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    Fitz
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Moving On - 1. Chapter 1 - The Funeral

The second worst day of Scott's Life.

Revised: 10/2013 No major content changes.

CHAPTER ONE

THE FUNERAL

 

I was frozen in place as I stared at the coffin in front of me before dropping my gaze down to the single white rose I held in my hand. Forcing myself to move, I took a deep breath and slowly stepped forward to look down upon Steve. My husband took my breath away every time I looked at him. Why would this time be any different? I placed the rose on his chest, and leaned forward to give him one final kiss. A kiss I didn't want to give; a kiss goodbye.

In a numb trance, I quickly returned to my seat. As I sat, the attendants closed his coffin. My name is Scott Hudgins, and on this day, I had to bury my husband. On my left side, my father squeezed my hand gently, while my brother did the same on my right.

Others might have called it a beautiful day; it was mid-July, yet the temperature was surprisingly mild, and there were few clouds in the sky. If it had been any other day, it would have been perfect. Instead, the weather just made me feel even worse. It just wasn't fair. It's supposed to rain at a funeral. At least the cool sting of rain on my face would force me to feel something; anything.

A pastor I had never met before stood and began to speak. I'm sure every word he said was touching. I didn't hear any of it. I was too lost in my head, still trying to process everything that had happened in the past ten days.

My parents, Michael and Felicia Hudgins, along with my brother, Ethan, and his new wife, Emma, had gotten on the first plane out of Baltimore when they heard the news. I had been Ethan's best man just 6 weeks before. Our best friends from college, Dustin and Michelle Smithson, also immediately dropped everything and flew down from Washington DC to be there for me.

Had it not been for them, along with our neighbors, Chris and Sarah, I don't think I'd have been able to survive until the funeral. Even still, I wasn't sure how much longer I could take all the pain burning deep inside. My entire body felt like it was literally being ripped apart. My heart was somehow being crushed while simultaneously exploding. I'm pretty sure somewhere in there I may have had an actual heart attack. I really wouldn't have noticed.

I noticed Dick get up to speak. Richard O'Neil, that is, Steve's father. I was the only person I've ever known to call him that. On the best of days we tolerated each other, but after the events of the past few days, I could honestly say I hated that man and his bitch of a wife, Lydia. They had done this to him. He never wanted any of this.

Steve's twin brother, Tom, sat awkwardly to the side of his mother. I know he needed me to be there for him, but I couldn't even look at him. Until just a few days before, we'd been very close. Now, I couldn't even bear the thought of knowing that a carbon copy of him was still walking around, perfectly alive, while he was not.

I noticed movement, which snapped my eyes back into focus for a moment. Dick was returning to his seat as Michelle walked up to speak. I really tried to listen to her. She'd always been one of the two people in the entire world who could always make me feel better no matter how badly I'm hurting. Steve was the other one. Truthfully, I didn't want to feel better. I wanted the pain. I deserved the pain. Besides, I knew what she was going to say.

"He was wonderful," "He was amazing," "He was perfect."

He was gone. I decided to tune her out.

Michelle would probably be mad at me later if she found out, but I honestly didn't care at the moment. I wasn't caring too much about anything. I looked around, noticing for the first time there was a very large crowd.

Much later, Tom would tell me virtually every person Steve and I had met in our nearly nine years together had shown up to show their respects. He had that type of effect on people. I really only remember seeing bodies. I guess my brain had decided it had processed all it could and had simply given up.

I was pulled out of my thoughts when Ethan nudged me gently.

"Dude, it's your turn, c'mon, you can do this." He helped me up to my feet and half carried me the few feet to the podium that had been positioned for the ceremony. Ethan stood beside me, giving me support.

"I know what you want to say. Just remember where we are, please, bro," he whispered. His hand gently gripped my shoulder.

I cleared my throat and started to speak.

"He was possibly the greatest person I have ever known. No one ever met him and didn't immediately become his new best friend. He was gentle, caring, and loving..."

At this point my voice broke; my entire body shook as I chocked back sobs of grief and rage. I could feel my last bit of will power fading. The one part that kept me from saying or doing something I might regret; from saying what I really felt; from saying the truth.

"Bro, please don't do this now," Ethan almost growled in my ear. He could read me like a book. I also think he knew I needed to do this.

"Fuck this!" I yelled loudly. "This is a sham, and most of you know it. We have been married for a year. We have the certificate from the DC Superior Court framed in our living room. Many of you were at that wedding! And yet, since we have the audacity to live in a state that doesn't recognize it, nothing I say matters."

I looked around for a moment and saw looks of shock and horror from the entire crowd at my outburst, and then I looked directly at the object of my unbridled hatred.

"Dick," I said, with as much venom as I could muster, "when's the last time you talked to your son about his last requests? Did you know we had talked about them many times? In fact, he wanted stipulations in our wills regarding last rights, but I shot him down. I figured no one would be a big enough asshole to question me as to what he wanted, and yet here we are."

I threw my arms up angrily, indicating the cemetery Steve had always found strangely charming.

"Here we fucking are! He wanted to be cremated and placed in a beautiful urn. He wanted a small ceremony with just our families, gathered on a beautiful and remote tropical island. He wanted his ashes spread in the sand and tide while we drank fucking mai tais and toasted his life. He wanted his sendoff to be a vacation for us and a celebration of his life, and yet here we fucking are!!"

My entire body was still shaking like a leaf. Ethan still had his hand on my shoulder, knowing this wasn't the proper place for my rant, but also aware I needed to get it off my chest. My mom was holding my dad back from launching himself at Richard. Dad hadn't known any of this. I hadn't been able to bring myself to tell him. He loved Steve like a third son and would have moved entire mountain ranges for him, had Steve even mentioned in passing he might appreciate it. Richard looked like he wanted to rip me apart. Only the fact that Lydia was crying hysterically and clutching his chest prevented him from doing so.

I knew I had said too much. Still, I couldn't stop myself.

"Every single goddamn one of you is complicit in this charade Dick has decided is in the best interest of everyone except his own son. Today we are here to bury him. Shouldn't what he wanted matter to anyone other than me? Am I the only person in attendance who is not some brainless moron with nothing better to do than undermine the wishes of the dead?

"Fuck this! I need to get out of here."

I shrugged my shoulder out from Ethan's hand and started to leave at a jog. I vaguely recall Ethan trying to catch up and Emma's voice telling him to let me go, that I needed some space.

I did.

So I ran.

Revised: 10/2013. The locations of Scott's family has been corrected, and the chapter has been cleaned up stylistically. No major content changes have been made.

I have heard so many moving stories that people have shared with me about their lost loves and their personal attempts at moving on. Some have happy endings while some are tragic. Either way, if you'd care to share those stories with me, I would be honored to hear from you.

Any comments, suggestions, or criticisms that you would like to share would also be greatly appreciated! If you have criticisms, please be specific, so that I can try to address them in the future!

Thank you to all my wonderful readers!

Moving On is © Copyright Fitz, 2011-2013. All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Chapter Comments

  • Site Administrator

A very emotional first chapter. You introduced a lot of characters for the story and there were a lot of ups and downs from sadness to raging anger. I'm sure this scene has happened many times before and you brought it to life. Nicely done.

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I feel like i felt the sadness and anger the ups and downs throughout this chapter. I look forward to reading any more that is to come.

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On 01/15/2012 09:31 PM, celticprince said:
I feel like i felt the sadness and anger the ups and downs throughout this chapter. I look forward to reading any more that is to come.
Thank you! (sorry, just learned I could respond to the reviews!)
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On 01/15/2012 12:01 PM, Billy Martin said:
Powerful emotions. Well written.
As always, thanks Billy :)
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On 01/15/2012 10:30 AM, Rebelghost85 said:
Very well written. My heartbeat is definitely elevated.

Thank you.

I'm glad I was able to capture the scene there...thank you!
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On 01/15/2012 03:47 AM, Cia said:
A very emotional first chapter. You introduced a lot of characters for the story and there were a lot of ups and downs from sadness to raging anger. I'm sure this scene has happened many times before and you brought it to life. Nicely done.
The cast is greatly reduced after the three chapters (with the exception of chapter 5) but the nature of the scene led to a lot of characters being involved in the sequence. I just hope that I did justice portraying each character the way I intended!
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On 02/03/2012 11:44 PM, Mikiesez1 said:
Please Fitz...Send the Kleenix...thumbsupsmileyanim.gif Very well done!!

Will be Following you...hehehehe

Hugzz...

Thanks Mikie!
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Having out live a number of BF's this brought back memories both painful and happy.

 

Gonna keep reading so keep it up.

 

 

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On 02/25/2012 10:57 PM, Kiltie69 said:
Having out live a number of BF's this brought back memories both painful and happy.

 

Gonna keep reading so keep it up.

 

I'm so sorry to hear that, but I'm glad that are enjoying the ride!
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I tried to find somewhere where I could comment again and I only found it in the reviews for chapter one. I must not have reviewed this one....

 

Anyway....last night after I turned the computer off I was thinking: What happened to Tom????? I meant to ask that in my review but I forgot. Zach's cuteness just took over. :)

 

But seriously, is Tom ok? Why didn't people seem worried?

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On 04/28/2013 06:22 AM, Lisa said:
I tried to find somewhere where I could comment again and I only found it in the reviews for chapter one. I must not have reviewed this one....

 

Anyway....last night after I turned the computer off I was thinking: What happened to Tom????? I meant to ask that in my review but I forgot. Zach's cuteness just took over. :)

 

But seriously, is Tom ok? Why didn't people seem worried?

Of course if people read the reviews for chapter one, they're getting a bit of a spoiler!! :P

 

Hmm... I wasn't supposed to make it seem like they weren't worried, just that I didn't feel the need to dwell on the fact that they don't know anything. He's not answering his cell phone, neither is sarah, no one is answering her house phone (or Scott's, which shouldn't be a big surprise). They've also learned that there were no accidents along the way, and he didn't seem to be in any hospital or police station that Richard could find. At that point, what can they do? Answers are coming in the next chapter! For once, there's not a wait for multiple chapters because other things dragged out longer than I expected!! :P

 

Hope that answers your question, and for those of you who are reading the reviews, she's talking about events in Chapter 30 ;)

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Very good opening chapter. Reminds me of a story I saw online on YouTube though I don't think the couple had married. The parents took the body back to their home town and cut off the partner completely. Really tragic when such happens and one of the major reasons why gay marriage needs recognition and a stamp, though here it shows even that wasn't enough for the parents. I feel Scott's frustration and anger mixed in with his pain.

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On 04/14/2016 12:17 AM, Jaro_423 said:

Very good opening chapter. Reminds me of a story I saw online on YouTube though I don't think the couple had married. The parents took the body back to their home town and cut off the partner completely. Really tragic when such happens and one of the major reasons why gay marriage needs recognition and a stamp, though here it shows even that wasn't enough for the parents. I feel Scott's frustration and anger mixed in with his pain.

Stories like that were going through my head when this story first came to me. I was also reading a couple different stories set about 6 months or a year after the death of a significant other - where the main character was already healed enough to be almost ready to move on with a little closure. It made me wonder what would happen and how I would react if something happened to my husband. It snowballed from there. While this is primarily a love story between Scott and someone new, Steve's death, and Scott coping with it, is a very important element of that story.

 

Thank you!!!!!

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