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CHAPTER 12 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
The next morning Grace got up, her mother washed her hair for her, and she got ready for the funerals.
Grace wore a black gathered cutaway halter dress with black patent leather four inch pumps. Her make up was light and her hair was softly curled. She wore waterproof mascara that was already running down her cheeks as she sat in the car with Ryan and Brendon.
‘Are you alright?’ Brendon asked. Grace shook her head no before laying her head on his shoulder. He laced his fingers with hers holding her hand light as she cupped her other hand with Ryan.
It was a beautiful August day. The temperature was perfect for a day in the park, not so perfect for a funeral service though. Grace was set to speak at the funeral but she wasn’t sure exactly how she was going to be okay for that.
Grace walked up the steps to the church holding Ryan’s arm and Brendon’s hand.
‘Hi Gracie.’ Alyssa’s mom said. She looked just like Alyssa except today her beautiful green eyes were filled with sadness. Grace broke away from her boys and hugged Alyssa’s mother tightly as she began crying again.
‘I’m so sorry.’ She cried.
‘Honey, it wasn’t your fault. I’m glad I didn’t lose all four of my girls that night.’ She said cupping Grace’s face.
‘I wish it was me.’ She cried.
‘No, Grace I don’t want to hear you say that.’ Rachel’s mother said standing between Alyssa’s mother and Holly’s mom and grandma. Grace hugged their mothers tightly. The service was about to begin. Grace took her seat in the front row with Brendon and Ryan along with her mother and the girls’ families. The start of the service was mostly a blur to Grace as she looked at pictures of the girls. Most involved her in them in some way whether she was laughing or lying sprawled out on the floor, or even taking the picture.
‘Four days ago Boston lost three of its brightest stars: Alyssa, Rachel, and Holly, though life will never be the same we were blessed to have one shining star still with us.’ Holly’s dad said looking down at Grace
Grace stood up and walked to the front and stood in front of the podium. She looked at the church so filled up there were people standing on the side. She lowered the microphone just a little and began to speak, ‘As I look around this church I see the people that we loved the most, people we had class with, and people that we didn’t know so well but it makes me happy to see you all thought that happiness does not negate the sadness I feel for the being the only one standing here.’ She said beginning to cry. ‘I have never had to stand alone. I’ve always had these girls to stand with me and now that I’m here, I feel cold, lonely, and sad. I feel sad for myself, I feel sad for the people in this church who will never see these three beautiful, amazing, bright girls again, but mostly I feel sad for their families who have lost something so great nothing can ever replace it. I’ll never forget the smiles I got from these girls. I’ll never forget the memories we’ve made. Like the time we filled Holly’s parents bath tub up with toothpaste-that teach you guys to get into the tub with out looking. Or the time Alyssa’s mom’s car was missing for a week straight while we were in Philly-up until now I don’t think she knew it was us that stole her car. Or the time that Rachel’s mom thought we had all died from an overdose of Twinkies and hot chocolate. Or the day we all graduated high school, went to our high school prom, got our driver’s licenses, or any of the other happy memories we’ve made together. I’m sorry for your loss, I truly am.’ She said as she gave a light tearful smile. Grace took the microphone and looked back at the three white caskets side by side in front of the congregation. ‘I miss you girls more than anyone will ever know. From this day forward, my life is being lived for you and the great things you would have done in your life. I’m going to be a teacher for the Rachel, a bartender for my Alyssa, a fashion designer for our amazing Holly but most of all a good person because that’s what all three of you were. I love you and for the rest of my life, you’ll be my best friends and I’ll never forget you.’ She said before breaking down into tears.
She set the micro phone down and walked back to her seat. Brendon pulled her into a hug as more tears ran down his cheeks as well as Ryan’s.
Grace spent the rest of the funeral with her head on Brendon’s shoulder. She didn’t hear a word anyone said, she didn’t need to. All she did was look at the picture of the four of them together that stood in the front of the church.
Grace watched as they lowered the three caskets into the ground all at the same time. She wanted nothing more than to jump in there and be with them for eternity but she knew she was stuck on earth with out them. ‘Are you okay sweetie?’ Rachel’s mother asked.
‘The real question is are you okay?’ she asked softly.
‘Honey, I know this is hard for you. The girls are happy where they are and they are together watching over us and you. It would break them to see you like this.’
‘I know, I just don’t know how to live with out them. I haven’t done it in such a long time.’
‘Well it looks like you have two very sweet boys that are willing to help you.’ She smiled referring to Brendon and Ryan, ‘Sweetie, I love you girls so much. You were all like my daughters and this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through but I am so thankful to still have you. You and Rayne are my reasons for living now.’
Grace hugged her once again.
The rest of the day was long. Grace couldn’t wait to just go to bed and sleep it off but of course with her mother there, that would never happen. She wanted to talk. She wanted to know how Grace was feeling. She wanted to know anything and everything she could.
Grace fell asleep that night with her head in Brendon’s lap and her legs lying across Ryan while her parents and family sat in the room with her.
‘She doesn’t want to stay here.’ Tom said.
‘Tom don’t be silly.’ Mrs. Brady said.
‘Mom, she doesn’t want to stay here. She doesn’t like Boston. She was only here because of her friends and I.’
‘Well she doesn’t want to come to California, she would rather be here.’ Mr. Brady said.
‘Well what are we going to do then? If it’s too painful for her to be in Boston and she hates California what do you recommend?’ Mrs. Brady asked.
‘I don’t know.’ Tom said running his hands up and down his face.
‘Mr. and Mrs. Brady?’ Brendon interrupted.
‘What sweetie?’ she asked.
‘I know that this is a long shot and that you don’t know me very well at all but Grace could come with me for a couple of months.’
‘Come with you as in…’
‘We have a U.S. tour coming up and then we’ll go to Europe for a month.’
‘You know, that’s a good idea.’ Mr. Brady said.
‘Thomas are you crazy? She’ll be exhausted besides, she doesn’t need that sort of activity now. She’s not strong enough for it yet.’
‘It’ll be good for her. It’ll get here away from Boston for a little while, she’ll be with Brendon. It’ll be good for her.’
‘I guess, Tommy what do you think?’
‘It’s a great idea Brendon if you can get her to say yes.’ Tom said.
‘I don’t think that will be a problem.’ Ryan said knowing Grace would jump at the chance to spend that time with her boyfriend.