The funeral was today. The weather was shit. Grey, rain, perfect ambiance for a funeral. Absolutely shit.
Charles and Camilla were there, and I met Loraine and Philip’s daughter. There were so many people at the funeral, LadyBohemia is really loved. As are Loraine and Philip, whose friends attended in droves – plus a few from the Agency.
God, I’m the most selfish cow for saying this, but if I can’t be honest on my anonymous blog, where can I be honest?
I wasn’t comfortable with all those people at her funeral. I simply didn’t want them there. I know LadyBohemia for painting in the garden and all her wonderful stories. I know her as Loraine’s mum and Philip’s mother-in-law. But mostly, I know her as my friend. All these people simply reminded me that I am an outsider in her life. Someone who showed up at the end. Someone to keep her occupied until she passed on. These other people, they were her real friends and companions. They where with her when she was a young bohemian, and later when she married and then got pregnant. They knew her through everything, good and bad. They made me realise that I only knew her as the lady in the red cape. I felt out of place, crowded out, and I hated it. I wanted to grieve for her, and as I knew her, not as how I wished I’d known her.
Despite my own misery, the service was lovely, then we were to process to the cemetery. As you know, I don’t drive and someone from the Agency offered me a lift. At the grave yard I stood clutching my little useless black umbrella, hoping the rain would make my red puffy eyes unnoticable. I didn’t want to intrude. I stayed to the back of the crowd; I already didn’t feel part of this, and I didn’t want to force myself in.
Afterwards there was a reception back at the church, and everyone assumed I would go, but I didn’t want to. Having lunch and drinking tea with people who would ask me how I knew LadyBohemia would just remind me that I didn’t know her at all.
I told the kind soul from the Agency who gave me a ride, that I’d make my own way back. I figured that they’d never notice I hadn’t arrived.
As I sat at a bus stop, my Blackberry beeped. (I had kept it on me because those from the Agency were using it to keep in touch about the times for the service.) I figured it was someone wanting to know why I wasn’t at the lunch, so I opened it. I was quite then surprised to see it was an email from MNM. They’re interested in buying the Gordon Highlanders book.
I was so happy. I wanted to call Loraine, or ring a taxi and rush to the lunch to let her know the good news. She could certainly use some just now. But it wouldn’t be appropriate, would it?
The bus came, and almost as if I was on autopilot, I got off and started walking to the office. I went around the back and let myself into the conservatory. It wasn’t until I’d logged into the laptop that I realised where I was. Why did I come into the office? Today of all days?
I went into the shared drive and pulled up some old contracts. I needed to see what the basic terms would be. I’d looked at these earlier, just to familiarise myself, but I’d now need to be fully prepared to bargain with MNM. An offer of interest is only the beginning to a sale; I had a lot more to do. And I couldn’t very well rely on Loraine just now to walk me through it. I had to know how to get the best deal for the author, and for MNM. I was on my own for this.
But as much as I tried, I couldn’t read the contracts. The house was so quiet. I kept thinking I’d heard someone walking upstairs, but it was only wishful thinking. I was alone in the house. Completely alone. And I started to cry. Absolutely sobbing cry. Why couldn’t I tell her good-bye in my own way? Why did all those people have to be there? Why did I only meet her now?
I packed away the contracts and came home. Now I’m in my flat. Completely alone. Utterly alone.