Status: Active :)

Terrible Things

8 - I Held Your Hand For All Of These Years, But You Still Have All Of Me

Jack’s POV

Cass placed her hand on my shoulder, and I turned around to face her. She smiled at me sympathetically, and I just blinked back the tears that yet again threatened to spill over.

I pulled Evie closer into my side, cradling her, protecting her.

I made my way over to sit beside Alex, who had Isla on his lap, and she was crying silently into his shoulder and he was rocking her backwards and forwards. He just looked up at me as I sat down, and put his hand on my shoulder.

I looked around the church one last time as the priest made his way to the front.

This church held too many memories. It was where all our children had been christened, and it was the same church Leah and I had got married. It was where I promised her I would love and protect for the rest of her life; “for as long as we both shall live.” Now it was where I would say my final goodbye to her, decades too early.

The priest began talking, but I paid no attention. Before I knew it Cass was making her way to the front to make her speech.

“Leah was one of the best people I’ve ever met, she was kind, she was true, and she was the best person I could’ve ever asked for to be my friend...”

She carried on throughout her speech, eventually breaking down and Rian had to go up and hold her.

I realised no-one would be there to hold me at the end of my speech.

They played the songs I’d picked out, her favourites. ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Hey Jude’ by The Beatles were played after Cass’ speech. After her father’s speech they played ‘Beam Me Up’ by P!nk.

Alex then got up to the stand holding his guitar, he looked nervous, and like he was about to burst into tears. Leah was like a sister to him, and he’d loved her so much.

“Hey guys,” he began, “I’m not great with words, usually I write what I have to say into lyrics. I couldn’t write this again though, I’ve already written about losing a loved one before, and I know that Leah wouldn’t want me to dwell on it. So I’m gonna sing a song that I know was one of Leah’s favourites of ours, and I dedicate this to her.”

He then played the opening chords of ‘Lullabies’ and my already fragile heart snapped.

Alex never sang this song if he could help it, it had always been too hard and too personal. Leah loved the song so much because it “showed Alex’s sensitive side.” I hadn’t expected him to sing this at all, I was expecting an original. I was lucky to have such an amazing best friend, because I could see how much this hurt him, to sing this song in this situation. He truly was the best person I’d ever known.

After the second chorus, he broke down. He carried on though, all the way through to the end. As he reached the end, he glanced up to the sky and whispered “I miss you Leah, we all do, and we love you so much.” He broke down into sobs, before standing up and making his way back to my side.

“Thank you,” I murmured to him, so quiet I’m not sure he heard.

“Now we have Leah’s husband, Jack Barakat, to say a few words about his beloved wife.” The priest introduced me.

“Um hi,” I began awkwardly. I looked around at all the mournful faces as I fumbled with the piece of paper I’d written for a prompt. Her dad nodded slightly to me, Alex was clutching Isla to his side, Cass was wrapped in Rian’s arms, Lisa was holding Billy buried his head in his mother’s neck, Leo was crying slightly, and my parents were sobbing. I swallowed loudly and turned my attention to the piece of paper.

“I never wanted to be the one standing up here in front of you, telling you how amazing my wife was, because I shouldn’t have to. I shouldn’t have to stand here, because she should be alive.

When I first met Leah, I honestly never thought she’d agree to take her out on the one date, let alone eventually be the one I made my wife. But she agreed to that one date, and then she agreed to the second and so on.

It’s safe to say she changed my life. So instead of this being a goodbye speech, I want to make this a thank you speech.

Leah, I have so much I’m grateful for, I have so much to thank you for, because well, what didn’t you do that didn’t make me happy or in love?

I want to thank you for making me laugh when I least expected it, your jokes were the bomb, and I would have never had them any other way.

Thank you, for incessantly quoting movies like Wayne’s World and Spinal Tap. It always cheered me up when I was down or when we were apart.

Thank you for being supportive of everything I ever did, every decision I made, every mistake I made. Without that I would never have done nearly as much I’ve done in the last 10 years.

Thank you for keeping your head screwed on when things got a little crazy.

Thank you for watching Home Alone with me constantly on repeat. No-one else would’ve done it, and I love you for that.

Thank you for always being open and honest with me, you never kept me guessing and that saved me a lot of guessing.

Thank you, for agreeing to go on that first date with me 10 years ago. It’s safe to say that day changed my life.

Thank you, for saying yes when I got down on one knee for you, and marrying me 7 years ago.

Thank you, for the three beautiful children I now have. Each one is a little piece of you that I get to keep forever.” I looked over at them, Evie wasn’t crying; she didn’t understand. Isla was sobbing quietly into Alex’s chest, while he was rubbing her back and stroking her hair. Leo was quietly crying into Rian’s side as he wrapped and arm round him. The tears began to overflow, and I wiped them angrily away. I would not cry.

“Thank you, for understanding that I have a job, and not complaining when I had to go away; for supporting the band through everything and for being our number 1 fan.

Thank you for all the amazing sex, you were pretty awesome.” A light chuckle from the crowd, I was close to tears, but I was keeping it together at the same time.

“And finally, thank you, for loving me back, even when I didn’t deserve it. I could be a douche bag at times, and you being there when it mattered changed everything. I owe you everything I have.

I love you Leah Rose, so much. I didn’t think I’d ever fall in love, and I don’t think I can ever fall in love with anyone like I fell in love with you. I don’t want you to forget that when you become an angel, I want you to remember that without you my life will never be the same.” I took a deep breath; tears were now starting to seep out, rolling down my cheeks. Damn gravity.

“Because, well, without you, my life, it’s falling apart.

I blame myself, I could’ve been selfish, and I could’ve kept you alive through the life support. But you’d have been miserable at best. I understand that. But I’m sorry. I let you down. I let you down as a husband, and I let you down as your best friend. I couldn’t protect you when you needed me the most, I couldn’t save you from that car. And for that I’m endlessly sorry.” I looked around at everyone’s faces, tears glistened on their cheeks. I took a last shaky breath.

“You are always going to have that place in my heart, you know? The one that has your name on it, the one you tattooed with your name from the day I met you. It will always be reserved for you, because no-one will ever live up to you Leah. Because you are the only one that has ever mattered, and the only one that ever will. I love you Leah, I love you so much. I miss you and I’m so sorry, I’m so fucking sorry.” I nodded at Zack who was running the music, and they began playing ‘I Miss
You’ by Blink-182. It was so final.

At that I broke down, every sob I’d been holding, every shaky breath, escaped and was shown, raw on my face. I didn’t care that I looked weak; I didn’t care that everyone could see me. All I cared about was that I would never see her again; I would never be able to tell her I loved her again, and I would never be held by her again.

That’s all that mattered to me in that moment.

She was never coming back.
♠ ♠ ♠
Sadness for Jack, but hopefully closure as well.

More stuff is gonna happen in the next chapter, and there will probably be more sadness before it gets happier.

Thank you to Steffi3991 for commenting - this one will keep continuing as often as I get the chance, but I just got off study leave, so I'm back in school now, meaning I won't have as much time on my hands. But hopefully I will keep updating as regularly as possible :)

Thank you to everyone for reading!

Comment, subscribe, and recommend and all that jazz :)

Thanks :)

Title Credit - 'My Immortal' by Evanescence (it's such a perfect song for this chapter!)