I'm so sorry for this… it just happened!

Arthur stood alone. He didn't remember the last time he'd felt this lonely, this scared – This old.He was nearly forty, thirty nine to be exact but to Arthur's age had never really meant anything. For as long as he could remember he'd always been the happy one, the cheerful one. The one who would always be there. In the last ten years he had watched Martin finally find love with Alex, finally find a job that got him paid, finally leave MJN and lose contact. He'd watched his mother marry Herc, he'd offered to move out and been told not to be so stupid, he'd watched them be happy. He'd seen Douglas' face at his mothers wedding, he'd seen him head to the bar and quietly order a whiskey, he'd seen him get more and more distracted until finally he quit MJN and left. And finally he'd watched GERTI finally give out for good, with no Douglas there to come up with a clever plan to save her. Arthur had watched all of this, he'd watched everyone change around him, but he has stayed the same. Constantly cheerful, constantly childish, constantly there…

And now he was still there, stood on lush green grass head bowed, age finally catching up with him. He felt his knees give out and he crashed to the ground, rare tears surging down his pale, drawn cheeks. Through it all he'd been the dolt, the idiot boy, the clot, the clod… the one who always did everything wrong and in the end he couldn't stop what had happened. It had happened too quickly. His head hit the cold stone in front of him and just when he thought that the tears would never stop the warm weight of two hands fell on his shoulders. He looked up, shocked. To his left a bowed red head, to his right a shaking grey one. Looking down he saw two red roses joining his white. He hadn't seen either of these men in over three years, but that didn't matter, they didn't need to speak, there wasn't anything to say. He raised his brimming eyes and took in the smooth marble in front of him.

Carolyn Knapp-Shipwright

Beloved mother, wife and friend

Rest in Peace.

We'll all fly solo until we meet again.

His mother was gone. He had no idea where his father was, or if he even cared. But one thing Arthur Shappey would never be was alone.