Chapter 41

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~Photo Above: Ken~

(A/N: Lengthy Chapter, yay!!)

The empty coffin stares back at us, presenting us all with the fact that Alex's body is somewhere other than this casket.

Alex's mother momentarily stays silent, her face flushing with intense fury.

"You ruined... the funeral," she spits.


No one makes a sound.


She slams the coffin shut, her hair falling in front of her face in a tangled, greasy mess.



"Get out," she seethes.




I glance back at Ken, his soft facial features shadowed with panic.





"GET OUT!" She shrieks hysterically.


  One foot falls behind me, and then the next, and soon I was running off the stage and towards the entrance of the funeral site.

Ahh, I'm sorry Alex!!!

People curse at me as I escape through the crowd, and then this one one man sticks his foot out so suddenly I trip over him and smash my face into the concrete. Ow!

Others begin to crowd around me, mocking from above. I hear one go, "Let's teach her a lesson!" A boot raises in the air, aiming in my direction. I squeeze my eyes shut—

Suddenly, someone tugs my hand and yanks me off of the ground. I crack my eyes open and smile with relief. It's Ken!
He drags me behind him, yelling, "Hurry, let's get out of here!" I run with him, looking back to ensure that they weren't chasing after us.

...

As we turn the corner and leave them behind, Ken stops running. His chest heaves as he squeezes his heart, out of breath.


I think we've lost them.



He reaches into his brown bag and pulls out something that I can't really recognize.


"There's something I have to give you. I decided not to earlier, but you changed my mind. Thanks— for standing up for me." He smiles, embarrassed.

"No problem."

Ken holds out the item towards me, and I take it, running my hands over the cover.

I believe... it's a scrapbook.

A teddy bear is stamped onto its cover, and a smile stretches across my face as I open to the first page.

A note falls out. I pick it up, off of the ground.

In pretty, spaced-out handwriting, the note reads:

"Doesn't matter who, someone better fill this up... ok?"

His eyes flicker wistfully, and longing is visible through his forced smile.

"That's her handwriting." He laughs softly.

He runs a finger over her handwriting as if it were as fragile as glass, and that's when I truly realize... that he was in love with her. I feel as if he wanted to keep her heart beating, even if he couldn't even make her heart beat faster.

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