HOW I LIVE NOW….(PART TWO)
"Evelyn…Mali" Anna whispered softly, I let her have a soft smile.
"Don't be scared, Dears." She touched each of our faces lovingly. Mali closed her eyes at her warm touch.
"Anna…." I said, almost pleadingly. "Don't start with the goodbyes, please." I whispered. I couldn't lose her, she was like a mother to me for god sakes! She was also the only connection I had to my Alex.
"I'm dying, Evi." She whispered. I looked down at my lap and finally nodded.
"My will is in my bedroom. I think it's in the closet, buried with some cook books." Her voice got weaker and weaker as she said this.
"Anna…You don't-" I started, Anna held up her hand.
"I wasn't finished." He voice was almost gone.
"Sorry." I said.
"It shouldn't be very hard to find, but if you don't, it doesn't really matter because I've left you everything." she said, I almost laughed at her bluntness. I raised my eyebrows, out of all the people Anna knows, she chose Mali and I to have her belongings.
"What?" Anna patted my hand and said,
"I won't ask you to not be sad, though. Because I know how hard it is to be told that." she was looking toward the other side of the bed as she said this. I thought of Alex again. I heard a giggle from behind me, but took no notice.
"You are everything I wanted in a daughter." She said lovingly, I just looked at her. She was so in control of the situation, almost happy. I just nodded dumbly.
"And you are everything I wanted in a granddaughter, Mali." Mali said something but I didn't catch it. The last few minutes of Anna's life, I didn't say anything, neither did she. Anna's eyes slowly looked mine and Mali's faces over until her body was drained of life. She took one last intake of breath, closing her eyes and then seemed to hold it never exhaling.
I was numb all over. I didn't feel like crying, I would save that for later for when Mali wasn't around, I had to stay strong for her. I was just in disbelieve. Anna was gone from this world forever. A part of me always thought of her as indestructible even as her husband died and as she later watched her son die she always stayed strong. I have always admired Anna and when I adopted Mali I made sure that I would not only be like my own mother and grandmother but like Anna as well. I sat in that stiff hospital chair paralyzed, in shock, and continued stroking Anna's pulse less hand.
"Why don't you go get the car." I said to Mali flatly. She nodded, looking calmer than I expected. She rose and left the room swiftly, I didn't look back at her as the door slammed. Again, the cold spread over me and I felt peaceful.
I left the room quickly, to escape. This was the first time I had witnessed a soul pass on to Heaven and I felt a little jumpy. Though, I didn't let this all show on my face, for Evelyn's sake. I turned back to look through the window of Anna's room and I saw too people sitting on the left side of the bed. Alex was stroking Evelyn's hair faintly and whispering soothing words into her ear and I realized why Evelyn
wasn't falling apart like I'd expected.
The next few days were hard on Evi, I could tell that much but she still hadn't cried yet. I looked for Alex after I'd seen him in the hospital the night his mother died. He wasn't here anymore. I sat down across from Evi at the dusty kitchen table of the Cullen family mansion in Forks, disappointed, and watched as she worked through all of the bills and funeral arrangements. There was so much I wanted to say to him, so much I wanted to ask him. I hadn't even bothered to look for Anna, she was probably with Frank somewhere in Heaven, I hoped. But, Alex was different, his love was still here on Earth.
Anna's funeral was on a Tuesday morning. The clouds were predictably cloudy and gray. A slight drizzle covered the small crowed of people around Anna's casket. Evelyn had decided to bury Anna right next to Frank and Alex. If I could cry I would.
I finally convinced Evelyn to come clean out the Conner's house. It was a bright Sunday morning five days after Anna's funeral. Evelyn stepped through the door warily. She looked around the house like a deer blinded by headlights. I think she was afraid of painful visions of her memories here. I wondered what those memories may be, but I didn't ask her. I grabbed Evi's hand as we entered further into the house. It looked as if Anna had never left. Her mail was on the table near the door, the last remains of a half eaten breakfast was on the counter. I watched Evelyn carefully. Evelyn let go of my cold hand and walked into the living room. As Evi moved across the carpet, I heard someone humming pleasantly. If my heart were still beating it would have stopped. I followed Evelyn into the room quickly. Then I smiled at the person sitting in an armchair next to the couch.
"Well, I thought you too would never come!" Alex said teasingly.
"Alex!…" I said aloud. Evelyn turned to me, her face was very pale, her breath caught. "'s house…." I finished lamely. Alex chuckled, still sitting in his favorite chair.
"Yes, Honey. We're at Alex's house." Evelyn said this slowly, as if I had forgotten where we were and what we were doing there.
"Yeah" I said. She tried to smile.
"You won't tell her I am here." this wasn't a question. I looked into his sad eyes and shook my head when Evelyn turned her head back. I also turned my back on him, feeling disgusted with myself and asked Evelyn what she was looking at.
"The fish!" she said, looking on to Anna's many colorful fish in a bowl near the window.
"What about them?"
"They aren't dead from starvation yet."
"Positive thinking, Ev." I teased. She turned to me, her long bronze hair fell into her face.
"Anna died a week ago. These fish haven't been taken care of." I heard Alex laugh again and I turned to him casually, like I was admiring the view from the window.
"I take care of them." he said. I raised my eyebrows. Can sprits do that? I've never heard of them picking up objects.
"I can." Alex said simply. I nodded, frowning.
"That's odd." I said, turning back to Evelyn as if Alex hadn't said anything at all. Evelyn picked up the fish food in the little plastic container and sprinkled it's contents in the fish bowl. They ignored the food and swam around it.
"I've already fed them today."
"Maybe they're not that hungry." I tried, Evelyn shook her head in confusion and walked out of the room.
"Nice save." Alex teased. I looked at him and I walked over to the couch next to his armchair and sat down, taking off my coat.
"You won't tell her I'm here." he said again. The faint worry lines that I still remember to this day on Alex when he was Alive appeared on to his face now.
"I can't, Alex." I said, I hoped he could understand.
"why not?" he asked softly.
"Imagine how that would make her feel, knowing that you are here on Earth, always with her, always talking to her, but she can't hear you or touch you. Imagine the amount of pain that would be for her" Alex closed his eyes and sighed heavily.
"She needs me, Mali." he was pleading now.
"She has me." I said softly. He opened his eyes, a gentle smile playing softly on his lips.
"That's right, she has you……but I really think you should tell her." he tried hopefully. I shook my head at him, a smile now playing on my lips.
"No dice." We sat in silence for quite a while, listening to Evelyn clean up the kitchen.
"If you can pick things up, why didn't you clean the house while you were here?"
"I hate chores." he said, not looking at me. His thoughts were a million miles away, I felt like a little child again, trying to figure out what he was thinking.
"That makes sense."
"I'm not perfect," he admitted, "no sprit is, after all." He smiled at me, affection in his gray eyes.
"Alex…?" I asked
"Yes?" He sighed.
"What aren't you in Heaven?" This made him chuckle.
"I am in Heaven, Dear." My eyes widened and I looked around.
"This…your house…is your heaven?" he nodded.
"Heaven can be anything I want it to be….and this…," he looked around the room and his smiled broadened. "…this is my home."
"Every time I was in the hospital, I longed to be home, I suppose everybody does…I mean…it is a hospital. But, this is where I always felt safe, no matter how bad things got. My safe heaven." I remembered that feeling when Evelyn used to take me out away from my mother, I still do feel that way when I look at her sometimes, even after all these years.
"I sometimes change Heavens, though." He said softly. I looked at him, my chain of though breaking.
"Change heavens?" He nodded.
"My other heaven is in Evelyn." He gave no explanation for this, but I didn't ask for one even though I did wonder why I've never seem him until now.
Part 3 should be coming out shortly. The comments were awesome. I do love comments……