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Chapter Five

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"You look beautiful, Annie," Mrs. Emerson says, a sad smile on her face. She had to re-do my makeup twice because I always started crying. "And you look so handsome, Austin."

Yesterday was the viewing for our parents. Seeing those two caskets sat at the front of the room. Both caskets had to be closed, due to the damage of the wreck. That made me cry even harder. 

Today is the funeral, and I don't know what I'm going to do. Seeing our parents be put in the ground? How can someone watch that? Especially at our age. Tears start to prick at my eyes and Mrs. Emerson quickly dabs them away with a tissue. I smile at her gratefully. I hug Austin close to my side as we sob over our parents.

I don't even know why I'm wearing makeup in the first place. Obviously, I'm going to cry. It's a funeral after all. With a sigh, I grab a tissue and start to wipe off all of the makeup. Mrs. Emerson gives me a sad smile and pats me on the back.

"Ready?" she asks softly. I hesitate, then nod. I grab Austin's hand, as we prepare to say our final goodbyes before we head back to California. I'm not really ready to see my parents be put into a hole, but it has to be done, I suppose. My parents were amazing people, but it will be a small crowd gathering for them.

My grandparents have already passed due to old age, and my aunt and uncle live in Paris with my cousins. So, there's only going to be me, Austin, Mrs. Emerson, the priest, and some family friends. They deserve so much better.

"Yeah, let's go," Austin answers for us.

I grab my shawl from the empty backseat of the car and toss it over my right arm. Mrs. Emerson grabs my hand Austin isn't clinging onto, and we slide out of the car on her side. I look up and see a huge crowd of people. Tears brim my eyes when I recognize my aunt and uncle in the crowd. They came.

"Annie!" a voice says. I look around until I spot my two best friends, Justin and Holly waving at me. I walk over to them and they both envelope me in a hug. They hug Austin next, all of us huddled together.

"I've missed you guys so much."

"We've missed you too!" Holly says, tears in her eyes.

"You need to visit. Like a lot," Justin says. I smile at him.

"Guys, this is Amy Emerson. She and her family took us in."

"It's nice to meet you! You're an amazing person," Holly says, almost tackling Mrs. Emerson in a hug. Mrs. Emerson laughs softly, hugging her back.

"It's honestly the least we could do," Mrs. Emerson says with a smile towards me.

"This is Holly, and I'm Justin," Justin explains, giving Mrs. Emerson a quick hug.

"Nice to meet you both." Mrs. Emerson says.

"Are you going to give a speech?" Holly asks me, motioning to the podium set behind my family's caskets.

"I sure as hell am going to try." She gives me a breathy laugh and another hug.

"You'll do good," she whispers, wiping a tear from her eye.

"Yeah, you get through yours, and maybe I'll get through mine," Austin says with a small smile.

Holly and Justin were just like family to us. They called my parents mom and dad. We were their second family. Just as she and Justin's family were my second family. Her and Justin are twins, just like me and Austin are.

"Thank you to everyone who has shown up today. I'm sure the Cassidy family is very grateful," Father Gage says. "Would any member of the family like to say something?" I hesitantly raise my hand. "Ah, Annie. Come on up here, sweetheart." I walk up to the podium, feeling all eyes on me.

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