Second(3)By: Chantal Fernando
That’s all that matters.
It’s the best thing someone can do for me right now.
I rub my eyes, groaning as the light turns on in what was my pitch-black bedroom. “What?” I snap, rolling over and burying my face into my pillow. I can’t remember the last time I left my room, and I don’t even want to talk about the last time I had a shower. All I’ve done in the last month is stay in bed in my pyjamas, listening to sad music playing on repeat. I created a Ben playlist and each song on it makes me slip further into depression, but I feel like I need this. I deserve this after the hell I’ve gone through. I need to mourn, and I get to choose which way I want to do that. I know that everyone grieves differently. My best friend, Tara, has been here trying to get me out of bed several times, and I know she’s worried about me, but right now, I just want to be alone. I don’t want to feel better. The pain is all I have right now, and it’s comforting me. It’s making me feel, and I’d rather that than feeling nothing at all. I just need some time, and I wish that they’d give me that, instead of coming to my room every day, trying to cheer me up. I don’t want to be rude to them, but I just lost my husband. How do they expect me to bounce back from that? There will be no bouncing. Just sleeping, listening to Babyface, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, and James Morrison, and wondering why this had to happen to me.
“I made you some soup,” a deep voice says, getting a reaction out of me for the first time in days.
I turn to look at Dean, standing there in my bedroom holding a bowl in his hands. “What are you doing here?”
I haven’t seen him since the funeral. He drove me home, helped me get into bed, and then disappeared. I assumed he went back on tour; I know he’s a busy man. He can’t exactly disappoint his fans no matter what the emergency is, which is why I wasn’t upset by his sudden disappearance. Plus, he owes me nothing. I was his cousin’s wife, and that’s it. Sure, we’ve spent time together over the years as a family, and I know him well enough, but we’re not super close. In fact, he’s never even been inside my house before, so why the hell is he here now?
“And how did you get in?”
“Tara let me in,” he says, placing the bowl down gently on the side table next to my bed. “She said you haven’t been eating, haven’t even left your room.” His knees hit the cream carpet as he looks over me. Pushing my hair off my face, he murmurs, “Eat, Sabina, now. I won’t leave the room until you do.”
I narrow my hazel eyes on him. “Why are you here, Dean?”
He looks away for a moment, then says, “He was my family too, Sabina.”
All the anger instantly fades away. I’m not the only one mourning Ben, and I shouldn’t act like I am. The whole world doesn’t revolve around me. Ben had lots of people in his life who cared about him. I sit up and take the bowl of soup in my hands, lifting the spoon and scooping a mouthful. He watches me intently, staying silent the whole time as I eat. When I get halfway and can’t possibly have any more, I put the bowl down. He nods, as if satisfied.
“Aren’t you meant to be on tour?” I ask him, knowing that his music is his life.
“Family comes first,” is his reply as he stands, walks to the windows, and opens the curtains. I wince as the bright sun hits me harder than the overhead light did. “It’s a beautiful day outside.”
“Good for everyone else,” I mumble, pulling my sheet up further. “Where is Tara?”
“She had to go to work,” Dean explains, sitting down on the corner of my bed. “Are you going to get up?”
“No,” I say, looking out the window. “I have two months off work, so I don’t see why I have to. I just want to stay in bed.”
“And what? Listen to depressing music and feel sorry for yourself?”
“Is that so bad?” I fire back, running my hands through my tangled hair. I must look like total crap, while he stands there in jeans and a black t-shirt, his hair falling over his forehead like he just came here from a photo shoot. Hell, maybe he did. “How long are you going to stay for?”
“A couple of days,” he says, green eyes darting around my room. “And no, it’s not so bad, but your month of feeling sorry for yourself ends now.” His eyes lock with mine. “You have every right to feel what you’re feeling, but life goes on. You need to push through. The pain might not leave you, ever, but I can promise you that it will fade in time.”
I purse my lips. “Are you going to write a song about this now?”