Chapter VII - Anthony, Present DayA Chapter by Suze
Testimonial from Mickey's old friend/boyfriend.
Anthony - Present Day
How can I be so sad, so devastated and hurt, but at the same time feel so alive and full of hope?
My Auntie J is dead, and I couldn't miss her more. She was more to me than just my mother's oldest sister. I was five years old when my mother died, I remember my father's heartbroken wailing and I remember Auntie J. Hers were the arms that enveloped me when I was told that my mother was never coming home, hers were the shoulders that were stained with my tears daily for nearly a year afterwards. When I consider these things I can only feel I am now, truly, a motherless child.
Two days after Auntie J passed I was sitting, bleary eyed and unshaven, still in my bed past ten a.m. It was long after my first class had started but I wouldn't be there to call any rolls that day, however, because I had to meet my family at the funeral home to assist in making the arrangements. I was gazing around bleakly, trying to remember if I had any decent clean clothes left to wear when my father knocked at my bedroom door.
I sighed and let my face fall into my hands. Considered faking sleep so I didn't have to face another human being.
Another knock, only slightly more forceful this time.
My father opened the door only enough to lean the top part of his body into view. He appeared as he always did, disheveled and slightly confused, every bit the "absent-minded professor", but I could see concern in his eyes.
"I just got off the phone with your Aunt Cassidy. You're meeting them at the funeral home at 11:15?"
I just nodded with my eyes fixed somewhere over his head. I felt wooden.
"You'd better get a move on then, I suppose..." My father, as usual, began to fade out of the room before his sentence was even finished properly; but this time he hesitated before pulling the full Houdini he was famous for. He stood in that in-between place for a moment, and I actually held my breath waiting to see if he had something else to say. I kept my eyes where they were, though, so still I wondered if I even had a heartbeat.
I pried my eyes away from the peeling paint of the door jam at this. Apparently, my father did have something else to say.
"I was just on the phone with your Aunt Cassidy..."
There was a beat of silence, and I sighed impatiently.
"Dad, I know, you just said."
My father held up his hand at this, nodding his head for a moment. He looked right at me then, and I was caught in his gaze.
"Michaela is coming home, for the services. She'll be here tomorrow."
I actually felt something let go, or burst, in my chest at his words. I stared at my father dumbly for what seemed like a long time.
My father smiled at this suddenly, an action his face rarely took, and I couldn't help but smile back.
He left me that way, with that smile, to shake myself awake, get showered and book out the door for the funeral home. But that's no longer where I felt like I was going.
All the way downtown I wondered at it, that magical feeling of expectation that felt so wrong for the day but so familiar and right. It wasn't until I was on Main Street, signalling to turn into Holmes Funeral Home, that it hit me. I hadn't recognized it right away because it had been so long and I was caught unprepared, but there it was. It was what I had felt when I was in falling in love with Michaela Branch, so many years ago.
© 2012 Suze
Coming Around Again
About~Hi, my name is Suze - thanks for stopping by!~ I am a fiction writer mostly but have found that I have a taste for essays lately as well. I'm here to seek the opinions of other writers on my work, .. more..