room and going into the waiting room where Mom was sitting with Anna. She smiled and jumped down, running over to me. "Daddy!"
I carefully bended down to her height, looking her over for a minute before hugging her tightly to myself, feeling her wrap her small arms around my back. "Daddy, what's wrong?" she asked. I shook my head, looking anywhere but my Mom as she walked over.
She bent down with us, lightly rubbing my back with a concerned expression. "What happened?"
"... I'll tell you later." I mumbled in a scratchy voice. She nodded after a minute as we sat there, huddled together on the floor of the hospital waiting room.
I noticed the cup of coffee being put in front of my face in time to see Mom's retreating hand as she sat in the chair across from me. Anna had gone to bed a few hours ago, still confused as to the events of today and asking when she could see Willow again.
It took all I had not to break down in the middle of the hallway.
Now, however, I was faced with Mom. And fuck if she wasn't persistent.
"Jace, you need to talk about this. What happened?" she asked, reaching across the table to grasp my hand before I pulled it away.
"Well, I don't want to talk about it." I murmured. My voice sounded off even to my own ears, making Mom frown even further. "Jace, you need to."
I stared up at her, shaking my head. "I'm fine. If I don't want to talk about it, then I'm not going to."
"Damn it! I just watched the man that I've been in love with die, is it too much to ask for some fucking time? What, do you want me to start breaking down and rambling about how much it hurts? About how unfair it is? Or how I was gone for four fucking years when I could have been here with him? Well I'm sorry I'm not having the hallmark reaction you would like me to have!"
By the end of my rant, I could feel tears spilling over and down my cheeks, but I didn't care. I kept going.
"He shouldn't have died! He was fucking twenty years old! He didn't even get to fucking live! How is that fair? Why should he die? Why couldn't they fix him? He didn't deserve that shit! He was a good fucking person who should have had a good fucking life, but no! For whatever reason, life decided that no, he had to die!"
I was close to hyperventilating, and at the end I was standing and making violent animations. The tears seemed endless, so I didn't try to stop them. I let myself cry, leaning back against the wall and sliding down it. I felt come come and sit next to me, wrapping her arms around my shoulders. I leaned into her, and it was a good half hour before I could speak again, in between a few hiccups.
"Jace... I know it's gonna take time. And I know it hurts, but... Baby, death is a natural thing. There's nothing you can do to stop it, no matter how much we may want to. Now, Will was an amazing person, and he didn't deserve what happened, but look at it this way- he's not in pain anymore. If he were still alive right now, would he be happy? No, he'd be lying in that hospital with a machine to breath for him. Will's in a place where he can't be bullied or hurt anymore. Wouldn't you prefer that for him rather than a world full of people who'll judge him?"
I slowly nodded into her shoulder, shuddering slightly and curling into her further.
I wasn't going to get any sleep that night, or any night in the near future.
The funeral had been short, but an amazing number of people had shown up; even some from high school that had fucked around with both of us. I wasn't sure if Anna quite understood what was happening, but she seemed sad enough. The sermon was led by Banz and Paula, with comments from almost everyone. I couldn't bring myself to say anything.
I had a picture on the nightstand next to my bed, making sure it was the last thing I saw every night. I lightly brushed my hand across the frame, sighing shakily.
It would be okay. Maybe not now, or soon, but eventually; it would be okay.