Warning: The subject matter of this story can be considered sensitive to some. Please be advised.
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“Amazing job Henry,” his professor called. Henry smiled at him and thanked him. “It makes me sad to see you graduate but that was one of the best senior recitals I’ve ever seen,” his professor said again as he shook Henry’s hand. “Thank you professor. It’s be an honor to be your student,” Henry replied back. Someone handed Henry a towel to wipe off the small amount of sweat that traced his forehead. A number of congratulations were called to him from other professors, workers, and classmates. Henry smiled and did his best to thank each person. He felt his phone vibrate in his pocket and he excused himself from the main crowd.
Henry saw the name across the screen and froze quickly. With shaky hands, Henry answered the phone.
“Henry? This is Mari.” Her voice sounded weak. Henry tried to answer her back but his voice never came. “[Y/N] is…” Mari suddenly started to cry into the phone. Henry took in a deep breath and bit his bottom lip as large tears started to stream his cheeks. “Has… has she passed,” Henry managed to get out. He listened as Mari tried to calm herself before she spoke, “Y-yes.”
“About two hours ago.” A choked sob escaped Henry as he felt himself collapsing to his knees. “Henry,” Mari tried to console with her own trembling voice, “I’m so sorry. I’ll contact you again with more information. You can contact me at anytime but I need to go be with the family. I’ll contact you again soon.” Henry’s arm went limp and crashed against the ground, his phone falling from his grasp. Henry wrapped his arms around himself as his body shook from trying to contain his cries.
Henry was unsure who had placed a hand on his back, but it seemed to have hit a release button. The cries he was trying so hard to hold back came flooding out. He squeezed himself tighter, his fingers digging into his sides as he hunched over till his forehead rest on the ground.
As Henry laid in is bed that night as he listened to the voice recording [Y/N] had left him before she moved back home. The memories of the night they had spent together came bursting through the flood gates. He could suddenly feel himself getting angry. “How could you leave me like this,” he said quietly. Henry’s quiet cries continued until he eventually fell asleep.
Henry was sitting on a train on his way to [Y/N]’s hometown for her funeral. The train started to slow as it arrived at the station. Henry stood up, along with a few others, and exited the train. When he saw Mari standing and waiting for him he couldn’t help but smile slightly. Her eyes were still swollen but she looked pretty nonetheless. “Hi Henry,” Mari said with a small smile. Henry nodded then followed her to the car. “Thank you for coming Henry,” Mari said as soon as the car started to drive. Offering her no reaponse, Henry remained silent as he looked out the window.
They arrived at the funeral home where Mari escorted Henry. When he walked into the room he froze. On an easel was one of the most beautiful pictures he had ever seen of [Y/N]. Her smile was so large her eyes were nearly closed. She looked happy and healthy. Henry smiled while looking at her picture, feeling tears come to his eyes. Henry walked over and greeted [Y/N]’s family and offered his deepest condolences. “My daughter spoke a lot about you during her final days,” her father said surprising Henry, “Thank you for bringing my daughter such happiness.” Henry nodded, “Sir, I was wondering if you would allow me to play something for her.” Henry held up his violin case and watched him smile.
“Yes, that would be fine.”
“Thank you sir.”
Henry stood off to the side waiting for the funeral to begin when Mari suddenly asked him to follow her. In another room was a single painting. Henry stood in awe at how beautiful it was. “This painting was to be featured along with others in the hall but young miss was adamant it shouldn’t be. She wanted to give this painting to you,” Mari said. Henry stared intently at the painting as he approached it. “Young miss painted this the day she met you.” Henry smiled as he looked at the painting, a single tear fell as well. “Henry, she truly loved you.” He turned to look at Mari, “Thank you Mari.” Henry stayed to look upon the painting a while longer while Mari went back.
When Henry returned to the hall where the funeral was being held it had already started. Henry sat in a seat near the back and watched. Towards the end they called Henry toward the front and he suddenly felt nervous. Henry stood next to the picture of [Y/N] and smiled at it. He looked out to those who had come to pay their respects then placed his violin in its’ place. He started to play the song he played when he first met [Y/N], Fritz Kreisler’s Love’s Sorrow. His eyes closed as he poured everything into the piece.
‘[Y/N]... Are you listening? I’m sorry I couldn’t be there for you in your final moments. I’m sorry I didn’t notice sooner. I know this isn’t much, but please take this song as my final gift.’
The song ended and Henry opened his eyes slowly. Sitting in the seat he once was, Henry saw [Y/N]. She smiled at him the same beautiful smile he fell in love with. As he stared at her in the distance tears wet his cheeks one last time, ‘I love you [Y/N].’
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