Aaron’s funeral was held four days after Jaylen murdered him. Charlotte was held up in her room every single day. She refused to eat and would often cry upon her husband’s killer’s shoulder. All I could do is watch like a bound marionette. Jaylen even knew how much killing Aaron would hurt Charlotte. Jaylen did it because he always loved my sister. Ironically, I believe that my sister had a crush on him since middle school, but his introverted self was too scared to become more than friends. I remember at the bachelor party for Charlotte and Aaron’s wedding and how much Jaylen had cried.
I knew how much he loved Charlotte, but everyone just believed he was so happy for Aaron for marrying the love of his dreams. If Jaylen only asked her out back in middle school, I bet she would have said yes. But once Charlotte learns what Jaylen did, she won’t forgive him.
Upon Aaron’s casket sits the picture of him in his wedding outfit, the day before the wedding ceremony. Music from the organ sings a sad tone as the mourning begins. Tears fly from the audience, enough to water the flowers wrapped around the casket. I don’t know anyone who didn’t respect Aaron for who he was. He was a kind man who often ran marathons or climbed mountains to earn money for charities. He was a good man.
As the service came to an end, everyone took their time to say a few words to Aaron before they took him to his final resting place.
“A-Aaron,” Charlotte starts, “I-I know my brother would have liked to be here, b-but as you already know he’s still in a c-c…” She couldn’t finish her sentence before she burst into tears. Her calm collected self vanished into someone thrusting for salvation. “You shouldn’t have taken on the challenge to climb Thanatos Mountain. It was from someone who used a private number and offered an insane amount of money to climb the mountain that no one has ever returned from! I know the constant hospital bills are piling on each other, but you didn’t need to climb Thanatos Mountain just to get the funds. You would have been able to see Mallory’s face again if you only listened to me. So why! WHY?”
Jaylen runs up to Charlotte and wraps his long arms around her.
“He did it for your sake,” Jaylen whispers. “With Mal’s condition, he can’t work and you took the expenses on yourself. I know you’ve been working over 70 hours a week to attempt to pay for them, but what Aaron did was for you. He loved you.” Charlotte continues to cry in Jaylen’s arms. Everyone around goes to comfort Charlotte.
“Though I’m not here in person, Aaron, thank you for being the pillar of support for Charlotte for as long as you had,” I say. “I’m sorry I couldn’t stop Jaylen. He has always been jealous of what you had. I guess you never knew that Jaylen really loved her. Honestly, I doubt you wanted to find out about Jaylen’s feelings the way you did. I just hope you are in a happy place right now. I’ll deal with Jaylen once I wake up.”
I walk away, my back turned. Being outside my body, I am unable to cry for Aaron, but I’m mourning just like every else.
“Thank you,” A voice whispers. I turn around and there is no one behind me. I guess those are Aaron’s last words. I just wished they were told to Charlotte. The service comes to an end and Aaron’s casket is taken away to be buried.
“NO! No…no…” cries Charlotte, chasing after Aaron’s casket. Charlotte trips over her heels and crashes to the floor. “Aaron, please don’t leave me!” She reaches out her hand to the casket being walked away.
Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock.
“Charlotte, I know you are in there,” Jaylen says. After a while of no answer, Jaylen takes the extra key from the bottom of the wall mailbox and unlocks the door. “I’m coming in!”
Jaylen, first you commit the crime of murder and now you are committing the crime of breaking and entering. What’s next? And when did Aaron tell him where the extra key was?
I follow Jaylen to the living room where on the couch crying is Charlotte. She’s still in the black dress that she wore to Aaron’s funeral early this morning.
“Come on Charlotte, you need some fresh air,” Jaylen says. “You’ve been refusing to eat ever since Aaron died. Sure, I’m sad about his death just as much as you, but I’m not giving up my health over it. Take care of yourself. What would Aaron say if he saw you like this?”
“He’d do something stupid like tell me that he would hike something or walk some great distance if I would stop being sad,” says Charlotte.
“Sure, he’s not here to say something like that, but he still would want you to smile,” Jaylen assures Charlotte. “So please, don’t throw away your life. Live for me and Mal.”
After a moment of thought, Charlotte replies, “I will. Thank you, Jaylen.”
“What are friends for,” Jaylen replies, hugging her tight. He wipes the tears off of her face. “But first…” Grrrr. Charlotte’s stomach rumbles ferociously. “We need to get you something to eat. Interested in Italian?”
“Always,” Charlotte says trying to put a smile on her face. “After this, we should visit Mallory.”
“Yeah…sure…” hesitates Jaylen.
“One sec, I need to take a shower and get something nice to wear,” says Charlotte. “Make yourself at home. There are clean cups in the dishwasher.”
Charlotte walks upstairs as Jaylen heads into the kitchen to grab some water to drink. Aaron’s death caused Charlotte a lot of pain and knowing that Jaylen did it would only make it worse. Even though reporting Aaron’s murder to Charlotte and to the authorities is the right thing to do, I don’t know if I have the heart to watch Charlotte fall apart again. Do I tell her and let her feel sorry about herself about crying on her husband’s killer’s shoulders, or do I let her live a happy life with her husband’s killer? Neither are pleasant and honestly, I’m not sure what to do once I wake up. One thing for sure is, I need to talk to Jaylen.
“I’m ready to go!” Charlotte calls as she walks down the stairs. She’s wearing a dark purple dress to go along with her light purple lipstick.
“Gorg…” starts Jaylen but cuts off, his face turning a bit red.
“What did you say?” asks Charlotte.
“Nothing, never mind,” Jaylen replies frantically. “Anyway lets go.”
Jaylen hops into the passenger's door of Charlotte’s blue Nissan Murano. I attempt to hop into the back of the car, but end up just walking through to the middle of the car. Charlotte floors the gas as the car charges out of the driveway. I’m surprised that she hasn’t gotten into an accident with how she drives.
When I arrive at where Charlotte and Jaylen are eating, they have already sat down. Sapori D’Italia is Charlotte’s favorite Italian restaurant. It’s fancy and though pricy, has the best food I have ever eaten. I know I should watch Jaylen to make sure he doesn’t try to kill another person who looks at Charlotte, but I don’t want to barge into Charlotte’s own personal life.
“Buon pomeriggio,” the waitress says while setting the water glasses on the table. She then hands them the plastic menus “Good afternoon. My name is Flora and I’ll be your waitress. Is there anything I can get for you to drink?”
“A coffee,” replies Charlotte.
“I’m good,” replies Jaylen. “Water’s fine.”
“Understood,” says Flora. “I’ll be back to you with that.” She leaves swiftly.
“You glad that you left the confinements of your home?” Jaylen asks.
“Yeah,” Charlotte agrees. “It has been forever since I’ve been here. I’ve been so focused on Mallory and all of the bills piling on itself that I haven’t had a chance to do something for myself.”
“Well, hopefully, Mal gets better soon,” says Jaylen. “I’ve heard that somewhere in Russia there’s a doctor that specializes in cases similar to Mal’s.”
“Really!” Charlotte’s face lights up. “Is there any way I can get in contact with them?”
“The thing is…” starts Jaylen.
“I know that it costs a lot of money, but I’m sure if we both work hard together, we can afford it,” assures Charlotte.
“No, that’s not the problem,” Jaylen replies. “He’s gone missing since last summer. I recently found him before he went missing and tried to get an appointment from him, however, the day after, he vanished.”