Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2.24 I'm fine

Martha passed away that night...

Hayden had checked on her in the morning and left her resting cause last night was Jesse's party anyway, so Martha must be really tired.

But it wasn't until she was half way through her first class that morning when her dad came to pick her up, bearing the sad news.

It pained the Vanglorious family to have lost her, but they were glad that she had a painless death. She lived a good life, and towards the end of it, she had been surrounded by people who accepted her as family.

Hayden took the most hurt at losing her godmother. And to think that this is the first funeral she experienced, it never dawned upon her before that losing a family member could be so tragically sorrowful.

For that, she cried the most.

But she can't help noticing how content Martha looked as her lifeless body lied cold and motionless in the casket.

Hayden tried to look at the bright side; that Martha had no regrets, that Martha had lived her dreams, that Martha no longer need to suffer the illness that had been burdening her...

But she can't. Not now. She can't. She's not as collected as her mother, having had experienced situations such as this. She didn't know how to deal with the loss.

Come dusk, while friends and neighbor had left, the Vanglorious family, including Cyclone, stayed on for a while to pay their last respect at Martha's grave.

Connor and Ashton hadn't said a word to each other the whole day. They didn't know what to say anyway. Plus, they wanted to seem strong for their children. A breakdown wasn't much of a choice they want to go for.

Though words can't comfort them right now, the couple just held each other tightly. They still had each other, and that is the most important thing they are thankful for.

"Are you okay, Ash?" Connor managed to whisper to her.

"I'm fine," Ashton replied. "It's Hayden I'm worried about..."

Connor looked behind him when Ashton gestured to where Hayden was sitting alone on a bench. She didn't stand with the family during the burial. She was trying to stay as far as possible from everybody that day.

She didn't want to be attached to people just to have them taken away from her. She was somehow containing all her emotions deep inside. She had a lot running in her mind but nothing made sense. Nothing seemed to be real anymore.

Right outside the cemetery's entrance, a cab arrived.

It must be one of Martha's friends who didn't manage to come during the burial.

And out came a boy, who paid the driver without waiting for his change, bursting through the entrance.

Hayden's eyes were red, dried and painful from all the crying. She still had her sobs in the back of her throat, coming in endless soggy hiccups.

And then she realized, she was being watched.

Someone was standing on the walkway, facing her.

How long had the person been standing there? She wondered.

Plus, she was pretty sure it wasn't one of Martha's friends, because the person standing right across her was a teenage boy.

Wait... what?!

Hayden's eyes widened when she finally realized who it was.

It couldn't be...

"Hey, Heidi..." said the boy. He was hesitant to take a step forward but he braved his way towards her anyway.

"H-Helmut?" she croaked. She hadn't spoke to anyone since the funeral. Her voice was now dry.

Hayden cleared her throat as she stood up from the bench. Her body ached from being still for too long. She winced for a moment.

"W-what are you doing here?" she asked in a muffled voice. "You're supposed to be in Twinbrook."

She remembered his last letter where he mentioned how busy he was with an upcoming festival for his school. And yet, he's right here in front of her.

"I came as soon as I heard about the news," he told her. "My mom told me about the funeral.... I'm... I'm so sorry, Heidi. It must have been tough for you."

Somehow, hearing his words, she was once again overwhelmed with emotions. Tears were starting to well up on her eyes and her shoulders started to tremble.

"Oh, Helmut! I can't believe she's dead!" she could not contain her sorrows anymore. "What's the point of living if you're only going to leave it, and make other people cry?"

She finally let it out. It was the last thing she wanted to admit. It was the last thing that she didn't want to be real. But she finally realized, thinking that way was not going to change anything. Martha is gone. Forever.

"Hey, look at me," Helmut held her frail composure. "Would Martha be happy if she sees you like this? You're not supposed to think that way."

"I know you're hurt, you're angry," he looked into her soggy eyes. "And none of this seemed to make sense, but trust me, you'll get trough it."

Trembling, she was at her weakest point now.

"So for now, all you have to do is let it out," he encouraged. "Just cry. You don't have to keep it all in by yourself..."

"I'm right here for you," he finally said.

Hayden immediately cried on his shoulder, harder than before.

She released everything inside that was hurting her in that one good cry. This tearful encounter with Helmut had made her felt a little better. To acknowledge that whatever has gone is gone.

But most of all, to not feel guilty to mourn.

"Better now?" he asked a few minutes later when she stopped.

This time she remembered to clear her throat.

"I'm fine, I guess," she replied with soft sobs while wiping off her tears.

"Let me know if there's anything I can do for you," he offered. "I'll be heading back tomorrow evening for the festival. Till then, I'm here for you, okay?"

"Can you kiss me?" she suddenly blurted out of the blue, trying not to meet his eyes.

"Wh-what?!" he was so shocked at the sudden request that he raised his voice. And his pitch was off. It was embarrassing.

"Uh, I'm sorry, what was I thinking?" she looked up to apologize. She saw that Helmut was already looking away. And she regretted asking for awkward things. "Forget what I just said! I-I didn't mean it."

It was already dark by now, and it was hard to see that Helmut was actually blushing as he looked away from her.

"Actually..." his words trailed as he took a step forward and wrapped his arms around her, gesturing her chin towards him. "I wanted to kiss you more badly than you do, Hayden...".