"Raine," Her uncle knocked on her door. "Are you ready to go?"
"Yeah," Raine looked in the mirror one last time, absorbing her facial features and how her wounds were fading and faked a smile. She knew her mom and Daniel wouldn't want her crying before the funeral even started. Practicing her smile in the mirror was a good place to start.
She walked out of her bedroom, faking another smile to her uncle. "Let's go."
Her uncle nodded and they continued down the stairs and into the living room where the small memorial would be held. Together they sat on the couch, Raine staring into nothingness.
"It'll just be me and you today, if that's alright with you. Liz couldn't leave her business trip, Taylor went shopping - as usual, and Trevor skipped out to go to a friends, but some old friends of your mothers will arrive shortly."
"It's okay Uncle Chandler," she replied quietly. "They didn't really know them like we did."
Chandler smiled at his niece and she darted her eyes, picking at her fingernails.
Before long, guests were at their door.
Chandler went to the front door to welcome the guests inside, and Raine was surprised when they lined into the room. They were her old neighbors, the Quintens. Davis and his teenage daughter whose name she couldn't remember. But she did remember the silly crush she had on Daniel years ago. Davis's wife left them when his daughter was just a baby.
Raine swallowed hard and forced another smile as she was forced to walk over to them while the family greeted her and treated her like an old friend, as if they had actually gotten to know her.
"Your mother was such a lovely woman, Raine. We are all saddened by her passing." Davis told Raine, trying to make her feel better even though she wasn't visibly breaking.
Finally, Raine broke away from the conversation and moved to the dining room, where lunch would be served in about thirty minutes.
Fighting back the tears, and losing, Raine studied the two photographs. She remembered taking both of them, because they encouraged her to pursue her dream of becoming a photographer.
As always, her mother looked beautiful, posing for the camera without even having to try.
Daniel. silly as ever, posed for the camera by fake flexing one arm.
She could hear the memory replaying in her head.
"Take a picture to immortalize my strength, Ray!" Daniel playfully growled.
"Alright," She laughed in response and snapped the picture.
She sighed and reality crashed down upon her.
They were gone. She realized that now. They were never coming back. Tears began to stream down her face even more and she ran out of the house, sobbing.
Suddenly, she felt arms around her.
"It's going to be okay Raine..." Her uncle whispered soothingly. "Its gonna be okay..."