Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Romanticvamp's Week 13 Entry: The Funeral


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Romanticvamp's Choice: Both

The Funeral

I try not to look at everyone as they file in. They are quiet, grieving, whether sincerely or just for show. Still, I can hear every one of their thoughts over the scattered hushed conversations. I try to block them out, try to keep my attention forward. The grief isn’t hard to fake.

Alice slips her hand into mine, giving it a gentle squeeze for comfort. I pull away, refusing to accept it. Esme looks at me from Alice’s other side in distress. Carlisle is trying to encourage me with his thoughts from my other side.

The parents flanking their grief-stricken children, the best friend and the boyfriend of Isabella Swan.

Everyone knows it was a horrid accident. She was out camping with the Cullen family when she tumbled too far. Her body was too broken to save, too mangled to be shown.

The whole town of Forks has turned out to see the dark cherry casket, closed and adorned with flowers. They’ve all lit a candle on the large display next to it as a symbol of remembrance. From where we sit in the front row, we can see everyone as they leave a flame burning for her.

I glance across the aisle to the other front bench. If my heart was still beating, it would be stuttering with the image that greets me. Her mother is sobbing quietly into her husband’s chest. Both their thoughts are focused on the times they shared together and how that will never happen again. Charlie is next to them, but very alone. His face is twisted into an excruciating expression as he struggles not to cry, his head bowed so no one can see. His muted thoughts are empty.

I quickly look away, unable to bear it. I fight against the urge to run. I just want to be back at the house where Rosalie, Emmett, and Jasper have elected to stay. I knew I had to make an appearance.

Everyone finally takes a seat and Reverend Weber begins. His service is good, intended to comfort her friends and family. He touches on her kindness and her friendliness. But he misses the way her skin would flush almost constantly, the way blood would make her pass out, the way she stumbled over nothing. . . .

It’s beginning to be too much. I start to fidget, ready to bolt, when a hulking figure slides in between Carlisle and I. I glance at Emmett as he wraps an arm around my shoulders, forcefully holding me in place. Then I realize what he’s wearing: jeans, sneakers, and a suit jacket over a t-shirt that says, “Sex Drugs and Homework.”

“Seriously, Emmett? You couldn’t actually dress up if you were going to come?” I hiss.

I didn’t have enough time to change. Alice just told me I needed to get here. Besides, Izzy would laugh if she saw it.

I roll my eyes and turn my attention back to the service.

At the end, we stand with Charlie, and Renee and Phil. People file past us, expressing their condolences. Emmett is still holding me in place.

Once the chapel is empty, I allow myself to look back. All the candles glittering amidst the flowers is an eerie but beautiful sight.

We attend the graveside, watching as they lower the casket into the ground. I tune out all the thoughts, escaping to a happy place inside my mind.

As everyone begins to leave, I breathe an unnecessary sigh of relief. Until I realize I’m standing at the grave alone with Charlie. I know he blames me. I’ve caused this pain.

“Edward,” he says gruffly.

He catches me by surprise when he pulls me into a one-armed hug. He doesn’t say anything, but I get the feeling that all is forgiven. He doesn’t blame me as I believed. He should though.

He leaves me alone, walking over to his car where Jacob is standing. I meet the boy’s eyes. He is clearly in pain, but accepting of what has happened.

As much as I hate to admit this, you did everything you could. Don’t beat yourself up.

I nod in acknowledgment of his thoughts. I can see the hurt it causes him. He’s conceding to the one thing he fought against most.

My family is waiting by the car. I moved toward them so anyone watching would think I got in with them.

Instead, I take off into the woods, desperate to get back to Bella’s side as Victoria’s venom spreads through her veins.