A Fond Farewell
Disclaimers: not mine. There, I said it. :-P
Notes: This is terrible… it is based on real events in my life last week, except I didn't have to fly to get there…. It's a death fic but nobody you guys know… and it's an attempt at comedy. I told you it was terrible. It's also weird. And exclusive, mainly because I don't want the whole freaking world to know how twisted I am!
Here goes nothing…
Jim hung up the phone and went upstairs to pack. Blair had told him that he did not have to come but Jim could not just leave his friend alone to handle this. Blair's Aunt Audrey had died. She was not really his aunt, but he thought of her that way. When he had gotten the call that she was sick, he'd hopped on a plane. He had been too late though. She died just half an hour before he arrived. Jim offered to come for the funeral. He had met Audrey briefly and thought highly of her after all. Blair tried to assure him it was not necessary but Jim felt like he needed to be there for his best friend. So he packed.
A trip to Georgia might be fun. Maybe they could visit some places in Atlanta while they were there. He had a few days of personal leave and no pressing cases for once. Simon wouldn't mind.
Two days later, Jim walked into the little funeral chapel with Blair at his side. Blair seemed to be holding up pretty well, but his eyes were glassy with unshed tears. Jim looked at the little piece of paper he had been handed when they entered the building. It gave Audrey's name, the dates of her birth and death, a bible verse, and the name of the minister who would be performing the eulogy and the name of his church. Jim raised an eyebrow.
"Chief, what's an Evangelical Baptist Church?"
"Oh lord! Tell me they didn't! Audrey stopped going to that church years ago!" He snatched the paper from Jim's hands. "Geez! Her sisters must have done this. Man, this guy was old when I was little! We are screwed, Jim. We will be here all day!"
"Shh! People will hear you."
Blair sighed as they sat down in the back pew.
"Are you sure you want to sit all the way back here, Chief?" Jim asked.
"Yeah. This is fine."
Moments later, the casket was wheeled by and the family entered after it. After they had all been seated, two singers got up to sing. By the second note, Jim knew he was going to have a splitting headache if he did not do something fast! The guy was not so bad, despite the accent, but the woman! God, the agony! Not only was it agony to listen to her, she sounded like she was in agony.
"I hope you're dialed down, Jim. This is hurting my head," Blair whispered.
"Just about to, thanks." When the song was finally over, Blair nudged him so he could dial back up to hear the eulogy. Later, he would wonder why he bothered!
Jim's Catholic upbringing had not prepared him for an Evangelical Baptist preacher.
Blair sighed and let his head drop to his chest. "Hellfire and Brimstone. I knew it."
And the man was freaking senile! He kept saying the same things over and over! This was ridiculous. Then something caught his attention again and he raised his head.
"I say to you again, death! Death, my friends, is an appointment! It is an appointment we all have! We try and try to put off this appointment! We don't want to go! We try to put it off as long as we possibly can, but sooner or later, we all have to go!"
Just then, a thought crossed Blair's mind and he could not help himself. He snickered. The snicker grew into a series of snickers, then to a silent chuckle, then to a gasping, fan-yourself, eyes watering, chest tightening laugh. Then he made the mistake of looking at Jim.
He's crying, Jim thought. He turned to his partner and started to put his arm around him. But he stopped short. Blair was not crying! He was laughing! Jim nudged him and gave him the "what the hell is wrong with you?" look, but that just made him laugh harder. Jim felt a smile tugging at his lips. He fought it, but it won. Then a little bubble of laughter tickled his chest. Then another. He tried desperately to straighten his face and regain his composure, but it was no use! His shoulders shook as he gave in to the impulse. The sad thing was, he had no idea why he was laughing! It was Blair's fault!
Blair was pulling himself together and he looked at Jim with, of all things, a scolding look on his face. Jim gave him a "talk to the hand" gesture. Blair sputtered and they were off again! The woman on the pew in front of them turned to look at them and Jim grabbed a tissue from the Kleenex box the mortuary had gracious provided and covered his face with it in the hopes that he would appear to be crying hysterically rather than laughing hysterically. The sharp look she gave him told him that he had failed miserably.
Jim gave her an apologetic look and she turned around.
"Cut it out!" he snapped at his still giggling partner.
Blair sat up straight and visibly tried to control himself. Finally, they were both back into the proper somber mood and Jim turned his attention back to the preacher.
Jim's going to kill me for this, Blair thought. Okay, pay attention. Be good. For Aunt Audrey.
"Audrey was a good woman!" The preacher boomed.
Blair sighed. He had said that at least ten times already. And couldn't the man just talk? Why did he have to yell everything?
"Audrey was a good woman when I knew her. Of course, that was a long time ago. When she used to come to church."
Oh no, here we go again. The snicker burst out of his mouth before he could stop it. Beside him, Jim was shaking, struggling to keep his laughter silent.
"Not all women are like Audrey! That's a sad thing!" He sounded so very sincere.
Blair nearly fell out of the pew as Jim wheezed and fanned himself. They were so screwed!
Jim had finally had to start counting the ceiling tiles to get himself under control. He was properly composed after a minute or two. Okay, can't last much longer. All over soon. Just have to keep it together and when we get out of here, he'd better have a good explanation for this!
"I am going to Heaven one day to see Audrey again and to see God! I want to take you all with me!"
Fuck! He thought as Blair started laughing all over again. He really tried to resist but seeing his guide doubled over in the pew laughing his ass off was more than he could stand, damn it! He was only so strong! He was only human! Tears started streaming down his face as he fought to stay quiet so as not to get that look from the woman in front of him again. Good thing they were at a mortuary, because he was going to kill Blair!
Not the singing again! Blair glanced at Jim. He could see the grimace disappear from Jim's face as he turned his hearing down so he would not have to hear those horrible people massacre Amazing Grace. His stomach clenched as he nearly burst into laughter again. He was a horrible, horrible person for laughing through his Aunt Audrey's funeral! What would his mother say? What would Aunt Audrey have said? Then again, he smiled, Audrey would have been laughing with me! He chuckled, now grateful for the music because it covered the sound. Audrey's family filed out of the chapel when the song ended. When they were all out, Jim nudged him to get him moving. Once outside, Blair turned to apologize, but Jim threw up one hand.
"Not a word, Chief! Not a word."
"But Jim! You don't understand! If you only knew what I was thinking, man, you'd understand!"
"In the truck. Not here! Go!"
Jim gently shoved him out of the mortuary. They hurried to their rental car. As soon as they were inside and the doors were closed, Jim turned to him. "What the hell was that!?"
"I'm sorry! He just kept talking about having an appointment. And putting it off as long as you could and I just—"
"I just started thinking, 'oh great, death is like a dentist appointment.'"
Jim stared at him like he had grown a second head. "A what?"
"A dentist appointment! You know, you hate to go, but you have to eventually. Get it?"
Blair watched as Jim's face softened, the frown turning into a smile. His shoulders shook once, then twice and he started laughing. "I get it!"
"Then he said he wanted to take us all to Heaven with him and I thought, 'no thanks, I'm pretty sure I have plans that day. Besides, only one person per appointment!'"
Jim put his head on the steering wheel. He was practically howling with laughter. Blair was laughing with him. "Oh, Chief, we are going to hell for sure now!"
"Well, since we're already damned, those people could not sing! And what was that 'Audrey was a good woman when I knew her a long time ago' crap!"
"You know, not all women are like Audrey. That's a sad thing," Jim deadpanned.
Blair nearly choked and had to wipe his eyes. "Do you think anyone noticed?" he asked when he could talk again.
"Oh yeah. They noticed, Chief. I can't take you anywhere, can I?"
"Me!? At least I knew what the hell I was laughing at! You were just laughing your ass off and didn't even know why!"
"This is the last funeral I attend with you, let me tell you!" Jim cranked the car.
"We still have to go to the graveside service, you know?"
"You mean this isn't over?"
"No. This is the South, man. After the graveside service is the wake."
"Remind me again why I came here?"
"What? Are you not entertained?" Blair grinned. "Audrey would have loved it!" Blair settled back into the seat and said a silent goodbye to Aunt Audrey.
My Aunt Audrey died last week. She was not a blood relative in actuality. She was married to an uncle that I kept when my real aunt ran him off. My sister and I did laugh through her funeral… tis sad but true. I was Blair…all my thoughts and all my fault. Rhonda was Jim, laughing her ass off, not knowing why. We were worried that we were awful people until my mother(who snickered a few times herself) pointed out that Audrey would have been laughing with us and probably was somewhere up there…