Rose laid out on the sofa, the tv the only light in the dark living room, though she wasn't really watching it. She was lost in her thoughts.
Telling Denzil was easy. Heartbreaking. Life destroying for her. But easy. He'd done the guess work for her. Prince, though, was completely devastating.
The morning started when Rose woke from a restless sleep, the now cold body of her 17 year old angel lying cradled in her arms, Tom lay next to her looking equally as devastated as she did.
"Have to tell them..." Rose muttered. "Got to tell the kids..."
Tom watched her. "Give youtself a bit of time..." he told her gently.
"No I can't." Rose shook her head then dissolved into tears. "Oh, God Tom how do I tell them?"
Tom just hugged her and whispered soft words to her, his own tears coursing down his face and into her hair.
Both of them willing Sam to wake up, just so they could both speak to her, even if it was for Rose to tell her off for playing such a cruel trick om her.
Denzil was still sat against his sister's bedroom door, his little brother sleeping in his arms.
"C'mon, Prince, wake up." he said gently, lightly shaking him.
The youngest child woke up, a big smile on his face at the sight of his big brother. "Den!" he grinned.
Denzil managed a small smile. "Let's go get breakfast." he said, standing him up and then standing up himself.
"Got wake Sam." Prince said with childish innocence.
Denzil knew his sister would never wake up again. He took a deep breath, swallowing his tears and shook his head. "Later, mate."
"Hmm 'kay!" Prince pouted.
"Now come on! You know what she's like in the mornings, she's a big scary dragon!" Denzil teased, making the child giggle.
"Scary! Rawr!" Prince giggled and sat on the top step and proceeded to slide down the stairs on his bottom.
Denzil took one last look at the door that bore the words "Sam's Room" before following his brother down the stairs to get him some breakfast.
He sat at the table, helping to feed his brother some cereal, internally debating whether to take him to nursery or not when he heard soft footsteps entering the room. He looked up to see his mother there.
"Come here, baby." Rose said softly.
Denzil placed the spoon down, got up and half ran across the room into her arms, and only then did he start sobbing.
"She's alright now, baby. She's not hurting anymore." Rose whispered, hugging him tightly.
"Why here mum? Sam never done anything to hurt anyone." Denzil sobbed.
"I don't know. I know she didn't, baby. She was a good girl. But just you remember this. She's always here, looking over us. She's alive in our hearts and memories as long as we remember that and remember her." Rose said gently, trying to reassure herself more than anybody else.
Prince looked on, making a loise of indignation at being left out, slid off his chair and ran over to them.
Rose looked, forced a smile and picked him up.
"Where Sam mummy?" Prince asked.
Rose didn't have time to wipe her tears away because more had fallen from her eyes. "She's asleep."
"Time to wake her up for school." Prince said with the same childish innocence as before.
"She's not waking up, baby. The angels took her up to heaven." Rose said and watched as her little boy started to cry, not fully understanding what she had meant. She hugged him and Denzil to her once more. "All those headaches she's been having, and how tired and very sick she's been, she won't have that anymore. The angels will look after her. And she will look after you."
"How mummy? When the angels have her?"
"Because she's an angel too. And angels look after the ones they love don't they?"
Tom came down the stairs after a while, walking into the kitchen and put a hand on Rose's shoulder. "An ambulance will be here to take her away soon." he said gently.
"I wanna see her." Denzil said quietly. "I need to know that she don't look like she's in pain."
Tom and Rose both shared a look.
"You go with him. I'll take Prince." Tom said, at this, Prince held his arms out for him, and Rose passed him over, putting her arms back around Denzil and the two of them walked up the stairs.
Denzlil stopped outside his sister's room, hesitating for a moment.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Rose looked at him, unsure whether or not she should let him do this.
Denzil nodded, wiping his eyes for what seemed like the millionth time. He didn't know what to think or feel. Not one single clear thought ran through his mind, and his emotions were even more of a jumbled ball inside him.
Rose grasped the door handle, slowly pulled it down and opened the door.
Upon entry, Rose could see that Tom had had a bit of a clean up, and cleaned Sam up a bit too. Her matted blonde hair now was splayed across her shoulders, brushed through and tidy.
Sam really did look as though she were sleeping.
Denzil looked at his sister and walked over to her. "I'm sorry, Sam. For everything bad and stupid I did."
"Hey come on, now. She'll have forgiven you. No matter what you're still her brother. Still her family." Rose said.
"What are you gonna tell Earl?"
"I haven't thought that far ahead yet." Rose answered honestly. "Telling Earl and Marley will be tough, just like telling you two... Might leave Reynold to rot in his cell. Sam was right last night. She did find her dad. And yours. And Prince's. Tom's been here for us all and I can't thank him enough... Sam loved him like he was her own father."
"Reynold's still her dad though mum."
Rose thought for a few minutes. "Alright. I'll pass it to his mother. The old battle axe never liked us anyway, but she might just pass the message..." Rose sighed softly.
Denzil nodded. "She looks like she's sleeping."
"Yeah she does..." Rose agreed. "I'm keeping you two home with me today. I'm sure Mrs Fisher will understand..." she added, 'Oh Bex should know too... She's been so good with Sam since everything happened...' she thought.
"I don't want to go anyway." Denzil muttered, leaning down to kiss his sister on the cheek. "You best not come back to annoy me." he managed a small smile.
Rose smiled and watched Denzil leave the room. She ran her fingers through Sam's hair. "Goodnight, my angel. You'll never leave my heart. Or my mind." she said softly, kissing her on the forehead.
She too left the room and shut the door behind her. Eventually she walked down the stairs, walking into the living room to the phone and called the prison Earl was in, and made arrangements to see him the following day.
Marley didn't want to believe it. Her boy, so so far away from home and she felt helpless telling him over the phone.
"Mum?" Marley seemed surprised at the call.
"Hey, Marley. Listen... Have you got a minute for your old mum?" Rose sounded tired.
"Urm... yeah sure." Marley said, closing his study book and note pad. "What's up?"
"It's about Sam..."
"What about her? She's alright isn't she?" Marley was worried. He'd kknown Sam was ill, had known it was cancer. He wanted to know she was alight, he was due to come home at the weekend to see her.
"She's gone..." Rose whispered.
"Gone...? What do you mean...?" Marley asked. He'd known of course. How could he not? His mum never called him four days before he was due to return home. She'd always called him the night before. He could no longer hear Sam yelling at Denzil for pissing her off or for just plain irritating her.
"She went, Marley... In her sleep... I held her as she left, she wasn't alone..."
"No... she can't be..." Marley shook his head, tears filling his eyes.
Flick was sat the other side of the room, watching him carefully. She heard his words and her heart broke, and she got up off the chair, walking over and she hugged him.
"She's just a kid!" Marley shouted out.
"A kid who deserved the world, a kid who deserved to live, I know..." Rose said gently.
"Yeah she did... I'm coming home tomorrow." Marley said.
"Okay baby... Do you have someone to talk to?"
"Yeah, got Flick.." Marley answered, "She's the only one that understands..."
"Okay... Well I've got to see Earl tomorrow... To tell him..." Rose sighed softly.
"Mum that's gonna kill him..."
"I know... but he deserves to know... God knows how I'm going to do it though..."
"Wait till I get there... we'll go together." Marley said.
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah..." Marley answered. "We gotta go... got to finish our course work then try and sleep."
"Okay, speak tomorrow, Marley..." Rose said softly and hung up.
Marley just dropped the phone and stayed where he was, hugging Flick and just let all his emotions out.
Rose looked around her, the house unusually quiet. Sam's voice shouting for Denzil to keep out of her room couldn't be heard. Nor could Sam's favourite songs be heard either.
Just then, a ringtone could be heard from the kitchen. Sam's phone. Rose got up off the sofa and walked through to the kitchen to the phone, lying discarded on the kitchen side, as though it were just left there and Sam would be coming to get it in moments. But of course she wouldn't... Not anymore.
Finn's name flashed up on the screen.
"Oh, Finn..." Rose said softly. He'd been told earlier by Josh, through Tom. "Hearing her voice again won't help..." she muttered.
Tom had told her before he left that when Josh called Finn round, the news was broken to Finn, and he was completely heartbroken.
She knew Lauren was going to be equally upset, because she had been her best friend.
telling Earl was both difficult and worrying. They both knew what he was capable of when angry. The only person he'd ever lost was maxine, and he truly did love her. He'd never actually lost family until now.
Both Rose and Marley sat clutching each other's handsas they both waited in a room for Earl to be lead in to see them.
After a few more long moments of anxious waiting, the door finally opened.
Upon entry, Earl took one look at his mother's and brother's faces and could instantly tell that something was wrong.
"What's happened?" Earl asked, worried and he sat down opposite them.
"First of all... I just want to say how sorry I am that I never came here sooner..." Rose said gently.
Earl just shrugged. "I wouldn't wanna visit me either." he said.
There and then it struck Rose that she'd never even told him that Sam was ill.
"No... it's not that... it's something else that I should have told you sooner... Sam told me not to because she didn't want you worrying and getting worked up."
"Just spit it out, mum. It can't be that bad." Earl said, a slight smirk on his face.
"Sam had cancer." Rose told him, and watched to gauge his reaction.
The smirk dropped from his face in an instant. "What do you mean 'had'?"
"She had an inoperable brain tumour." Marley spoke.
"She begged me not to tell you... she died the early hours of yesterday morning..." Rose finished.
"And you never todl me?! Not even behind her back?!" Earl snapped. "She was my sister!I should have known!"
"I know... I know and I'm sorry..." Rose said softly.
"You weren't there for most of our lives! What the fuck do you care?!" Earl ranted. "We brought ourselves up! No fucking help from you cause you were too busy getting pissed all the time!"
"I know. I'll never forgive myself for that. But when Sam needed me, I was there for her. Where were you? Banged up in here cause you were too stupid to keep a gun and go chasing after your girlfriend."
"Is it any wonder with a mum like you?"
"Get him out of my sight." she snapped at the police officer who had entered the room upon hearing the raised voices. Inside thoughm she knew everything he said was true.
"You ay as well have caused that tumour in her head." Earl said as he was pulled from the room.
At those words, Rose burst into tears. Marley just glared after his brother, too stunned for words and he hugged her. "Don't listen to him..." he managed after a while.
"He's right though..."
"How? Tumours grow. You didn't give her one. You said it yourself, the doctors told you they couldn't operate. You and Tom didn't give up on her, not even till the end."
Rose nodded, but she didn't believe him. Earl was right. Had been all along. And she hated herself for it.