[AN: I've been inspired to write a mystery. Please R&R and tell me what you think! I'll try to update when I can.]

When I watch movies, I burst into tears at any form of a tragedy, however irrelevant or badly acted. It's easy for me to cry while being chastised, frustrated, or even angry. I've never thought twice about it. To me, it's nothing out of the ordinary. The funny thing is when something really sad happens to me, I can't cry. Believe me, I've tried.

It's strange to be the only one with a straight face at a funeral. People constantly ask to see if you're okay and even if you tell them, they never believe you. When Mom died, that's what it was like.

Nobody worried about Rita, who was up to her neck in her own tears. They figured she was being open about her feelings. I was the one who needed the real help, no matter how much I assured them that I was ok.

I'll be honest. I wasn't telling them the whole truth. The fact was that it hadn't sunk in yet. It still hasn't. I still have this fake idea that she'll be back.

Mom's dead? What are you talking about? She's just on vacation. Where? Heaven.

I'm not in denial. I know she's dead, but I can't seem to accept that I'll never see her again. Sure, it's weird to be around people who knew her and every time someone mentions their mother, I feel strange.

Yet somehow, I can never cry about her death. I can cry when I see Josh Harnett die for the 20th time in Pearl Harbor or when I fail my English paper, but when I think about Mom, all I can do is wonder.

I used to think something was wrong with me. I spent more time worrying about my lack of true sorrow than thinking about my sorrow. It used to bother me, but I finally realized that Mom wouldn't want me to fret over her death. She'd prefer that I move on with my life. So that's what I thought I'd do. I'd move on.

I didn't know that there was something else hidden from my attention. When I think about it now, it seems so obvious. How could I have missed it? I noticed everything separately. Looking back, I know I should have easily been able to put two and two together sooner, but I was too busy moving on.

Things could have ended differently. I'm sure Rita's therapy bills would be a lot lower if I had never figured it out, but that would have been an insult to Mom. That's right. It would have been an insult to Mom because everyone had thought that Mom was being careless. They all thought it was an accident. They were all wrong. My mother was not accidentally killed in a drunken car accident. No, my mother was murdered.


After the funeral, there was a reception. I didn't want to go. I didn't feel like it. I knew there would be a ton a people who I didn't know. Large crowds freak me out, especially when I'm alone. If I went, I'd be alone for sure.

Since my car was in the repair shop because of the joy ride I took it for two weeks ago, I was stranded. I went back out to the cemetery and made my way to her grave. Her grave. She had a grave now. It was still news to me.

As if it was supposed to be a dreary day, the dark clouds made sure no sun escaped to shine down upon us. The cold breeze made the flowers by her name shake uncontrollably.

A yellow rose fell over at the neck of its stem and as I reached over to lean it back up, a single drop of rain fell on my finger. It didn't bother me; I've always found the rain to be very soothing.

I closed my eyes and waited for more droplets to drench my clothes, but they never came. I looked around to see it was raining everywhere, but her grave. I turned around and gasped.

"Uncle Joey? What are you doing here?" I stared at the man who held the black umbrella over my head. He wore the most solemn expression on his face and looked like it was taking all of his strength not to break down.

"Why aren't you at the reception," he asked in reply.

"I don't want to go. I just don't feel like it." I looked down and stared at Mom's grave again. It glossed even in the rain.

"Christine, you shouldn't always let your feelings guide you," he said awkwardly, "Sometimes, there are other things that are important." He looked at me expectantly.

I gawked. How did he want me to react? Oh, ok sure. I'll go to the reception now that you've convinced me. Yeah right. I opened my mouth reply, but he just sighed.

"Alright, but at least let me drive you home. I'll make your excuses. Meet me by the Mercedes." He handed me the umbrella and rushed out to avoid getting wet as much as possible. It was funny to see Uncle Joey run. I would have laughed had it been any other day, but it wasn't any other day.

I stood up, carefully holding the umbrella so it still hovered over Mom's grave. I looked at it for the last time and then I backed away. Instantly, the water poured down all over the marble.

'Bye Mom.'

I turned my back and walked to the car. He was already inside, waiting for me. I closed the umbrella, stuck it by my feet, and climbed in. The ride was silent for a while. I started fiddling with a sticker stuck to the glove box. It was a gorilla eating a giant banana.

"I got it when I went to Africa." Uncle Joey cleared his throat. He really had no idea what to say.

"Oh." I didn't feel like talking. Oh well. Sorry. I let go of the sticker and placed my hand on my lap. Staring out the window had suddenly become much more interesting.

Uncle Joey didn't try and engage in any conversation after that. It seemed as though he was in deep thought. I wondered if he was thinking about Mom. I knew I was. _

Dad had to work two days after the funeral. Two days. I can't believe he didn't take time off to spend with his family. I guess life really does go on, whether it's time or not.

On any other occasion, this wouldn't have bothered me much, but seeing as how Mom was gone, our only chaperone would be Edward. Quite frankly, Dad wasn't going to trust our butler to guide us through life.

He called us to the study the night before he left. I practically had to drag Rita downstairs. She looked terrible.

"Girls. I have a business trip tomorrow. I can't stay and," he paused, unsure of how to express himself, "and take care of you. I need you to stay with Aunt Dana." He took a breath and a drink of water.

"Is that all, Dad?" Rita didn't bother to hide her annoyed tone.

"Sweetie, hold on for a minute. I think that it might be better off if-if you," He took another sip of water. "It might be better off if you stayed with Aunt Dana for a while." He eyed Rita warily.

"How long is 'a while', Dad," I asked. School was starting soon and I didn't want to miss any.

"I'm not sure. My work requires a lot of my time and until I can get a better schedule, I can't stay at home with you. It might take a few months," he looked at me, "to a year."

"What about school," Rita demanded. It was going to be her last year. She couldn't leave.

"You'll transfer. It's only for a year or so. I can't-" he stopped talking. Rita's eyes widened. My jaw dropped. Transfer? Now?

"I know it's going to take some getting used to, but we have to make some changes. We didn't expect it to happen, but it did and now we have to deal with it." He couldn't even say it. Coward.

"Have a nice trip." I left. I couldn't believe him. He just expected us to pick up at some random school. I didn't see him making any changes to his lifestyle. What a load of crap.