Brian stood by himself on the wet grass. Although he was surrounded by many of his friends he felt totally alone. It was a semi gloomy day - weather wise and emotionally - for him and many other people. Plus the circumstances of him standing here only really made it worse. Brian E. Hill was somewhat of a loner, though the teenager had many friends in school, this was one day he felt like he was the only person on the planet. He raised his head and looked around, he was surrounded by people - some he knew - some he didn't.
"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust... he is in a better place. He was a good friend, a son, a brother, a grandson, and a cousin. Is laughter touched many, his smile soothed many, his pranks may have angered many... but Erik Jason Quince will rest in peace - for now and for all of eternity."
The minister closed his Bible after he uttered the statement in a hushed tone and glanced around at the people gathered. Most were teenagers, obviously friends of Erik from school, but many were grownups, maybe family or family of family. The minister rested sight on Brian, who seemed most hit by the loss - aside from the parents.
Brian had a full face, short dark hair that was curly on top. Usually a jovial face but today he was so serious. He turned around, his classmate Jordan was standing right behind him and both of them had tears in their eyes. There was more reason for their grief than just being at a funeral, these two friends had a history with their dead friend - and this history would haunt them for days or years to come. The way he died would forever be etched on their brains, you see - Erik was their best friend. Brian turned and motioned for Jordan to join him and they both approached their dead friend's parents, Erik's mother was overcome in tears, and her husband held her close, wiping tears from his eyes as well.
"Mrs. Quince," Brian tried to face her, but he stared down instead, "... I'm so sorry... "
"Don't speak to me!" she screamed.
Everyone there at the funeral was witness to that outburst. Her broken voice was so loud that some people jumped when she belted out those four words in anger, she couldn't hide her Hispanic accent, and she couldn't hide her rage either. The words spewed from her lips like swords of wrath. Jordan took Brian by the arm and cautiously pulled him away.
"C'mon, Brian. I think we need to go."
The two high school students and Erik were known as the Quatro by many at school, quatro - meaning four in Spanish - they were in Spanish class and AP American History class together as well as marching and concert bands. The remaining member of the group, Elizabeth, was standing further off under an umbrella with her mother. She didn't say a word the whole service, of everyone there, she felt most to blame.
"Family and friends, the Quince family would like to thank you all for being here on this rainy day, to share in their time of grief and sorrow. The original plans were to meet at the Quince home after the funeral, but they uh... " the minister turned to Erik's father, he shook his head 'no' - the minister cleared his throat with his fist to his mouth, "... Ahem, instead, they request you give a donation in Erik's name to the charity of your choice. This will conclude the funeral services for Erik J. Quince. May the Lord bless you all."
It was a Saturday, a day none of the friends would ever forget, after all it was only a week ago, a week ago and an incident ago that happened that caused them all to be out here, standing in the rain at a Brandon, Florida cemetery.
"A week ago today," Elizabeth muttered, the three friends were sitting together at Moreno's Bakery - a popular eatery in the small Florida community of Brandon, which was just east of the Tampa Bay area, "... I can't believe it, guys. We were in here a week ago and... "
She burst into tears. Brian reached over and held her in a reassuring embrace, but his eyes were teary too. Elizabeth, a senior at Victoria High in Brandon, was considered the leader of their little group, she was the cornerstone, 'the rock' as Erik used to call her. Jordan looked away. Right after the funeral the three decided to meet at their favorite hang-out instead of at Davis Park where many of the other friends from school decided to attend a bar-b-que fundraiser in Erik's name.
Jordan saw the look of despair on Elizabeth's face. Normally she was always the one in the chipper mood, smiling and getting every one else on task.
"Elizabeth, we need to pull ourselves together, Erik wouldn't want this, you know, us mourning over him like this." Jordan said.
Brian turned to him, in disbelief and forced a smile.
"Are you kidding? Erik always wanted to be the center of attention; he'd be gloating through all this in that silly smile of his."
The three friends stared around at each other as smiles slowly crept on their young faces.
"Ha, you know he's right." she sniffed.
Jordan was shaking his head in a smile as he felt someone brush up next to him.
"Guys, sorry to hear about Erik, he and I knew each other since fourth grade. I know you guys were really close. I'm going to miss him, you know?" Morgan said, walking up to them, "... why didn't you guys go to the bar-b-que?"
"Because we're the Quatro and Erik was a member of the Quatro, so everyone would be on us, you know, asking about that day... and we, we... "
"We don't feel like answering questions anymore." Jordan said finishing Brain's statement.
"Well don't worry - I won't ask you guys any questions. I know this has been hard on all of us who were really close to him." Morgan reassured.
She was also a friend but didn't hang with this group so much, Morgan was an Honor Roll student that was in band with all four friends, but she was in a different circle, yet she knew Erik more than any other friend at Victoria High.
"Yeah, this isn't going to be easy on any of us, especially with his family blaming us for it."
Morgan looked down at the group leader who was still wiping her tears.
"We'll get through this Elizabeth, Erik meant a lot to a lot of people." Morgan smiled.
"Yeah," Brian shrugged,"... but it isn't fair. Why'd he have to die?"
The three friends got up, walked toward the door.