Chapter 18:

Chapter 18 [Last Goodbye]

Tasteless


Lina

I gaze upon my reflection in the mirror, the conservative black dress that I wear show the dread mood I have, today is the funeral for Uncle Touka. Shaking my messy hair, then pulling it back into a ponytail with both of my hand, I slide on the hair tie to make sure my hair stay still and proper.

As I lower my hand, I touch my lip with both of my fingers, I can still feel the warmth of Haru lip on mine. I bite my bottom lip as I think about the kiss yesterday.

Haru, I don't know what to feel, I'm confused, I feel anger at the same time happy also heartbroken, I'm happy that he kissed me, I have never felt something like that, the intensity was something else like a red-hot sun under a deep blue ocean. I'm angry and heartbroken because he left me, how could he leave me behind? if he were to ask me to come with him, Would I have gone with him?.

Knock, knock.

"Lina, are you doing okay honey?" Mom voice can be heard behind the door.

"I'm okay Mom," I said as tear fall from one of my eye, I try to hold in the tear but when mom asks that question I just can't help my self as to cry uncontrollably.

Mom, open the door and peek inside.

"Oh, Lina comes here," Mom said, then she widen the door and extend both her arm toward me, offering a hug.

I turn and walk to my mom then placing my head on her chest. I sobbed into my mom's chest, wetting her clothes with my tears as my mom embrace me and comforted me.

"It all my fault," I said and sniff my nose.

"If Uncle Touka were alive, Haru wouldn't have the reason to left me," I said.

"Haru probably blames me for Uncle Touka death," I said and continue sobbing.

"Oh, Lina honey, Haru doesn't blame you, you and me both have known Haru for a long time, do you think that Haru would blame?" Mom said while rubbing the top part of my head.

"No, he wouldn't but he should, I have all this power but I can't even save the one I love," I said.

"That not true, Haru wouldn't be alive if you didn't go to that house that night." Mom said.

"I really confused mom, all my feeling is jumbled in a ball, I confused whether what I should feel right now," I said, lifting my head to her, matching my gaze with mom gaze.

"Lina dear, you still young, all the feeling you are having is normal, everything will be fine, mommy will always be here for you," Mom said, her word comfort me in this confusing world. I embrace my mom tighter feeling her soft body on my arm.

"Come one, let get you all cleaned up, we still have a funeral to attend." Mom said while wiping my tear away with her hand.

After that, I was back on getting ready for the funeral. After that, I exit out of the house and enter the car that mom drove to work every day. Mom was driving the car while I was sitting on the passenger side, my mind where elsewhere even with the radio playing an energetic song. The atmosphere of the car is still filled with grief, the ride to the temple was uneventful.

30 minutes later.

The car finally stopped at the parking space of the temple, mom pulls the handbrake and look at me.

"Lina are you ready?" Mom asks I look back to mom nodding my response, mom let out a small smile. She then unbuckles her seatbelt and exits the car, I follow her.

Mom and I were both walking down the sidewalk toward the temple steps. As we arrive at the front of the temple, mom and I walk upward the few steps, I stop and look back.

"Who are you looking at?" Mom asks her hand on my shoulder.

"Haru, I thought he would be here.." I said.

"Lina, He will be here, let wait for him inside ok?" Mom said.

"Ok.." I said, sigh.

We walk into the crowded double door which leads into the temple, there a lot of people here today, some I know from my neighbourhood and a few others from my school but that only scratching the barrel here, there are still a lot of people I don't know here, they must be here for another funeral.

Entering the hallway, mom and I headed to hall 2 where Uncle Touka funeral is held at. Entering the large hall, I was astounded by the number of people attending the funeral, most of the people I knew but their a few people that I am not familiar with.

There a few people that stand up from the crowd, an older man with slick back hair with a gray line, an unkempt beard, wearing a black suit, massive belt buckle, and brown boot. If I were to describe him, he looks like a modern-day cowboy meet biker.

But that not weird part the weird part is the woman beside him, a fair skin woman in her twenties, bald-headed, wearing an aviator sunglasses, and underneath the black suit a tattoo poking out from her collar and cuff. She smile when our eyes met, I look away pretending to not notice her.

Mom and I went to our seat in the front row, there large picture inside of the black frame on a stand and Uncle Touka is smiling in that picture. A large amount of white chrysanthemums flower under and around the picture stand.

After everyone has seated the funeral started, a Buddha monk came and begin chanting a sutra. My ears are listening to the sutra but my eyes wander searching for him.

I know his here, where are you?.

As the chant begins, the person who was sitting at the far right begins to stand up and walk to the picture, the person light up the incense and say their goodbye to the deceased.

It doesn't take a long time until my turn was up, I stand up and walk to the picture. I look at the picture, I begin to light the incense.

Uncle Touka, you were like a second father to me, you always give good advice and help my mom and me when we need it the most. My eyes begin to well up, I just want to say that I am sorry that I didn't manage to save you and I didn't manage to stop Haru from getting on the wrong path.

I wipe my eyes, may you rest in peace Uncle Touka.

I place the incense in the sand inside of the pot, I step back and walk toward my seat as I walk slowly there, my eyes wander to the back of the hall and saw not a sign of Haru. My heart drops as I sit on the chair.

Haru dint even comes to his uncle funeral, how could he? Why? Did something happen to him? My mind keeps making question wondering why he didn't come, could he been avoiding me.

I was snapped back to reality when my mom placed her hand on my shoulder, I look around and people are standing up and leaving.

"Lina the funeral is over, let go everyone is leaving," mom said.

I look around and still searching for Haru, unfortunately there no sign of him, I stand up and follow my mom toward the door.

As I walking toward the door, a girl with a pixie haircut passes me heading the toward the picture. I ignore it and keep on walking, she is probably one of uncle Touka friends.

As we arrive in the hallway, Mom tapped my shoulder. I turn my head toward her.

"Mommy needs to go to the restroom can you wait outside for me?" Mom said.

I nodded and mom begins to walk the other way, I walk to the front door and down the step until I arrive in front of the sidewalk.

I lean on the fence just beside the step, I watch the people and car pass by me, leaving the temple and heading home while I wait for mom.

But in the mist of people walking down the temple step, one stands out, his hair was so familiar that I could never forget even though it a little singe.

My heart beat faster, I start to push through the crowd wanting to catch up with him. I wanted to call out his name but my lip flattened, I'm afraid of the uncertainty what might happen if I meet him.  

Passing through the crowd, I saw him walking across the street with the pixie haircut girl beside of him, my heart heavy as I stand there watching him walk away from.

I gather my strength and yell "Haru!!" Toward him. Haru stops in his tracks but he doesn't turn his head toward me.

"I won't give up on you!!!" I said loudly.

I can see Haru head downward slightly, the girl beside look at him and saying something then Haru raise his head again and start walking again.

He crosses the street with the girl as I was about to catch up, a bus pass by blocking my way and view. After, the bus finally moved away and my sight restored, Haru was nowhere to be seen.

I stand on the sidewalk, my resolve born today as I dig my nail into my palm. The strong wind blew my hair, undoing the ponytail I had while I look at the sky, holding my tears and tighten my teeth.

Later that night, Aunt Mary.

I throw the car keys into the bowl, I heard Lina walk upstairs to her room, today has been the most tiring day for me, first off Touka funeral just finish, the pain of losing someone never got easier over the years.

First was Todd, now it Touka but death is part of life, so there no running away from it. I just hope I live long enough to see Lina fully grown as a woman and doing a great thing in her life.

I take out a bulky envelope and place it on the counter, there a writing on it.

Thank you for taking of uncle funeral and me when I needed it the most, this is all I can give right now, I hope it enough.

Love Haru.

I tore the envelope open with my finger and look inside the content, saw a large amount of money.

Haru you didn't need to this, I sigh, I can only pray for him, I just hope wherever you are there someone besides you. God knows what happens if he is left alone.

"Touka please look after him from above," I said aloud.

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