Four months after Charlie's death

BRAX POV:

I sat down at the table sighing, I stared into my mug of coffee. It had been four months since Charlie died, it was getting slightly easier. Day by day I was growing stronger, after my big accident with the fighting I realized Charlie would have hated seeing me like that. After the flashbacks in the hospital it was a wakeup call how close I'd come to losing my life. But the pain never went away, that longing in my heart with every beat, it was killing me. I took a deep breath in, looking around. The house was so quiet Casey was at school and I'd sent Heath to cover for me at Angelo's, I couldn't face it today. I decided to take a shower to freshen up for the day. I stepped into the shower letting the hot water wash over me, I closed my eyes tears seeping out and rolling down my cheeks. I slid down the cold bathroom tiles the water still gushing over me, "oh Charlie" I sobbed shaking my head. I watched the tears roll off my chin and join the shower water, like a river joining the sea. After a few minutes I wiped my eyes and stood up; I rubbed a bar of soap over me then rinsed it off sighing deeply. I stepped out of the bath and grabbed my towel drying myself off and shaking the water out of my hair. I sat down on the side of the bath holding the gray towel in my hands, my brain shut off and I was 'back there in Leah's kitchen Charlie opposite me grinning cheekily. She giggled nervously as Leah stood shell shocked in the door way, she had just walked in on me and Charlie. I looked at the Towel in Charlie's hand' I looked up blinking I had been having flashbacks a lot recently, after the incident in hospital. They seemed so real! I stood up wrapping the towel around my waist I wondered into my room and slung on some brown shorts and a plain black top I decided I would go and check how heath was doing. I slipped my pumps on and walked outside closing the door behind me I breathed in the fresh air then walked down the road. I had intended to go to Angelo's but somehow I ended up at the church. I stood outside the gate hesitating I knew Ruby had a special Memorial made for Charlie but I had never seen it. I pushed the gate open and walked in, I looked around and shuddered I had always hated graveyards and memorials ever since my granddad died when I was 7. I looked around then I saw a small plaque on a granite slate, I walked over cautiously holding my breath. I stopped when I was a few meters away I could just read the silver print it read 'In memory of Charlie Buckton Long standing Member of the police force and Brilliant Mother, She will be missed.' I looked down at the small bunch of red roses I had picked up on the way. I closed my eyes letting tears roll down my cheeks I staggered forward a few paces then bent down and placed them carefully next to it. I noticed there were some other flowers they looked a bit older but they were quite recent. I was about to move them but felt bad and changed my mind, I stood up breathing deeply. I noticed a small bench under some trees, by the thick hedge that fenced the area off. I wondered over and sat down on it heavily, I put my head in my hands sighing.

I was startled by the creaking of a gate I sat up and looked around my heart beating fast. I saw a figure walking across the path towards Charlie's memorial I blinked a few times then realized it was ruby she too had brought some white flowers. As she approached the memorial she noticed the small bundle of red roses I had left, she looked up wiping the tears from her eyes she turned around then saw me. She turned back and sat down; I looked down feeling a wave of guilt wash over me. I looked back up and saw her moving something at first I thought she was moving my roses but then I saw she was collecting the old dead ones and replacing them with the new white ones. A tear escaped as I watched her, she looked so fragile, she looked so broken, I had struggled growing up without a dad I couldn't imagine what it was like for her. When she had finished she stood up, she looked as if she was about to leave but then she turned and walked towards me. She sat down on the other end of the bench sniffing quietly. "I'm so sorry Ruby" I whispered a tear running down my cheek. "Me too" she said pulling a packet of tissues out of her bag. She pulled one out and handed it to me, "thanks" I said taking it off her and wiping my face. "I guess they were from you" she said nodding at the Memorial. "Yeah" I said "sorry I didn't know-""It's fine" she said cutting me off. She slid closer to me on the bench as I wiped my eyes and replaced my hand in my lap. She stared at me making me feel slightly uncomfortable then she spoke "you really loved her didn't you" she said quietly. I looked up at her and sighed "More than anything in the world" I replied looking down and fiddling with the tissue. She reached out and touched my hand squeezing it gently. I looked up and smiled briefly "sorry" she said, "I shouldn't have blamed you and I shouldn't have shut you out, I know you'd never hurt her really" she said pulling her hand away and wiping her eyes. "I don't blame you" I said shuffling my feet on the ground trying not to cry. We sat there silent for a few minutes, and then her phone beeped. She pulled it out then stood up "sorry I've gotta go, that was Romeo we have a surf comp in a few hours so I'd better get going" "good luck" I replied smiling at her. "Thanks" she said as she turned away "Ruby" I said, she stopped and turned round "Thank you" She nodded her head then turned and walked out through the gate. I sat for a few minutes thinking about what had just happened then I got up. I stopped next to Charlie's memorial briefly then left. I decided I would go check on Heath as I had intended before, I knew things didn't go so smoothly when he was in charge.

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