Adam Chapter Twenty-Four

Kingwell By Kingwell, 6th Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Fictional Narrative

The autopsy confirmed what everyone had suspected, death by drowning. Ralph’s widow Ruby, now under the watchful care of a psychiatrist, agreed to leave all final arrangements to his parents.

Neighbors Help Out

The autopsy confirmed what everyone had suspected, death by drowning. Ralph’s widow Ruby, now under the watchful care of a psychiatrist, agreed to leave all final arrangements to his parents. Both Isabella and George insisted that Adam accompany them and he remained by their side throughout the whole ordeal.
Arriving back at the Fox home, the young man immediately prepared some tea and sandwiches for the elderly couple, all the while pondering what he might fix for dinner. Adam need not have worried however, as soon neighbors were coming by with dishes of food and freshly baked cookies. George’s brother and Isabella’s sister and a niece and a nephew came over that evening as well.
When everyone had left, the couple retired for the night and Adam placed a call to Mona. Having heard the news, she felt certain that he was with the Foxs and had been expecting his call. Adam was wishing that there was something more he could do for his elderly friends, but Mona assured him that few nineteen year old's could have handled things as well as he had. She said that her friends had been complimenting her on her boyfriend since they’re heard of how he had helped Shane’s grandparents after his tragic death. She also reminded him that George and Isabella were clearly more at ease when he was around.

At The Funeral Home

Friday evening saw family and close friends gather at the funeral home. Since the service at the church was not until Sunday afternoon, there would be other viewings on Saturday afternoon from 2 to 5 and in the evening from 7 to 9.
Ruby and her parents arrived shortly after George and Isabella who were the first to get there, accompanied by Adam and Mona. It was evident from their care-worn appearance that Franklin and Annie Pennell had had little, if any rest, since they had taken their daughter home when news of the death of their son-in-law reached them and were now obviously concerned about how she might react upon seeing the body of her dead husband for the first time.
The Pennells had consulted their daughter’s psychiatrist who felt strongly that she should be at the funeral home, as well as at the church and cemetery on Sunday. Ruby, he said must have complete closure, if she was to recover and perhaps someday start over anew.
Adam brought her a chair and for the next ten minutes she sat by her late husband, running her fingers through his hair but saying nothing. When at last a loud sob escaped her lips, her father’s arms caressed her shoulders as if to remind her that she was still his little girl. Annie too stood by her side wishing with all her heart that she could somehow make everything right again for her daughter. The Pennells had spoken briefly with Isabella and George but Ruby appeared to see no one, though her in-laws had gently caressed her upon her arrival.
Crying uncontrollably now, Ruby tried to speak for the first time since she‘d been there. Laying her face by his, she begged her late husband’s forgiveness. George and Isabella Fox moved quickly to her side whispering softly that this was not her fault. It was George however who spoke first, “We do not understand why these things happens” he said now loud enough for all to hear, “but this is how it was meant to be and now we must all move on” Ruby looked up as if seeing him for the first time and all three embraced, united in their grief. Franklin and Annie soon moved in, their faces clearly showing relief.
Adam and Mona exchanged glances as he squeezed her hand, obviously pleased with his friend’s words. Somehow he knew that George was right and they were witnessing, not only an end, but also a new beginning, let the future unfold as it may. Adam left a few minutes later to see Mona back to residence but returned shortly to be with the Foxs who must now also leave the funeral home.
Saturday saw them back both in the afternoon and evening, to receive the condolences of those who came by to pay their respects to the departed. It was Mona who had suggested the evening before, that they take a taxi on Saturday, rather than having George do all the driving. It took some doing to get the old man to agree, but that she had been right was easily seen by the time they arrived home on Saturday evening. Refusing even a cup of tea, the couple retired to their bedroom.

The Funeral

Sunday dawned a dark and dismal day. A light drizzle combined with an easterly wind, chilled the body and Adam felt, brought even the soul to its knees. He was pleased that the Foxs had decided against one last visit to the funeral home that morning, and cautioned them to dress warmly for the afternoon when the last twenty to thirty minutes would be spent at the cemetery.
Soon, the young man had bacon, eggs and toast prepared and Isabella even managed a smile as she complimented him on the breakfast. Pleased that his friends were eating and looking more rested than they had on Saturday, Adam concentrated on getting the breakfast dishes washed and put away while he wondered if Mona would be able to attend the funeral.
The phone rang at 10:30, and Adam answered immediately as if out of habit. It was Mona saying that she would be attending the funeral and should be at the Foxs by noon. George smiled as their guest attempted to apologize for answering the phone without being asked. He assured the young man that he’d done nothing but help them and that he should feel free to act as he would in his own home.
They ate lunch at twelve and then came the arduous task of preparing to leave for church. The niece who had chauffeured them during Shane’s funeral offered to do so again, an overture that George and Isabella gratefully accepted.
Due to the fact that the drowning had attracted much media attention, the congregation was larger than usual despite the inclement weather. Adam felt that many were curiosity seekers and wondered what made people want to watch the distress of strangers, especially at such a personal and private time in their lives.
The service, as George and Isabella had requested, was simple and short, and it was a much smaller group who gathered at the cemetery a half hour later. Franklin and Annie Pennell stood near the grave, each with an arm around their distraught daughter while Adam and Mona did their best to shelter the Foxs from the wind and rain.
Ten minutes later they were returning to the car. On the drive home Mona was thinking of an old superstition, that she heard many times while growing up in Little Valley. It was said that if it rained on the day of a funeral, the soul of that person was happy. Looking at Ralph’s parents, she hoped that there was some truth to that saying.

The Unexplained.

They were home less than five minutes when a friendly neighbor came by with a delicious looking casserole and a plate of chocolate truffles. When dinner was over, Mona and Adam proceeded to clear the table. Isabella however, insisted on helping Mona with the dishes and sent Adam into the living room to relax for a few minutes with George.
The older man looked up when he entered. “It’s good to see you take a moment for yourself” Mr. Fox said with the trace of a smile, “your ability to take charge in times of crisis never ceases to amaze me, if you and Mona are examples of how young people are raised in the outports, than the city has a lot to learn“.
Seeing the young man’s embarrassment, he changed the subject, “You must return to the university tonight, we’ve already taken too much of your time“. Adam replied that the well being of his friends were what mattered most at the moment, but George would have none of it. He and Isabella would manage and he reminded the young man that he could call every day if he wished. Adam nodded, but noticed that the older man appeared to have something else on his mind, something that he wished to talk about but was having trouble finding the words. He suspected that it was the same thought that was on his mind, and likely on the minds of most who had attended the wake and funeral, though no one had voiced it.
They could still hear the women talking in the kitchen as George continued to struggle with his thoughts. Finally he turned to Adam as one asking a question and blurted out “Ralph’s death was a suicide, wasn’t it“? It was the same thought that he’d been thinking, but now he wasn’t sure how to answer, was the older man making a statement or looking for hope? “The police labeled it accidental” replied Adam, looking at the floor. George shook his head, “that’s what they told the media, but no one who knew Ralph really believes that”.
The women entered the room before Adam could answer and he realized that it was time for Mona to get back to the hospital. Since the weather outside was still nasty, George was adamant that he take both of them back to their respective residences. Isabella agreed, saying that she wanted to do a little reading and would enjoy the solitude.
When the two men were alone again, George talked freely about Ralph. “It was suicide” he stated, “and I saw the whole thing before it happened”. He glanced at Adam to get his reaction. Adam stared at his friend in surprise, unable to believe what he was hearing. “Oh it was a dream I suppose” George continued, “ It seems that I was in a state between being asleep and awake, but I saw Ralph get out of his car, look around to see if anyone was watching, than jump into the water. I even remember thinking oh my God he can’t swim, than just before coming to my senses, I saw his body floating in the water. You’re the only person I’ve told, the only one I knew wouldn’t think that I’d gone off the deep end“.
It took a moment for Adam to digest what his friend had said, but when he spoke again it was to tell George of the feeling he’d had on the morning of Ralph’s death, and how he knew that he must call him and Isabella immediately. It was now George’s turn to be surprised as one of his first thoughts on hearing the news that Ralph was missing, was to wish that Adam was there!
TO BE CONTINUED See Chapter Twenty-Five

Read From The Beginning - See Chapter One

Tags

Autopsy, Cemetery, Church, Daughter In Law, Death By Drowning, Dream, Final Arrangements, Funeral Home, Premonition Suicide, Taxi, Viewing, Wake

Meet the author

author avatar Kingwell
I am 75 years old and retired.I like writing short stories, poetry as well other articles of interest.

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Comments

author avatar Retired
7th Apr 2015 (#)

Great chapter. Thanks for the share!

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author avatar Kingwell
7th Apr 2015 (#)

Thank you Jessica. Blessings.

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author avatar Carol Roach
8th Apr 2015 (#)

well written kept the chapters coming

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author avatar Kingwell
8th Apr 2015 (#)

Thank you for your encouragement my friend. Blessings.

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author avatar Utah Jay
8th Apr 2015 (#)

This is so good Kingwell.

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author avatar Kingwell
9th Apr 2015 (#)

Thank You Utah for your encouragement. Blessings.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
12th Apr 2015 (#)

Sincere empathy from young Adam and Mona; yes people in the cities lose out to those from villages when it comes to going out of the way to comfort others. Thanks Kingwell for a great story - siva

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author avatar Kingwell
12th Apr 2015 (#)

Thank you Siva. Blessings.

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