This may be my fault, but it was equally his.
I shouldn’t have come, I thought. I don’t even know what I’m doing here. Something just pulled me to the funeral. This should be their time, I know I don’t belong. The family would probably freak if they noticed me and yet, here I am, like an idiot.
I scanned the perimeter, passing over the bowed heads and shaking shoulders of the mourners, searching for my whole reason for being here. Finally, after a moment, my eyes settled on her and my palms began to sweat. Even shrouded in her grief, she looked heartbreakingly beautiful.
A week ago she wasn’t even on my radar. There was a definite pecking order at our school, and our crowds just never mixed. I would have never given her a second thought until my father had irreversibly changed all of our lives.
I remember sitting on the couch with my aunt watching the news coverage as Kassandra led her distraught mother and pale younger sister from the hospital. My dad’s road rage had made us national news. The media happily gobbled up the heartbreaking tale of how one man treacherously ran an innocent driver off the road in a drunken rage. My eyes zeroed in on Kassandra. I took in her every feature as she bravely stepped between her family and the reporters, all demanding to know how they felt about what my father had done. She ignored their shouting, refusing to take part in the frenzy. The pain on her face was all too real, even through the TV.
Now, here I was, watching from a distance like some kind of stalker as she gripped her younger sister’s hand. My whole intention was to stay out of site, which backfired when her eyes met mine. I felt like I had been sucker punched in the gut. Her hatred was unmistakable.
This was my fault.