Now That She’s Gone: Chapter 1 – Part 2

Chapter 1 – Part 2
Alison: After the Funeral Tea

Alison walked back inside, leaving her Dad on the porch. When she got there, she saw Jesse was already cleaning. She got to work and the two silently cleared away the dishes and wiped up the spills. It took nearly an hour and she was completely drained by the time it was done. Overall, it had been an exhausting day.

Jesse hugged her before she left. At some point while they were cleaning, their dad had slipped upstairs and gone to bed. She had a key and was just going to lock the door on her way out when she heard music softly playing. She had to listen carefully because she could barely hear it. Following the sound, she realized it was coming from the basement.

When she opened the door that led down the stairs, soft notes of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence” met her ears. She followed the music down the stairs and found her brother sitting cross-legged on the floor surrounded by photo albums.

“You okay?” she asked.

“We never really knew her,” he said. He flipped the album page and pointed at a picture of them. They were at the beach. Alison remembered that day. They’d spent the day playing in the water on a deserted little bit of beach out in the middle of no where that their mom had discovered. After that it became their beach. It was a little out of the way, so they only went there about once or twice a year, but it was always the best day of the year.

Alison smiled looking at the photo until Robbie slammed the album shut. She looked at him in surprise and saw he was glaring. “Lies. All of it.”

Behind her she heard the creaking of the stairs. She turned around to see her dad standing in his bathrobe. His expression was more sad than she’d seen all day.

“Robbie, come upstairs. I think it’s time we had a talk.” Robbie glared back and didn’t say anything. They stared each other down with Alison looking between them stunned. Robbie was usually the easy-going one in the family. She couldn’t make sense of what was happening. “I understand you’re mad, and you have every right to be. But at least hear what I have to say. I’m guessing you have some questions.”

Robbie sighed and got up, leaving the albums in a heap on the floor and stomped up the stairs after his dad. Alison slowly slid the albums back onto the shelf. By the time she got upstairs they’d shut themselves in her dad’s office. She could hear voices behind the door, but couldn’t hear what they were saying. She decided to leave them to their talk. Jesse had been right; something had happened today and she had completely missed it. She walked out the door, curiosity and guilt warring to consume her.

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