"Your mother's dead?" I asked Swan as the final bell rang and we walked out of trig together. He nodded quietly, keeping his gaze forward. "I'm really sorry about that." I honestly didn't know what else to say; I knew I had never felt a pain equal to something like that.
Though my mom was a huge prude at times, I still loved her of course. Same with my dad.
Swan's predicamate made me realize that I probably should've appreciated my whole family a little more.
The worst death my family had experienced was probably my pap. He died about a year ago, and that pain was one of the things that brought me back out of my 'daddys' girl' and or 'princess' phase, as my dad likes to call them. My nan was already gone, but that was
before I was even 10.
I hate to say it, but Pap was my favorite grandparent. Like I said, I barely knew my nan, and my grandparents on my dads side now live on a lot of retirement money in Scottland. Even when I was old enough to know her, she was already begining to get sick. My pap died of old age though. I was a little happier to know he died in his sleep rather than of cancer or dimensia or something.
Either way, I don't know what I'd do if I lost someone even closer like my mom.
Once we made it out of the crowd of teenagers, I pulled him aside and sat him down on a grafitti-covered bench. "You okay?" I asked him quietly. "If you're not, you can talk about it." I put my hand on his gently, suprised when he didnt pull away.
"I don't have anything to talk about." He said. "I've said everything before."
"How did she die, if I may ask?"
"Spider bite," he muttered, "But nobody ever believes me when I tell them that." I looked at him, waiting for some kind of explanation. "It was a brown recluse Spider, but the doctor didn't figure it out in time. She was one of the few who actually died. We think she got bit when we went on vacation in Mexico." I looked at him still, not knowing what to do or say.
All I could do was squeeze his hand tight while he sat there, seemingly unaffected by the conversation. Eventually he started shivering like he did before and I had to hug him again.
It took about ten minutes before he stopped. I focused more energy into this hug than I ever had and didn't even notice that he was pretty much hugging me back.
"Are you better now?" I asked patiently, looking at him sympathetically. He just nodded.
"I'll walk back home with you if you want." He nodded again.
"My dad has been more of a bastard to me since she died. He'd always wanted a girl and not a boy, but of course he just had to deal with me." Swan looked ahead in disgust. "My mom kept him calm until I was 12. Then of course, her sickness came on and she died, leaving me to deal with my dad by myself. Now he just treats me like that one friend he lets live with him but actually can't stand."
Again, I didn't have the experience to respond. I didn't know what this was like. I felt fortunate again that I didn't. I didn't know it was so easy to take these things for grantide.
"He just can't wait for me to leave. And neither can I."