Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 47
The funeral was depressing. I tried to be strong for Christian, but I ended up crying my eyeballs out as we lowered Stephen into his grave. Knowing he should be standing with us, seeing him placed in a grave broke me. He didn’t deserve this.
Christian hadn’t spoken much since the day I comforted him at the hospital. I went home with him and my mom allowed it – surprisingly – so I stuck by him. From his face I could tell this was killing him, but I didn’t bring it up. By giving him space and by being at his side simultaneously, I tried to be his rock.
Grabbing onto Christian’s hand, I led him to his black car. Without a word, we walked there and I sighed sadly. The graveyard was depressing and I wanted nothing more than to go home. I was tired of crying and the place brought back bad memories.
“Are funerals always like this?” Christian suddenly asked. “This is my first one.”
“Yeah, pretty much,” I replied, hiding my slight shock.
“Are they supposed to make you feel like screaming until your insides melt?” He avoided my gaze.
“That was how I felt for the ones I went to,” I answered quietly. “They’re horrible.”
“Was your last one your dad’s?”
I nodded, looking down.
“Wow, you’re strong.” He smiled sadly as I looked back at him. “You made it through it.”
“You will too.” I kissed his cheek quickly. “Christian, the one thing I can tell you is that you’ll make it through this. It’s hard, but you will.”
He looked away, but I noticed tears threatening to spill out of his eyes. From what I saw, he didn’t cry at the funeral. A part of me hoped he would later because it wasn’t good to hold everything in. It would destroy you, I knew. So even though I hated seeing him cry, it was for the best if he did.
Christian and I finally made it to his car, and I was surprised to see my mom already in the drivers seat. Pretending she didn’t exist, I sat in the back seat along with Christian. As she began to drive, I laid my head down on Christian’s shoulder. It had been a long week.
After a few minutes, my mom said, “Of all the times you could act like this, don’t be selfish and choose now. Stop touching each other.”
I rolled my eyes, but listened to her. Even if I hated her, I felt sympathy for her. She had just lost her husband. For the second time, she lost her soulmate. It was almost heartbreaking for me to know she had to suffer like that twice.
The rest of the car ride was silent and we soon got home. Not caring about what my mom said minutes ago, I grabbed Christian’s hand and we exited the car. Looking at him, my heart broke as I realized his cheeks were wet. He was in so much pain and I hated it. I hated seeing the guy I loved like this.
The three of us went into the house and the minute the door shut, my mom said, “Listen. I need to talk to you, Christian.”
“About what?” Christian asked tiredly.
“I want to talk to you alone,” she said, also sighing tiredly. “Autumn, go up to your old room.”
Christian’s hold on my hand tightened. I looked up at him and watched as his jaw clenched. It was clear he didn’t want to deal with this.
“Whatever you need to tell me you can say in front of Autumn,” Christian said.
My mom’s eyes narrowed at me – to my slight surprise. It really did seem like she would never hate Christian. He could burn the world into ashes, and she would still love him more than me it seemed.
“Fine,” she eventually said, bringing her attention back to Christian. “Okay.”
She took a deep breath in. My mom looked nervous, which made me nervous. I wondered what she wanted to say.
“We suffered a great lost. You lost you dad, and you have no parents now.” Her eyes teared up, but there was a certainty in her tone. “I have always loved you like my own son and I’ve been thinking… I’m going to adopt you, so you can be my own son.”
My jaw dropped and Christian stiffened beside me. I never expected this. It made perfect sense, but the fact that my mom desperately wanted him as her actual son was almost out of the blue. Without giving it much thought, I knew I didn’t want this.
“No,” Christian said. “I don’t want to be adopted by you.”
The hurt was evident on my mom’s face. “Why not?”
He shrugged and I was thankful. With the recent loss, we didn’t need anymore drama. I hoped my mom had some sort of common sense to know that.
“Is it because of Autumn? Because of your relationship?” My mom asked, eyes widening wildly. “Is it because if you and I aren’t related, you two being together would be fine?”
My eyes widened. I never thought about that. As selfish as I was, the thought never crossed my mind. My heart lightened as I realized that all of my problems were gone. Christian and I could finally date because we weren’t related in any way as of now. I hated myself for feeling happy, but after everything it was the best news ever.
“I’ll disown Autumn,” my mom suddenly said, seeing that no one would reply. “I don’t care if you two are dating, but I want you as my son.”
I winced because I felt like someone slapped me. Her own words felt like a wrecking ball smashing into my heart because she admitted it. In a somewhat blunt way, she admitted that I meant nothing to her and Christian meant the world to her. Even if I already knew that, it hurt. It hurt more than I would like it to, and I felt stupid. She hadn’t been a mom to me for a while, but I still cared about her. I was an idiot.
Christian suddenly let go of my hand and stepped in front of me. That reminded me he was here, and my eyes widened as I saw his hands clench into fists. With his body stiff, I realized he was furious. My eyes widened as my pain turned smaller.
“What is wrong with you!” Christian shouted. “How could you say that!”
My mom and I both jumped. I had never heard him shout like that, and even I was caught off guard. Maybe even a bit scared.
“What?” my mom asked calmly.
“Why would you say you’ll disown your own daughter for me!” he exclaimed. “What the f--k is wrong with you!”
“Don’t you understand that I hate her!” She yelled back suddenly. “I want nothing more than for her to be gone!”
I didn’t stop the tears from pooling into my eyes. With my heart painfully thumping, I allowed a tear to slip down my face. My own mom hated me. The last of my own immediate family despised me.
“Why?” he snapped. “How could you hate Autumn?”
“Because she reminds me of my old life!” My mom exclaimed. “She reminds me of what used to be!”
I didn’t get that at first, but then it hit me. Our past. The one where we were all happy and never lonely. I reminded her of that. I scowled. She had to be kidding me.
“That’s a horrible reason,” Christian spat. “You’re the worst mother ever and guess what, you’re all alone now. I’m out of here.”
My mom froze. “What are you talking about?”
“I’m taking Autumn and we’re never coming back.” He smiled, but there was no happiness behind it. “Have a good life.”
Christian grabbed my hand again and with my eyes wide from what happened, I felt myself being dragged away. It was hard to process everything, but I soon realized as Christian opened the door that we were getting away from my mom. I smiled, knowing she hurt me enough.
“Wait!” My mom screamed as we stepped outside. “Christian! Let’s negotiate.”
“Never,” he simply replied.
My mom continued to scream things at him, but he ignored her. She screamed so loudly that I began to question her sanity. Christian seemed unaffected though. With his eyes set with determination, he dragged me to his car. Without saying a word, we got in and he began to drive off.
Finally realizing this was actually happening, I asked, “Where are we going?”
“I don’t know.” He smiled sadly. “Anywhere but where she is.”
I couldn’t help but smile, even though I was nervous about our futures. “That sounds great.”
He smiled back, and suddenly I felt like everything was okay. Even after everything that just happened, I felt oddly relaxed. My mom who made me feel nothing but pain was finally out of my life. Christian and I weren’t related anymore. Even with Stephen gone, things were changing in a way that looked bright. It was scary, but I felt hope.