I never got to say goodbye.
I never got to say I was sorry.
Katie was right. I should have just gone when I had the chance. I should have put all my shit with Papa aside so I could be there for him… And so I could see my Oma one last time too.
But I didn’t. I waited too long. I agonized about it for three days before I finally decided I was gonna go see her.
But the same day I put my request in with the prison director, they called me in and gave me the news.
Everything’s been like a blur since then. It’s taken me more than a week to be able to actually sit down and write about it. Guess I’ve officially broken that “once a week” rule I set for myself… But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it before. Every time I sat down and tried to write something, I’d just break down.
Her funeral was probably the hardest part. Seeing her lowered into the ground just made it all feel so real.
I was really happy the director ended up letting me be there. He didn’t even require an escort or anything. Just transportation to the church and back. They even let my mom drop off a dress for me to change into ahead of time, so I didn’t have to wear my ugly jumpsuit in front of everybody. I was grateful for that.
Not that it mattered much. Most of the people who came couldn’t have cared less what I wore anyway. They weren’t there for me.
They were there for Oma.
They buried her down at the cemetery in the huge plot that’s reserved for our family. I’ve only ever been there once that I can really remember, back when my Onkel Florian passed away. I was too little to remember much about when Oma’s Mama and Papa died. And even when I was there for Onkel Florian, I guess I never really paid much attention to the other graves…
I took a few minutes to read each one while I was there. Alexander, Jade, Mariana, Jonas… There was even a little plaque dedicated to Papa’s parents. It was so strange to see all those headstones there, with all those names of people I’ve only ever seen in old photographs. But dead or not, they’re still my family, aren’t they? And I couldn’t help but wonder what they’d think of me if they could see me now. Would they be sad? Angry? Ashamed?
I know Oma was. She had to be, after everything I put her through.
They buried her right beside a headstone labeled ‘Mark Bright’. That was another name I recognized. He was Papa’s grandpa… But he was more than that too. “Her husband,” Papa always used to tell me, even though they were never married. I never really understood it back when I was little. But I think I get it now. I mean, she was still Papa’s Mama, even though she didn’t give birth to him.
And she was my Oma too. The best Oma in the whole world.
I just wish I’d gotten the chance to tell her that.
God, it was just so awful. It seriously killed me to know I’d never see her again.
And seeing Erik killed me too. It was my first time seeing him since I went to jail. I hadn’t even spoken to him at all, until then. He looked incredible. He sounded incredible too. And I thought it was so sweet of him to show up at the funeral.
But everything was still so goddamn awkward. I still feel so angry at him, but so guilty too. It’s really weird to try and explain how I feel. I’ve already tried telling Dr. S, but I always have such a hard time. It’s like… part of me still loves him. Part of me feels like shit for the way I treated him when we were together… But another part of me hates him. Or wants to, at least. And I’m not sure if that part of me will ever be able to forgive him.
Anyway, the point is, seeing him was really hard. Harder than I thought it would be. I guess it really just hit me how much everything’s changed between us… And how we can probably never go back again.
That totally sucked. Bad. It just made all the pain I was feeling that much worse, y’know? Part of me almost regretted going to the funeral at all after that. I just felt so out of place… I thought maybe seeing Phoenix would help, but he stayed home with a babysitter. And seeing everyone else just made everything hurt even more…
Well, almost everyone. There was someone I was actually really glad to see at the funeral.
Two someones, actually.
It had been almost nine months since I’d talked to either of them… Not since that day at the restaurant, when they’d confronted me about the stealing.
They tried all the time to reach out, but I just kept pushing them both away. They even tried to contact me a few times since I went to prison, but I just kept ignoring them. I used to tell myself it was because I was mad at them. That I hated them for going behind my back…
But I dunno. It’s something I’ve talked about a lot in therapy. I was mad at them, I just… I guess maybe I was ashamed too. I really didn’t wanna have to face them. I was too afraid.
But seeing them at the funeral… it meant everything to me. It made me realize just how much I needed them. Both of them.
And I think they knew it too.
I don’t know why the hell they even bothered coming, after the way I’d treated them. I know I wouldn’t have, in their shoes. But I guess that’s what makes them special, huh? They’re the two best friends I’ll ever have. And I’ll never understand what I ever did to deserve either of them.
I wasn’t sure what to say to them… How the hell could I even begin to explain everything I was feeling? How much I regretted everything I put them through?
So I just kept telling them I was sorry. Again and again and again. And it felt so good to finally say it.
It’s kinda hard to figure out where I stand with them now. But it definitely feels a hell of a lot better than me and Erik, that’s for sure.
I guess it’s just nice to feel like I have my best friends back. For a while now, it’s really felt like I didn’t have anybody. I was so alone.
Well, okay. Maybe not completely alone. I’m not really sure how the hell I would’ve made it through the past week if it weren’t for Katie and Ivy.
Would you believe Katie never said “I told you so”? Not even once. I could see the look in her eyes when I told her what happened. I know she was thinking it… But she never actually said it. And honestly, I’m really fucking grateful for that. I’m not sure I would’ve been able to handle hearing it, if she did.
She’s been really understanding, actually. Ivy too.
It’s strange… Ivy and I have known each other for over a month, but there’s still so little I know about her. I’ve kinda just been seeing her as the stereotypical ‘damsel in distress’ I guess. So mysterious. So beautiful. But so naive too. I’ve had to help her out a lot and give her a ton of advice since her first day here — even after I rescued her from Tim.
Guess it kinda started feeling like Harper Hard-Heart was coming out of retirement… Saving the day yet again (though I guess this time Katie the Cruel was upgraded from villain to sidekick…).
But lately it’s been feeling like Ivy’s the one saving me. She and Katie are the only two people who’ve really been there for me during all this. I guess that’s one thing I do know about Ivy… She’s got a huge heart. And I never thought I’d say this but… I think Katie might too.
I wish I knew how to thank them. And I wish I was brave enough to try getting to know Ivy a little better. Convince her to open up a little more, y’know? And I mean, I really, really want to. Eventually.
It’s just really hard right now to focus on anything other than, well, how shitty I feel.
And the huge friggin’ elephant in the room — Papa.
On the day of the funeral he was just… broken. It was terrible. I’ve never seen him like that before. And I kept thinking about what Katie said…
I knew it would be wrong to do nothing. And I wanted to say something to him… But I just couldn’t. I didn’t know where to start. Like, what can I possibly say to him right now, after everything that’s happened between us?
All I managed was a super awkward hug. I literally didn’t even say a word to him. I totally panicked. And I still have no idea what the hell I’m gonna say the next time I see him.
UGH! I just hate this. I hate everything about it.
I hate that I still can’t suck it up and talk to Papa. I hate that things are so broken between me and Erik. I hate that my Oma’s gone. And I hate that I was too much of a coward to apologize to her when I had the chance.
It all just HURTS. It hurts so fucking bad.
Why the hell does everything have to be so hard?
I’m so sorry, guys. I loved Joce 😦 This hit me so hard. I shed actual tears writing and screenshotting both this chapter and the one before it. Jocelyne was born in my game over a year and a half ago. I had her even longer than I had Mari, and it’s so hard to see her go 😥 But she’s with Mark and Luc and her parents now ❤ She has more than earned this rest! I just hope Zayne and Harper can both find peace with this. 😦 Thank you for reading, and for loving Joce with me ❤