Ian’s funeral.

Several months after being thrown out of his parents’ house, Ian was not seen again until his skeleton was found in the woods. His parents had it cremated and gathered at the entrance to the woods along with his best friend Steve.

​”You want to do the honors?” Ian’s father Ron asked as he handed the urn to Steve.

​”Yeah,” Steve whispered.

​Steve faced the woods, closed his eyes and began reciting a silent prayer.

Dearest Ian, I owe you an apology. In the 40 years we’ve been friends, we’ve each had our share of ups and downs, but we always found a way to level the playing field. I really should have helped you when you needed me most. Had I done that, I wouldn’t be…

“What are you waiting for?”

​Steve cringed at Ron’s rude interruption. He cast an angry glare behind him.

​”Fine,” Steve groaned as he removed the lid from the urn. Holding it up high, he paused while searching for the right words.

​”Free at last,” Steve whispered, “Free at last. Thank God almighty you are free at last. Fly free, my brother.”

​Steve was about to scatter the ashes when Ron spoke up.

​”Um, Ian was not your brother.”

​Steve felt a tinge of shock and anger.

Did he just say that?

​Steve promptly put the lid back on the urn, placed it on the ground and abruptly began walking out of the woods, storming past Ian’s parents.

​”Hey, hey, hey!” Ron shouted. “You didn’t scatter the ashes!”

​Steve turned to angrily face Ron when he saw Ron pick up the urn and then pitch it into some nearby bushes. Steve felt an even stronger tinge of shock and anger surge from within.

Did he just do that?

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