It's weird how people just... carry on. When a person suffers bereavement sure they'll be down for a while, but they don't just stop. They still do all the same old things they did before their loved one died. Watch TV, go out, go to work or school. As humans we may not be very good with the concept of death, but we're pretty good at dealing with the consequences. There are some people that are so grief stricken that it drives them insane, but generally speaking we all pull through in the end. However I don't think it's because we've learnt to deal with our sorrow - it's more that we've learnt how to hide it in our unconscious mind. Shutting thoughts or feelings away is something humanity is extremely good at. And due to recent events, I was a fucking expert.
Mum suggested I change schools, or be home schooled for a while (how she was planning on affording that I don't know). All kinds of crazy rumours were flying round the village. News travelled fast here. I got home at lunchtime the day after the crash and everyone already knew what had happened. News spread like a disease here, jumping from door to door in seconds, infecting the whole population within hours. Mum wasn't happy that everyone was talking about us - she gets really paranoid about these things. At one point she decided we were going to move house to a different village. Fortunately her plans haven't come to fruition (yet).
I was going to go back to the same school I went to before. Sure I'd be stared at, and my friends wouldn't be there any more...
...But I'd be fine. Right?
"Jacob are you sure you're okay?" asked my mum for the millionth time today. She seemed to have gone into a continuous loop of asking me how I was, and making me food I didn't want to eat. We'd both decided it would be best to take a week out of work to collect ourselves. Also the funerals of all my friends were going to be some time this week. The thought of having to attend four different funerals of people that meant so much to me not only hurt, but it scared me. It angered me. No, it fucking infuriated me. I didn't care if I sounded like a stupid teenager, life wasn't fair. Life was a fucking bitch and then you die. Or not, in my case.
"I'm fine," I mumbled. I wanted to sound more confident in my reply, but sometimes you just can't force yourself to put on a brave face. It's not like acting strong would help anything anyway. No point lying is there?
Time seemed to pass so slowly as the week went on, but it never felt like the crash was any further in my history. I couldn't sleep without having nightmares. Every night Danny, Matty, Finn and Tommy consumed my dreams. Their final faces as the flames consumed them. Part of me wishes I had taken a last look at them all before they went, but that would only taint my memories of them further. It's why I don't think I could ever see the dead body of a loved one. It's not like I even had the option with my friends, there wasn't much of a body left with most of them.
"Danny's mum rang earlier," said mum slowly, picking her words carefully. But even someone saying 'Danny' made my heart wrench. Not just any friend. My best friend. Danny was the guy that always stuck by me, however much of a dick head I'd been. You can't replace someone like that.
"Yeah?" I said, trying to stop my voice from breaking. It didn't go so well.
"She... er... she said the funeral would be this Friday," my mum swallowed hard, trying to decide whether to run over and hug me or give me some space.
I nodded once, clenching my fists. I had cried so many times today my face was red and blotchy, and my eyes were bloodshot. I wasn't going to cry again.