"If this had been last Friday, would you have come from Leeds?"
"Yes, of course I would. I wouldn't have missed it for anything, you know that." I almost winced at my own cliché.
"Because, you know, you would have been leaving your ladyfriend to come to this."
"I'd have gone back to her at the end of the day..."
"Still, you'd be leaving your girlfriend to come to your ex-girlfriend's funeral. That's sort of like cheating." 47 grinned into his beer. "Or something."
"It's a good thing it's today then, isn't it?" I said, passing some sort of alcoholic beverage (I know nothing of these liquids) to his dad.
The funeral had gone well. I was slightly disappointed by the fact that the coffin was wheeled in, as opposed to being carried on the mourners' shoulders. The choice of music was variable - it's not every day you hear the whiny voice of James Blunt followed by the short-skirted schoolgirl tones of Britney Spears at a funeral. But I appreciated Justin Bieber's Baby. And the service itself went well enough. 47's song was heartfelt, even if I couldn't hear half the words, and the live James song was pretty, if not performed in the original key (you couldn't tell though... well, I could, but then again, I'm me).
The bit that I didn't think particularly well was her mother's closing sentence, "God lent us an angel." It's very sweet and everything, but I've never been too fond of sentences like that. When one dies, one is instantly brilliant at everything (TD said once that, in order to get a paid scholarship somewhere, she'd have to die, because then everyone would start saying she was really intelligent), but saying something like that was a little too syrupy even for a funeral - although I'm sure it looked good on paper.
What I will say for the funeral, however, aside from everything else, was that it did make me feel a little warmth for poor Rebecca, despite all that she put me through. From the large picture of her and myself projected onto a viewscreen to the constant reminder that she affected a lot of people merely through talking to them on her computer, I was reminded that, initially, she made her presence felt. Whatever she may have ended up doing.
I hugged lots of people.
"You're a very special person too," whispered her mother into my ear.
I am? I wondered. But then I reflected somewhat. Why did she say that?
I mean, she is a genuinely nice person and all, but why specifically say that I was special? It's not something you'd say when a trite "it was nice of you to come" would do. But I cast a look around anyway. None of her other boyfriends had come. Mind you, I don't actually know if she had any other boyfriends... well, ones that lasted more than a couple of weeks, anyway. I'd clocked up almost a year and a half. I hadn't even seen her for months, and even when I last did see her, I didn't say more than few words to her, and that was a question as to whether or not she was going to use the toilet. And after all that had happened, I was still reeling. I was still dealing with the effects it had had on me and I don't think, even with her death, that it will ever go away - reach a resolution.
But I went. I went with the best of intentions. I sat in the same place on the sofa that I always used to sit. I stroked the same cat. I got a cup of tea from the same dad. I shared my jokes with the same brother (although he has a different girlfriend now - but that's okay, so do I). I went, and I stayed. I stayed for as long as I could. And I didn't mention cheating. I didn't mention infidelity, excuses or confusion. I didn't agree with the bit in the funeral service where they said she was honest. I stayed, I was quiet and respectful, and I even smiled at one point.
Am I a very special person? I don't know. But I did leave thinking I went because it was the right thing to do. I have to wonder if anyone else wouldn't have done the same.