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Authors: Shantel Tessier

Unbearable (Undescribable) (6 page)

BOOK: Unbearable (Undescribable)
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I sit in my rental car
outside of my mother’s house. I didn’t want to drive the Tahoe, I don’t know if
I ever will. It was hers, not mine. That’s actually why I never came back to
live in my dad’s house. I just couldn’t do it. It was all too painful. Slade
once said that I’m the strongest person he knows. I wonder how he would feel
about me if he knew how truly weak I really was.

I picked out an urn and wrote a eulogy before I
left the funeral home. It was hard, and I didn’t know what to say, but I wanted
to do it. Mr. Hopkins was even nice enough to leave me alone while I cried my
eyes out. I don’t know who my mother’s friends were now, but I wanted them to
know she had passed, and for them to have the opportunity to come and pay their

Mr. Hopkins said he would call me when she was
ready for me to view. I dread that call. I dread having to see her like that.
I’ve asked myself a thousand times what would have happened if I would have
just stayed instead of going back to St. Louis to pack up my stuff. Would I have
found her? Would I have had my chance to apologize for my outburst? I guess
life is full of what if’s. Some questions are just meant to remain unanswered.
That doesn’t mean you don’t go bat shit crazy thinking about them though.

I get out of the car and walk to the door with my
eyes trained on the ground. I’m hoping everyone is still in the living room so
I can sneak up to my bedroom. I really want to go to bed now and forget about
this horrible day, even if it is just for the night.

I open the door quietly and hear everyone talking
and laughing, and I smile. I’m very grateful that they are here. I don’t know
what I would do without them. Even though I have kept my distance from them, I
still know that they came here for me and that means a lot.

I make my way quietly up the stairs and pull my
clothes off. I crawl into bed and let the tears fall again as I bury my face
into the pillow, not wanting anyone from downstairs to hear me. I wonder when
the pain will stop, if it ever will.



“That is not funny,” Holly
whines as Micah hugs her.

“Well, it would be cheaper,” he offers.

We all laugh.

“Are you trying to get in trouble?” my mom asks my

“What?” He shrugs. “Her mother is driving her
absolutely crazy! Eloping would be the easiest thing for her.”

“My mother would kill us both if we eloped and you
know that.” Holly pushes him away as she laughs.

“Have you set a date for the bachelorette party
yet?” I ask

Holly shakes her head, and looks over to Micah.
“Actually, I have several dates, but every one I suggest, Micah is like ‘that
won’t work. So and so won’t be able to make that.’” She rolls her eyes.

“We have decided on Vegas,” Micah says as he
relaxes into the couch. “We want to have a joint bachelor/bachelorette party.
The girls do their own thing and we do ours. Then all of us meet up later and
party together.”

That sounds like fun. “How many are you thinking of
inviting?” I ask, taking a drink of a beer that they had picked up during their
lunch outing.

“I’ve got forty names written down.”

I start coughing on my beer. “Forty?” I choke out.
“Holy shit, Micah. Why so many?” We don’t even hang out with anyone besides Josh

 He just rolls his shoulders. “I haven’t seen many
people since college, this gives us a chance to see everyone again.”

“Us?” I incline my head towards Holly. “Who do you
know from his college days?”

“Us.” Micah points a finger between me and him.

I have a sick feeling forming in my stomach. “Who
all are you inviting?” I ask cautiously.

He starts listing names and that sick feeling gets
worse. “Fuck,” I mumble after he finishes telling me every person he plans to

“I tried to warn him,” Holly says sympathetically.

Micah looks at me. “What are you so concerned about?
Sam loves you. Nothing to be worried about.” He points his longneck at me.
“Plus, it’s not like you are the same person you were in college. You’re in
love.” He sighs dramatically.

I pick up a throw pillow from the couch and hurl it
at his head.

There’s a silence in the room before Holly speaks.
“When do you think she will be back?”

I look down to my beer and start pulling on the
label. “I don’t know. She said something about wanting to do a memorial
service.” I look up to everyone. “Have any of you called to change your flights

My mom and dad say no. Micah says yes. I look up at
my parents. “Keep yours for Saturday for now. I don’t know what all a memorial
service entails.” I take a swig of my beer.

They both agree. “I should order flowers tomorrow,”
my mom tells me. “Is she having it at the funeral home?”

“I don’t know.” I feel like a jackass
for not knowing any of these things. If I had stayed with her instead of going
to get fucking boxes, then I would know all of her plans.

“Don’t beat yourself up, sweetie,” my mom says. “She
will open up when she’s ready.” She gets up from the couch and walks over to

I stand and give her a quick hug. “Thanks, Mom. Thanks
to all of you. I know it means a lot to Angel that you all are here.”

“She’s family,” Dad says, getting up from the couch
and hugging me as well. “We are going to go to bed. We will see you in the

They hug Holly and Micah then head off to bed. I
walk over to the window and frown. “Did Angel take the Tahoe?” I ask, glancing over
at Micah.

“No, I saw her drive off in her rental car.”

I furrow my brow, looking back out to the driveway.
“Her rental car is right there.”

Holly’s face turns sympathetic, as she says, “She
must have just gone straight upstairs.”

I feel like someone has stabbed me in the chest. I
take a deep breath and walk away from the window.

“Don’t worry, Slade. Sam loves you,” Holly tries to
reassure me.

I nod. She has probably been crying and didn’t want
any of us to know. “I’m going to head up to bed. I’ll see you in the morning.”

I go up the stairs and into her room. It’s only a
little after eight, but she has the lights off and is lying in bed with her
back to me. I shut the door and walk over to the bed. I empty out my pockets
onto her dresser and get undressed. I pull back the covers and slowly get in
behind her. I lean up on my elbow, looking down at her. Her face is so peaceful
right now. I haven’t seen it look this way in days. I lean down, giving her a
gentle kiss on her shoulder. “Good night, Angel,” I whisper. Then I lay back,
looking up at the ceiling. I normally pull her into me, snuggling tightly, but
right now, I do not want to wake her. She looks so calm. I don’t want to see
that sad look on her face when she realizes where she is and what tomorrow will
consist of. I want her to have sweet dreams, even if that is all they are right


I wake up seeing a pink wall
in front of me. I blink a few times trying to get my eyes to focus. Once I can
see clearly, I turn over. There, lying next to me is Slade. I still feel a bit disappointed
that he left yesterday without explaining to me what happened between us in the
kitchen. It’s not like him to keep things bottled up. That is usually what I
do. He has always told me how he felt.

I need to clear my head. I have no right to think
that way.

I sigh as I think of all the stuff I have to do
today. I climb out of bed, careful not to wake him. I throw on a bra, a tank
top, and a pair of cotton shorts. I put my hair up in a messy bun and slide on
a pair of flip-flops. I don’t bother with makeup, I’m sure I will end up crying
it off sometime later.

I check the clock and see that it’s six thirty-four
in the morning. I’m already behind. In all honesty, I probably should have
never gone to bed last night. I should have started packing. But I needed the
rest, and although my brain feels sluggish, my body actually feels well-rested.

I make my way out of the room and head down to get
some coffee. When it’s ready, I venture into my mom’s room with my cup in hand.
I figure this is the best place to start. I had looked around in here yesterday
trying to find the dress from her wedding, but I made it quick. There were no remnants
of glass from broken memories on the hardwood floors. I felt bad that I made
the mess, knowing that Slade was probably the one to clean it up.

I walk over to the closet and open the door. I step
in and run my fingertips over the clothes hanging up. My mother was petite. She
was about an inch shorter than me but weighed around the same. While in the
bathtub last night, I wondered about what I would give away, and I knew there
were quite a few things I wanted to keep. Like the sweater dress that she wore
every Valentine’s Day. My dad had gotten it for her their first year together
and it became a tradition for her to wear it every year. I don’t remember
exactly how old I was when I asked her why.

She had said, “Your father and I were shopping one
day and I spotted it through a store window. I just stared at it, thinking it
was so lovely. It was two days before Valentine’s Day. I was so shocked when I
opened the pretty box wrapped in red paper with a white bow and saw it. He said
he had gone back the next morning on his way to work and bought it for me. He wanted
me to put it on right then, said he couldn’t wait to see what it looked like on
me.” Her face had the biggest smile on it while recalling that memory.

She didn’t talk about my father much, but every now
and then she would bring him up and it always made her smile. I always thought
that she loved my dad more than she let on. But now I guess he had loved her
more. He stayed in love with her even when she had taken his trust and love for
granted and went into someone else’s arms. I guess his love wasn’t enough for
her. Will my love be enough for Slade?

I come to the end of her closet, on the back wall
where there is a set of shelves. I smile as I look at her jewelry box. It’s
dark cherry wood and the lid opens to reveal compartments that hold her rings
and bracelets.

I open it and see my grandma’s wedding ring. She
had passed before I was even born but my mom said they got along really well.
She loved her son but also loved my mother just as much.

My brow crinkles as I look around, not seeing my
parents’ wedding rings. I open the bottom drawers and still don’t find them.

Hmmm, I wonder where they are.

I know my mom had them. I shut the lid and turn
around. I need to start getting stuff done. I can look for the rings later. I
need to go through this entire house today. I begin by pulling her scarves out
of drawers. I want to keep them; she and I had a fascination when it came to
accessories: scarves, shoes, and purses. She taught me everything there was to
being a lady, while my dad taught me it was okay to be a lady that could kick
some ass.

“Do you need any help?”

I look up to see Holly standing there with her own
cup of coffee in hand. I smile at her. “That would be great, thanks.” I scan
the room and frown.

“What’s wrong?” Holly takes a step toward me.

“I don’t know what I’m going to put everything in.”
I hadn’t even thought about that yesterday. Maybe some trash bags. That seems
kind of tacky though.

“Use the boxes,” she says simply as she takes of
sip of her coffee.

“What boxes?” I look around once again. Did I miss

“The boxes Slade bought.”

I just stare at her, clearly confused. She lets out
a puff of air. “When Slade came in last night he said he had bought boxes to
pack with today.”

I feel a smile tug at my lips. Is that where he had
gone? I thought he just needed some time away from me, and really, he was just
thinking ahead. “Did he bring them in?” I ask her, walking out of the closet.

“I didn’t see him bring any in. They must still be
in his rental car. I’ll go grab as many as I can.”

“I’ll go with you.” We both set our coffee mugs
down on the dresser and head out of the room to go retrieve the boxes.


About two hours later,
Holly and I had accomplished quite a bit. I sit on my mom’s bed as Holly holds
up a shirt of hers. If I shake my head no, she throws it in the box by her
feet. If I nod, she throws it to me and I fold it, placing it into the box by

“I’m excited about you moving in with Slade,” she
says as she holds up a blouse.

“Yeah,” I mutter, trying not to sound hurt about
the subject.

“He loves you, Sam.”

“I know.”

“Honestly, I think he is afraid to say anything
right now.” She holds up a shirt and I nod.

“I was just so excited and he acted like it was no
big deal.”

“I know this is a big deal to him. I know he has
never been this happy.” She gets up from the closet floor and comes to sit
beside me. “I just think he’s afraid to show any happiness. He thinks you’re
hurting. He doesn’t want to walk around smiling and laughing, knowing you are
not doing the same.”

I fold the shirt, placing it in my keep box, and
look up at her brown eyes. “Holly.” I reach out and take her hand in mine. I
know if there is anyone I can get through to, it’s Holly. “I did break, I was
lying broken on this floor, crying my eyes out, trying to breathe. I thought I
was going to die and all I could think of was Slade and how much I loved him.”
I take in a deep breath as she smiles. “If my mom’s death taught me anything,
it is that a person can misunderstand a situation. When I was lying on this
floor, I realized I wanted him to know how much I loved him, no matter if he
didn’t feel the same. I just had to tell him. Then he showed up and I became
terrified. I thought it was a mistake, that my mind was playing tricks on me.
That, like my mother, I had been given the chance to make something right only
for it to end.

“Then when he held me, I didn’t want to let him
go.” I shrug. “When I realized that he was really here, I told him how I felt, and
I couldn’t be happier that he feels the same.” I stare down at her hand
squeezing mine. “But I don’t know why he’s keeping his distance from me now.”

BOOK: Unbearable (Undescribable)
11.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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