I don't own anything.

August 9th

It was too hot outside to be wearing all black. The people around me were fanning themselves with the funeral announcement. Figures that the day we bury him, the forecast has to be a record high. It had been unseasonably warm since the day he died—like Mother Nature was punishing us for letting him perish.

I felt nauseous. The glaring sun, which bore down on me with an unreasonable amount of ire, was giving me a headache. I reached up to rub my temples and five sets of hands touched me in various locations, as if to ease my grief. I bit my tongue to keep from snapping at them. Grief had not set in yet—I only wanted the headache to go away.

Maria's wailing was worthy of a soap opera and definitely not easing the ache behind my eyes. A quick glance at her hat made me giggle again. Was it appropriate to laugh at the attire of your recently deceased boyfriend's mother? She looked like she was dressed for a British Royal's funeral, not a one for a twenty-something history teacher from Forks. It had a veil and feathers and the whole shebang.

"I wonder how many crows she had to kill for that hat," I mumbled to myself. Alice was the only one that heard me. She reprimanded me with a pinch.

I had been getting strange looks and shameful stares since the funeral started. I wasn't crying or howling like his mom. I wasn't sobbing softly like his Aunt Esme or standing silent and still like Edward. I had not yet accepted that Jasper was in that wooden box.

I was still stuck on the first stage of grief—shock and denial with a little anger mixed in. I was still waiting for him to come home with a movie and some Chinese food. I desperately wanted to believe that he wasn't here because he had left me for another woman. I'd rather he had broken my heart than died on the side of the road.

Him and that fucking bike.

"Jasper Whitlock left us before his time," the minister said.

I scoffed loudly, earning a few more stares. I hated that saying—dying before your time. Obviously if you died then it was your time. Edward and Emmett spoke, some of our co-workers said a few words, and then his Uncle Carlisle wrapped things up. We laid roses on the coffin—his mom's idea.

Jasper was allergic to roses.

Finally, it was time to leave and head to the Cullen's for food, reminiscing, and booze. However, the thought of drinking in this heat made my stomach turn. Edward and Emmett would definitely partake—maybe Alice too.

Maria stumbled in her stilettos as walked across the graveyard. I laughed out loud, remembering her snide comment from earlier, "Really, Isabella, you couldn't bother to dress nice and wear heels?"

A little revengeful snicker at her expense was fine—the problem was that I couldn't stop laughing. I started laughing so hard that I was gasping.

How ridiculous was this? I was at Jasper's funeral! He was dead and I was alive and his mother was dressed like Neville's grandmother from Harry Potter. I was on my knees laughing hysterically in the middle of a cemetery for reasons I couldn't fully understand.

It was Edward that picked me up. He grabbed my arms and put me on my feet, supporting me as I wobbled.

"I'm gonna take you home, Bella."

And he did. He took me home and laid me in my bed fully dressed. He even stayed overnight, leaning against the headboard to watch over me as I slept.

It was around two o'clock in the morning when I reached out, still half asleep and searching for Jasper. When my hands met flesh, I knew it was Edward's arm that I was touching—not Jasper's—and that's when it really hit me.

Jasper was gone.

umm. ok. i haven't written anything in awhile. this story started out as a one shot for a contest but expanded dramatically. i have a plan for it. it *should* be reasonably short. also, i have no posting schedule, i am currently in the midst of fixing a new house & moving, plus school will be starting soon...so yea. lol

special thanks to MissSnazzy for beta and iheartthedoc for holding my hand.

thanks for reading!