Let Me Fall After Her





note: lyrics "anna" is borrowed from michael w. smith. it is not mine.

Chapter 12 "Saying Goodbye"

Anna's funeral was held in Philadelphia a few days after her death. Because of that factor, only a select few from Chicago were able to make it. Kerry was adamant about going, as were Mark and Elizabeth. Luka stayed behind, but Abby went for Carter's sake. He at first wasn't willing to go, but after an hour long discussion, he agreed to make his appearance, but only if Abby went with him. Max was there, along with Anna's many brothers, family members and friends. The ceremony was held in a secluded corner near a patch of oak trees which shaded them from the sun. Her golden casket, surrounded by all those dear to her, was laden with flowers of all sorts.

Carter chose not to blend in with the crowd of mourners. He stayed in the back, half-listening to the priest as he gave his blessings, gripping Abby's hand tightly in his own. He didn't know where he would've ended up if it wasn't for her. Neither thought it was necessary to tell Weaver of his near slip-up. As long as Carter would never do it again, Abby wouldn't say a word. He did however have to promise to attend more AA meetings with her, along with further counseling, which suited him fine. Anna's death had made him miserable and he wasn't willing to go back into the depths of depression again so soon after his last bout.

As the funeral ended, the guests shared small talk with one another and gave their last respects to Anna before heading back to their cars. Again, Carter shied away. He did not want to be a part of this group; he had not known any of Anna's friends in Philadelphia, nor did he plan on meeting any. As far as he was concerned, the bridge between Philadelphia and Chicago was laid to rest.

The crowd eventually dwindled down to a remaining few. Kerry and Mark expressed their sympathies to Carter before leaving. He assured them he would soon be heading back, so they need not worried. They did not of course, since they knew Abby kept a close watch on him these days. Soon the only two remaining were Carter and Max. Abby had stepped back to give Carter some time to properly say goodbye.

Both men regarded each other, sizing each other up; Max the man who Anna had loved, John the man who had stolen her heart. "She spoke a lot of you," Max began, laying a hand softly on the casket as he stood opposite of Carter. "She never wanted you two to hate each other. She just wanted to be happy, and she wanted you to be happy as well."

Carter knew he was speaking for Anna. Of all the times he'd spoken to Max, never once did he not have the urge to bash the man's skull in. He refrained from speaking, not trusting his words. Max slowly made his way around the coffin to Carter's side, his hand not once losing contact with the coffin.

"She loved you. But, it wasn't her life there. Her life was here, with me. And I'm sorry it had to be like that. I'm sorry she had to hurt you. And I'm sorry she's dead now. I'll be able to manage. I just hope you can as well." He gave one last look to Anna's grave. "Maybe I'll see you around," he finished softly. Before long, Carter was alone.

"I've told you how much I hate that guy, right?" he said nervously, feeling as though he was truly speaking to Anna instead of a symbol to where she would lay forever. "But. I guess it doesn't matter anymore, does it?" He nudged a blade of grass with his shoe. "Anna, I'm so sorry this happened. I still can't believe it." He paused to wipe his eyes. "And. I just want you to know that I'm going to be okay. It got a little rough back there, I'm sure you saw. Me with the pills. But I didn't take any. I almost did, I can't believe it, but I was so close. I was just so devastated. I guess that's no excuse, huh? You being the expert and all." He smiled. "I remembered how easy it was before, to just take a couple pills and go about the day. It got into a force of habit. But, somebody reminded me that it wouldn't get better if I started using again. I'd just end up in the same place I was a year ago. I'm sure you wouldn't want to see that. I know I don't feel like reliving it.

"I want to tell you that I'm going to be all right. Don't worry about me. Just relax and enjoy yourself. And take care of Lucy for me. I'm sorry I lied to you before when you asked me about her. I just wasn't ready to say it to you. I did love her, I still do. And I love you, too. And hopefully someday, I'll fall in love again, as long as the person doesn't die on me," he joked. "Seriously, though, I do have my eye on someone. I think you know who she is. And, I don't know," he shrugged. "Maybe it'll work out. If not, she's still my friend. I'll find someone. I'm sure you'll lead her to me. So. I guess this is goodbye." He stared at the casket, almost waiting for it to respond. Sighing inwardly, he briefly touched it. "Goodbye, Anna."

Anna

Jack is in the corner
The dish is with the spoon
The sheep is in the meadow
The cow is on the moon
But I am here with you and I believe
There's no other place I'd rather be
And I promise not to leave you
It's a promise I can keep

You're my muse, you're my rhyme
You're the fire warming this heart of mine
When you hear me say, "I love you"
Anna, do you know how much I do?

So I watch you from the distance
Getting lost within your world
You pretend to be a princess
As you flutter and you twirl
Fragile as the flower in your hair
Dancing in your castle unaware
That a single day without you
Would be more than I could bear

You're my muse, you're my rhyme
You're the fire warming this heart of mine
When you hear me say, "I love you"
Anna, do you know how much I do?

Little Anna, little star
That is what you really are
Cross my heart and hope to die
You're the apple of my eye

You're my muse, you're my rhyme
You're the fire warming this heart of mine
When you hear me say, "I love you"
Anna, do you know how much I do?

I love you Anna
Don't you know I love you?

Michael W. Smith and Wayne Kirkpatrick




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