Chapter 84: The Last Hurrah

It was the longest two days of her life. She thought the pain would never end, but she eventually got through the worst part of her grief. She missed him all the time, but at least now she could function without bursting into tears.

The darnedest thing happened one night. Bianca was feeling a bit stressed from work on top of some lingering feelings of sadness and decided to watch the Fireplace Channel. Then, one by one, her children and nephews came to join her. Even her little cousin Kolby was there. It was the most pleasant evening the family had in a while. There was no fighting, teasing, calling names, or anything. Just fun family togetherness.

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Bianca wasn’t the only one enjoying this rare moment. They had other things to do, but they each secretly understood (from recent events and another upcoming event) that time is precious and they should cherish the moments they had together. They laughed and joked and discussed current events.

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After Cadence’s story about the tiniest gnome she’d ever since, Bianca decided to chat with Melody. They hadn’t really spoken since the birthday party.

“Mel, I meant to tell you earlier that I love your haircut! I totally understand why you did it, but you’re soo brave to cut it. I was too chicken, so I just pulled mine back.”

“Oh thanks, mom! I have to admit…I had a mild myocardial infarction when I first heard the scissors, and I freaked out a little when I first saw it, but I really love it! It’s soo…sexy!”

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“Of course ‘sexy’ was the look you were going for,” she said flatly.

“Mom…please.”

“I know, I know…”

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“You’re grown now. You can do whatever you want.”

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“Well…now that we’re back to ‘Melody bashing,’ I have some news….”

“Oh no…please don’t tell me that you’re–”

“MOM! Seriously? Is that what I’m gonna be to you from now on? That’s not fair.”

“I’m sorry. I don’t expect you to understand. But when you have a daughter, you will.”

“Whatever. What I was going to say was that I’ve been thinking about what you said, and I think you’re right.”

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“I’m…what?”

“You’re right.”

“Oh! Funny how that works.”

“Moooom! I’m trying to be serious!”

“So am I…go on.”

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“I didn’t have anything to do today. I went swimming, I jogged, I watched TV…I was soo bored! I worked on my charisma skills which will always come in handy, but I really don’t have anything going for me. I think that’s why I was soo consumed with Paxton because I didn’t have anything else. So…I decided to get a job!”

“[gasp] You got a job? Oh, honey, that’s fabulous! I’m so proud of you!”

“I’m going into business, and I start in the morning.”

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“Oh, my baby…that’s soo good to hear. You don’t know how happy that makes me feel considering…” she trailed off.

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She couldn’t get the words out of her mouth. She made references to it a few times, but for some reason it didn’t sink in until that moment what was going to happen to her–and soon.

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“Considering what, mom?”

“Considering…considering you just had your birthday!”

She didn’t want to trouble her with that thought. She wanted her to enjoy her new-found lease on life without worrying about losing two parents.

“Yeah! Right? I’m probably gonna be like the youngest person there. I can’t wait to meet my coworkers.”

“I bet. You’re gonna be great. Ok, kiddo…I’ve got to go do some work. Have a good night if I don’t see you before you go to bed. I love you, Melody.”

“I love you too, mom. Good night.”

She didn’t really have any work to do. She just wanted to be alone with her thoughts. She was afraid of the unknown. Does it hurt when you die? Where do you go? Would Giancarlo be right there waiting for her? She had all kinds of questions going through her mind. She arrived in her office and closed the door and stood at the threshold for a few minutes. Not really thinking about any one thing in particular, but just standing there. Everything always made sense to her behind a computer, so she started to walk over to her chair but she felt a little weak in the knees. Babe? Are you around, she laughed to herself. She shook it off and got a couple steps in when she lost her balance and broke her fall by grabbing onto the desk. Alarmed and confused, her breaths were quick and heavy as she tried to figure out what was happening to her. She stood herself up, but the weakness was still there growing by the second. Then she knew. Oh no…it’s happening now? I haven’t said goodbye to anyone! 

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She tried calling out for help, but, between the television and the music going in the other room, no one heard her. Ok…ok…it’s ok, Bianca…just let it happen. I wouldn’t want anyone to see this anyway, she thought.

“Giancarlo, my love! I’m coming. Please be waiting for me!”

I’m just gonna lie down until the Reaper gets here.

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No sooner than she laid down, The Grim Reaper appeared…but so did Melody.

“Hey mom…should I wear the blue blouse or the…MOM!!!”

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“Please don’t take my mom! Please don’t take her now! We just had our birthdays yesterday and I just got a new job and I have a boyfriend and I have so many things I need to talk to her about and I know I haven’t been the best daughter, but…PLEASE,” she rambled and begged.

“So…you’re a troublemaker, are you?”

“No, sir! I mean, I didn’t get good grades, and I spent all my time with boyfriend, but I never got into trouble!”

“Trouble makers…they always want mercy! I am DEATH! I pity few…trouble makers I do not!”

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“Nooooo! You’ve got me all wrong! Please, sir! Don’t take her today!”

“I will not be influenced by trouble makers! Away with you so I may finish my work!”

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“Hello, my pretty. I told you I would be back for you soon!”

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The news of Bianca’s passing spread quickly throughout the house, and everyone took their turn mourning her. Before the house went to sleep, Brandon placed his sister’s grave right next to Giancarlo’s hoping it would make it easier for them to find each other in the afterlife.

The next morning, Allen joined Cadence for breakfast. He wasn’t good with comforting words and didn’t quite know what to say to her. He went with the old default.

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“I’m sorry about your mom.”

“Thanks. It’s pretty tough.”

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“I’m going to miss her cooking,” he said.

“She was the best cook in the house, huh?”

“Totally. Lance is getting good…don’t tell him I said that!”

“Your secret is safe with me.”

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“Well,” she continued, “I guess they probably found each other by now…I hope. [sigh]”

“I’m sure they did.”

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“You had great parents.”

“I sure did. I sure did.”

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