Chapter 1 : Stronger
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The bitter cold wind slapped my face, and blew my hair back.
I made my way towards the beach.
I loved the feeling of the wind. Sure, it was cold, but it made me feel so calm and raw. It made me comfortable about my feelings, like it was just me, alone for a few minutes.
Vulnerable – that’s how I felt.
Warmth couldn’t comfort me, not now. It just lulled me into that false sense of security, and it made me scared.
I mean, I love being beside the fire with my family at night, but when I’m feeling this way, it doesn’t help.
I took a deep breath.
It felt like the wind was going to take me away.
I heard them coming.
They thought I was going to run, and let the ice-cold waves crash over me.
No, I wouldn’t. I knew that. I could never. No matter how hard things got. I would not take my family’s love for granted. I loved them too much to let them go.
Of course I was hurt, I was aching with the pain of what I’d just been told. But I wouldn’t let it take over me. I couldn’t.
They got closer. I could hear their feet splodging in the wet sand. They were scared, I could hear it in their voices.
I turned to look at them. I saw their faces, and let the wind carrry me towards them.
My father opened his arms. I fired myself at him. I felt him pick me up and spin me around. I thought I heard him cry. I hugged him so tightly. And buried my face in his jumper. I just wanted it all to be okay.
I could hear my mother, shouting in a language beyond me. She was blubbering in fact, her face wet from tears. She pulled me to her with such force, that I fell into her embrace.
The both of them were crying. They were hurting too. But not in the same way I was. It felt like my whole world had been turned over. Things had changed so fast, and there was nothing any of us could do about it.
Nothing would ever be the same again.
Words couldn’t describe how I was feeling. It didn’t feel real.
How could it?
He was so important to so many people.
And now he was gone.
I never got to tell him all the things I’d miss the most about him; his laugh, his terrible jokes, the way he could light up a room with his smile, his unbelievable arrogance, his soft sallow skin, the sound of his breath........
I never got to say ‘goodbye’.
And never would, in person.
He knew how much I was going to miss him, everyone did.
Though, he would laugh that sweet laugh of his, right now.
Say that I was being silly, and that I was better than that. Stronger than that.
I could feel the tears streaming down my face.
I needed to let it all out. So I could look stronger later.
‘But what’s the use of looking stronger, if you don’t feel stronger. You’re only fooling yourself.’
That’s what he would say.
Maybe that was true, but I still needed a good cry.
But, I couldn’t. It was like my body wasn’t letting me.
Like he was helping me. Making me stronger.
Now I just felt numb.
My parents weren’t crying anymore. Though they still had their arms wrapped around me, to show that they were there for me, I suppose.
We were on the wet sand – though I didn’t remember falling.
I felt strong arms pulling me up.
I held onto them, like my life depended on it.
We began to walk back up to the house.
I had to be strong, I had to.
This had to be done alone. To show everyone that I didn’t need their help.
‘But remember; We all need help sometimes.’