“What the fuck,” Blake yells. “They were in a relationship.”
“According to the papers, they are also saying you have been stalking him and his family, and if you attend the funeral, you will be arrested for trespassing.”
The sob rips out of me; my hand going to my chest, trying to rub the pain away. “I can’t do this.” The fight left in me gone.
“She has to be able to go to the funeral. She has to have closure,” my mother says from besides me on the floor.
“Joannie, we can’t do that,” my father says. “I’m going to call the office and see what can be done, but”—he shakes his head, looking down at the paper—“it doesn’t look good.”
“What did I do?” I ask the room, all eyes on me. “What did I ever do to them?”
“You did nothing to them,” my brother says. “Not one fucking thing.” I just nod at him, then slowly get up and walk back up the stairs to my room. But instead, I go to the spare room, not wanting to lie on our bed without him. I look at the white ceiling while I listen to the sound of my father asking questions on the phone. At the same time, Blake threatens to go down there and beat the shit out of his brothers, and Crystal tells him she is going to start the car.
When my father comes upstairs, he finds me still looking up at the ceiling. Walking into the room, he sits by my side. I move my head to the side, looking at the defeated look in his eyes. “There isn’t anything we can do.”
“I know,” I tell him, softly reaching out to hold his hand.
“I think we should go to the funeral anyway and say fuck them.” He squeezes my hand.
“No, I won’t put you guys through that.” I blink as tears fall out of my eyes and onto the pillow. “I won’t give them the satisfaction to do that to me.” The tears don’t stop. “I won’t let them have that hold on me.” He nods his head while my eyes give into the burning, my lids closing.
One Month Later . . .
“This is fucking horse shit,” I hear Crystal yell from somewhere in the house. Her footsteps pounding up the steps get closer and closer to where I am. She storms into the room that is dark and pushes the curtains open, letting sunlight come blaring in.
“What the fuck, Crys?” I groan out as I try to swallow past the cotton balls stuck in the back of my throat. I cover my head with the covers. My head’s spinning and throbbing.[email protected]@@@[email protected]@@@@=======
The covers get ripped off me. “Get your ass up,” she says as I moan and try to grab the pillow beside me, but the only thing I touch is the empty bottle of wine I came to bed with.
“GET UP!” She now yells at me.
“Jesus.” I squint one eye open. “What the hell is your problem?” I ask, folding myself out of bed. Dragging my ass to the bathroom, I’m hoping she’ll be gone when I get back to my bed. I wash my face, rinsing my cotton mouth out with water. Opening the medicine cabinet, I grab the Advil and shake three into my hand, leaning down to drink water from the sink faucet. I close the cabinet, avoiding the mirror. I don’t need to look into the mirror to see that I look horrible. Walking back into my room, I find Crystal has stripped my bed sheets off, and wine bottles fill the trash can beside the bed. How long has that been full? “What are you doing?” I ask her, leaning against the door so my head will stop spinning.
“I’m doing this tough love bullshit that I should have done last week, but Blake said to give you one more week.” She grabs the sheets in her hands as she walks down the hallway, bypassing the room I refuse to step into. I’ve been sleeping in the guest room for a month now, or maybe longer. What date is it? I turn my head, watching her toss the sheets into the wash. “Get up and get dressed. We are going out for food. Real food, not a bag of chips, or a frozen pizza, or ice cream. A whole meal.”
I close my eyes as my head finally stops spinning or at least dulling. “I don’t want to go out,” I whine as I approach the bed and sit on it. “Outside bad, inside good.” I try to joke with her, but she just glares at me.
“You don’t have a choice in the matter; either you come on your own, or I bring out the big guns.” She walks into the room with her hands on her hips. “What is it going to be?” she asks again.