That was the last night me and Maxxie spent together. I’d woken up late the next morning, thankful that it was a weekend, and instantly knew something was wrong. Something wasn’t right about how still Maxxie was. How quiet the room was aside from the sound of my own breathing...
Maxxie only had a small funeral; just the family, Alex and Caleb. He’d disowned his dad a long time ago, but I’d sent him a message letting him know what’d happened even though he probably wouldn’t care less. Needless to say, I didn’t hear anything back.
I’d gotten a new black suit, wanting to put more of an effort into looking my best than I had at Cayden’s funeral. I’d hired a small venue out for the wake, not wanting to have it at home, and had made sure the decorations weren’t too depressing. It was mainly flowers but I wasn’t really expecting people to pay too much attention to them.
The kids were all dressed up, and Lily was holding onto Maxxie’s mom’s hand. Danny was clinging to me, and I was glad of the comfort. I hadn’t stopped crying pretty much since I woke up that morning, and the kids were the only thing that stood the slightest chance of making me feel any better. Maxxie’s mom was just as bad as me, cuddling Lily to her. I choked my eulogy out through tears, and Maxxie’s mom gave me a motherly hug once I was done. The both of us did our best to stop crying, and both failed. She took the kids off me as the rest of my family offered me their condolences.
We made our way to the wake once Maxxie had been buried, and I stole Danny back, sitting with him on my lap, cuddling him. Ava was cuddling Lily, playing with her hair and trying to cheer her up, with some help from Riley, of course. Momma Fuller was determined not to cry anymore, insisting that Maxxie wouldn’t want us to be sad.
“But I miss him” I said quietly.
She nodded. “I miss him too, but we have to keep our chins up, don’t we?”
I nodded, sniffling.
“We should be happy that he was here for us and that we got to enjoy his company for as long as we did”
“I know. That doesn’t make it any easier, though”
She wrapped me in a hug. “Do you need me to stick around and help you look after the kids or anything?”
I shook my head. “We’ll be alright, Thanks anyway, though”
“I’ll be around if you need me” she said, smiling faintly.
I smiled back slightly, and she went off to go be with her dad. I sat there cuddling Danny, catching sight of Alex sat crying in the corner with Caleb’s arms attached to him. I went over with Danny, sitting down next to Alex. He looked over at me and I flashed him the tiniest of smiles.
“Sorry, man. I shouldn’t be so upset. I wasn’t married to him” he said, wiping his face.
“It’s okay” I said, putting an arm around him when the tears started up again.
Alex wrapped me in a manly hug and I hugged back, even though I’m no good at bro hugs.
“How’re the kids doing?” he asked, pulling back.
“I don’t think they know what to make of it, really” I said, playing with Danny’s hair.
The poor little guy had barely spoken since I’d told the kids, and I’d spent each day hoping and praying that it didn’t undo all the hard work me and Maxxie had put into getting him to come out of his shell. Alex leant into Caleb a little, and the ginger pressed a kiss to the top of his head.
“C’mon, babe, he wouldn’t want you to be all emo” he said softly when Alex rested his head on Caleb’s shoulder.
“I know” he sniffled. “Can’t help it”
Caleb played with his hair and I left them to it, just drifting from person to person until it was over. Alex gave me another bro hug before he left and I hugged back just as femininely as the first time.
“You know where I am if you need me” he said and I nodded. “Take care”
Caleb pecked me on the lips quickly before he left with Alex, and soon enough it was just me and the kids left. I wiped my eyes a Lily came and sat on my lap with Danny, leaning herself against my chest. I stroked her hair with a sniffle, letting out a shaky breath.
“C’mon, let’s go home. We’ve got to start living for Daddy now”