The day the world said goodbye to me was a somber one—gray skies with a light drizzle of rain. The only tears shed for me came from Peyton and Ma.
Standing in the back of the church, I watched people pay their final respects—polite words without real emotions. I got the sincere feeling that they were only there to make sure I was really dead.
At the burial site, I kept my distance and witnessed the same spectacle. The only difference was the gun salute and the folding of the flag, which was given to Ma. It was truly an eerie experience viewing my funeral. Deep down, you hope that when you leave this world the masses will show up and spout words of sorrow and pain. A person wants to know that they mattered to somebody. Those who cared about me could fit into two pews—a handful of bikers, key members of the security team, Peyton, and Ma. Nobody else came. Not even my goddamned father bothered to make an appearance. The lack of mourners confirmed what I always feared—folks didn’t give a damn about my ass.
The one who loved me in spite of myself—the one I hurt—practically had to be carried away when the services were over. Ollie held up Peyton. Her face was red and swollen from non-stop crying. I did that to her. No matter what happened next, I couldn’t undo that damage. Seeing her like that hurt me deeper than anything I’d ever felt.
I waited until everyone left before approaching the freshly dug grave. Dressed in faded jeans, an old cargo jacket, a beanie, and dark glasses, anyone watching might have mistaken me for a vagabond. That was the intent.
Someone stopped at my side. “Did you know him?”
I turned toward the voice and discovered a dirty man in coveralls. “Thought I did,” I lied. “I was wrong. Paying my respects all the same.”
He nodded and went back to his work.
I allowed myself one last look and eased the coffin shut on my past.
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