Now That She’s Gone: Chapter 4 – Part 2

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Chapter 4 – Part 2
Joe: The Morning of the Funeral

Joe had one thought: get to Robbie and keep his brother Martin as far away as possible. Joe’s foot pressed down on the accelerator as his bumper inched closer to the car ahead of him.

“Get out of the way!” he shouted through the windshield.

He had no idea how he was going to keep Robbie away from Martin at the funeral. His mind raced through hundreds of different scenarios all ending with Robbie telling him he never wanted to see him again.

It was 8:35 am when he pulled up to Robbie’s apartment building. The funeral didn’t start until 1 pm. He was way too early. He got out anyway and rang the buzzer.

“Hello?” a groggy voice answered.

“Hey, it’s me, Dad,” Joe said, wracking his brain for plausible reasons for why he just shown up hours before the funeral.

The door buzzed to let him in.

“Why are you here so early?” Robbie asked after Joe walked up the four floors to his apartment.

“I just thought we could go for breakfast,” Joe said, hoping that sounded reasonable.

“Oh, I mean, I guess.” He ran his hand through his bedraggled hair. He was standing in his boxers and bathrobe. “I still need to work on the eulogy. I can’t seem to get the wording quite right.”

“Perfect. I can help you,” Joe said. “Get dressed and we’ll work on it over breakfast.”

Robbie’s eyes brightened and his face broke into a grin. “Thanks Dad!” As Joe watched him walk into his room, he chest stung. Robbie was his son. When Martin dropped him off all those years ago, Katherine had immediately taken him as her own. It had taken him longer, but this time he would fight for him.

“Ready?” Robbie asked, walking out of the bedroom.

“Yes,” he said. This time he was ready.

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