funeral by band of horses
monday august 20;
I stepped onto the private grounds of Constance, knowing I would regret every move.
I didn't want to be there. I wanted to be in Ryan's bed, or writing songs. I wanted to be alone.
I walked into the auditorium to find a full house. I scoped the rows for an empty seat and found one beside Camila.
I quietly walked over to the chair and sat down.
"Hi Audrey," she said. "I'm so sorry for your loss!" I was suddenly engaged in a long hug.
"Thanks. I really appreciate it."
The headmaster began talking about classes and rules and the consequences you will face after breaking those rules.
I listened to none of it whatsoever, and at 12, I left quickly.
"Hey Audrey!" I turned around and saw Dan. We hugged quickly and then he continued talking. "How are you doing? I can't believe this."
"It's been hard."
"I've missed you Audrey. I feel like ever since you moved you've been spending more time in the upper east side than with Sienna and I."
"Believe me, I'd much rather be with you guys. I just need to sort a few things out and then I'm all yours." I hugged him one last time before leaving.
On my way to the bus, I saw a familiar figure. It was my sister Rachel. She was tucked away in one of the nearby alleys talking to a strange guy.
I saw her exchange an envelope for a small plastic bag.
"Rachel?" I called out as I jogged towards her. The man saw me and bolted.
"What the f-ck are you doing here?" she asked, hiding the bag.
"Are you doing drugs?" I snapped at her.
"Leave me alone, okay? It helps with the pain."
"Are you ok? What's wrong?" I comforted her.
"Can we go somewhere else and talk?" she asked as we exited the alley.
We walked in to a Starbucks on the corner of the block and I ordered two coffees.
"Audrey, I got pregnant last year, and that's why I went to Paris. Believe me, I would have let you stay with me in a heartbeat, but I was about to have a baby. Mack was the only one who told me. I have a daughter, her name is Lily."
"Oh my god, Rachel, I'm so sorry." I embraced her in a hug.
"Maybe you could come meet her sometime?" Rachel asked.
"I would live to." we embraced in another hug.
"As long as we're confessing," I began, "The truth is I'm not living with mom right now. I'm staying at Ryan's."
"I just hope you two aren't have s-ex. Because believe me, it doesn't end well."
I laughed nervously as she said that. Maybe Ryan and I were taking things a little to quickly? I mean, he hadn't even mentioned the terms girlfriend, or relationship and we were still keeping it a secret.
We left Starbucks, and before departing, I asked her one last question.
"How much did you pay for them?" I nudged at the drugs that were sticking out of her leather jacket.
"Here. This should pretty much cover it." I handed her two hundred dollars and took the plastic bag. "This never happened." I said quietly before leaving.
When I got to Ryan's house, he wasn't home.
I checked the series of letters that had come to me in my mother's mailbox, and each one was a condolence letter for my father.
I immediately began crying again. I walked into the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror. My black mascara was running and I had dark circles under my eyes. I had pains all over.
I opened the medicine cabinet and searched for some advil, tylenol, anything. Then I ran to my purse and took out the bag I had taken from my sister earlier.
I remembered what she said, how it took away all the pain. I emptied the contents in my hand and looked carefully at it.
Even just a whiff of it made me feel so much better. I took some, then placed the rest of it back in my bag.
Within a half hour, I had gone back twice for more. The bag would be empty by morning.
I heard the floor creak behind me as I was in the bathroom. I quickly hid the drugs but it was too late.
I had expected it to be Ryan, but instead I found Felicity staring at me, her jaw dropped to the floor. She was holding a house key in her hand.
"What are you doing?" she yelled, walking towards me.
She looked at the bag and her eyes widened.
"Please don't tell anyone." I begged her.
She paced around the room. "Alright, I won’t."
I thanked her but she just left, frustrated.
tuesday august 21;
I got out of the limo and walked into the church. Ryan grabbed my hand as we stepped into the front aisle and sat down beside Rachel and Mack.
I didn't really recognize anyone, not that many were there. I would later find out that my dad's sister, who I had only met once and his brother had both shown up.
Other than that, Dan and his family, Sienna and her mom, a few people from the building where he lived, my two sisters and his few co-workers. His best friend was also there, with his wife and two kids.
My own mother, not to mention his wife of fifteen years, did not show.
Before It began, the church doors opened. Mark walked in alone and sat near the back. I looked back and smiled, he acknowledged and waved back shyly.
At the end, I walked out of the church and many come talk to me.
I thank my sisters for planning the funeral, and shortly after, I am given my fathers ashes. He had always said he wanted to be cremated and for me to spread his ashes with my mother.
I contemplated throwing them all on my mother, until I realized that he would want it to be special. He never hated her, even after everything she had done.
I respected him dearly for that. How he could just forgive and forget so easily and not hold a grudge. He was truly an amazing person.
I went to central park with Ryan, Mark and my sisters. We walked to a small garden with a pond and very colorful trees. The pathway was romantic and the flowers had bloomed beautifully.
Memories came flooding back from when my father used to bring me here and we would spend hours talking and playing games.
I decided to spread his ashes here. We told stories about him and remembered all the good things about him. I laid in Ryan's arms and cried, and Mark comforted me.
I didn't even think about my mom. She no longer meant anything to me. Today, it was all about the good things in my life.
Ryan took me home and tucked me in bed. He kissesd my cheek and let me fall asleep in his arms.
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