Chapter 1-To Witness Heartbreak

Brenda entered the penthouse and saw him, her shining prince, destroyed. He sat in the dark, on the couch, surrounded by her clothes, her pillow, her jewelry, anything and everything that were hers. From behind her, she heard footsteps, and turned to see Jerry turn on the desk lamp. The sudden light didn't even phase Jax; he had resigned himself to permanent darkness since Brenda's death 3 days ago. He couldn't accept that she was gone. Jerry, dressed in his black funeral attire, put his arm around his brother, easing him upstairs to get changed. When they had left, she curled up where Jax had been, on the couch; his pain and his grief were consuming her. She wanted so badly to help him, to be there for him, to make him understand that she would never leave him. If she could only keep her promise…

The last thing Brenda remembered was looking skyward to see Jax's helicopter, and feeling so loved that he was watching over her, as he always did, as she now watched over him. She heard the screech of the tires, her and Veronica's shrieks, and in her heart, she heard Jax's terrified screams. Both she and Veronica died immediately, and as a result, she had seen the aftermath of her death played out in front of her. Brenda had been so surprised after the accident, to realize how painless death had been, until she looked in Jax's eyes, and she was sure she was hurting more than he was, because she was, once again, the reason his heart was broken. And so, after looking over him, and making sure he was in the good care of his parents, Jerry, Robin and Lois, she ascended to heaven, with an agenda. She'd made a deal to get Jax the first time, and she'd make a deal to get back to him this time…

Her funeral was held in the garden of her cottage. Jax had refused to see her seek eternal peace at St. Anthony's, where Sonny had sent her on a voyage to hell. She had felt most at home in that garden, most like herself, and most at peace. After her death, Jax had wanted to go to the cottage, but Jerry knew that he would destroy everything, no matter where he was, and he figured that eventually his brother would want to keep every single item in the house, so he took him to the penthouse.

Dressed in black, John, Jane, Jerry, Julia, Lois, and Robin, made their way into the cottage, while Jax held back in the doorway; he couldn't bring himself to go inside. Lois returned to the front, to find him sitting on the stoop. She looked in his gray, flat, dead eyes, and just nodded, almost imperceptibly. "I can't do it, Lois. I can't walk in there. I'm afraid; really and truly scared. I don't know what will happen when I go inside and don't see her singing to herself, or modeling another new dress for me, or saying she's made dinner, having hidden carry-out boxes in the kitchen." From her place behind them, Brenda was sobbing, longing, just to…. "I don't want to walk through that door, knowing I'll never carry her inside, having come home from our honeymoon, or that we'll never race up the stairs to soothe our crying child. She's everywhere in there, Lois, and yet she's not. She's NOT. And she never will be again, and I just can't go in there, I can't go on, can't live without her…." His voice subsided into sobs, and Lois just held him.

"Jax, she's with you. You KNOW that. And you are absolutely right--Brenda is EVERYWHERE in the cottage. And we need to go inside because of it. I never want that cottage to change. I want to bring Brooke here and have her see, and experience how magical her godmother was. Remember I told you how Brenda would blossom into something magnificent? She did, Jax. She did because of herself, and because of the love you nurtured her with. She knows she was loved; she knows she is loved, and she knows that she is mourned and missed terribly. No one can replace her Jax, and no one has to, because she lives on--in that cottage, in me, in Robin, in Brooke, in you, Jax. For her, Jax, for her memory, you need to go inside, and live--feel, grieve, because in you, in all of us, she lives on."

Jax stood up, and Lois walked inside with him, both of them sobbing, and shaking. When they entered the garden, everyone was immediately silent. Brenda's coffin lay in front of them, as well as her picture, which was quite remarkable. As photographed as Brenda was, no one had ever seen this photo of her before. Jerry found it in a frame on Jax's desk, and knew that Jax had taken it himself when he proposed to her in Malibu, and that it was his favorite--the one he felt captured the essence of Brenda, not just her beauty.

The service began rather simply, and although it was a private service, most of Port Charles was there. Obviously, Jax, his parents, Jerry, Julia, Lois, Ned, all of the Quartermaines, Jason and Robin; Ruby, Karen Wexler; Lucy and Kevin; Mac and Felicia, V., Nikolas, Laura, and noticeably, but thankfully absent, was Sonny.

First to speak was an extremely shaken Robin. "Hey big sister. You know, you always said that I was the mature one, that I was the brave one, that I was the strong one, but you knew, in your heart, that that just wasn't true. Brenda, you did things with your life that most of us only dream about; you lived a life we dream to live, and you were the kind of person we dreamed we could be, and who we were blessed to know and love. You are missed incredibly already, Brenda, and our love for you will live on, in our minds and in our hearts, forever. I never had a sister, until I met you, and I know that I never will again. I love you, Brenda."

Ned got up next, and tried to remain composed as he made his way to the podium. "Brenda, I'm looking out at your garden, knowing that you're looking down on me, on all of us, and looking at this Eden that you've created, I can't help thinking, and remembering, how much you created and invented within yourself. You were my best person; an appropriate title for one of the best people I have ever known. You brought out the best in me, Bren; you reminded me to follow my heart, in life, in love, and in business, because that's what you did, too. You went after everything with all that you had, and you won. You won, and got everything you wanted, and only half of what you deserved. You deserved the moon and stars, and the only consolation I have now, is to know that you're there now. The angels are envious of you, as we are of them, for they get you for all eternity, and we had you here with us for such a short time. But we'll cherish it, and you always, and keep you in our hearts forever."

As Lois rose from her seat, Ned put his arm around her. "Hey bestest girlfriend. I can see you, don't think that I can't. Brooke saw you last night--the brightest, most beautiful, most perfect star in the sky. The kind of star that shines in the day and in the night, because it is so beautiful that God wants it to be enjoyed always. That's what you did, Brenda: you shone. Even on your darkest day, you had a life in you, a light in you , that couldn't be extinguished. It's what made the camera, and all of the rest of us, fall in love with you. It's so funny, though, how blind you were to it; you didn't see who we saw, when you looked in the mirror, or even when you looked inside, you didn't see how beautiful you were. And you were. You made me a better person; you made me a different person, and it is so hard for me to think that I'm never going to be able to truly thank you for all you've done for me, for my daughter. The only thing that comes close, Brenda, is a quote from Maya Angelou, one that Mary Mae taught me: "….And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed." You existed, Brenda. No one will ever forget that; none of us ever could, so long as you never forget how much you are missed, and loved."

Jerry stood last, prepared to make remarks on behalf of his family, when Jax rose from his seat, and pushed Jerry back in to his. Slowly and painstakingly, Jax approached the podium, his eyes bloodshot and devoid of their familiar aquamarine, and then retreated, turning instead to the picture of Brenda. "My god, you're beautiful. You are so beautiful, Brenda." He stopped a minute, too full of grief to speak. Crying, he continued, "It should have been me. It should have. You had so much left to do, so much that you fought so hard for: L&B, your life, me, our love, and now…You had so much to live for Brenda, and it just seems so unfair because all I had, all I needed in life was you, and you're gone…gone. You wanted children, we did. And we just wasted so much time, and yet I wouldn't trade a single second of our time together, not even now, when I'd rather be lying in a coffin next to you, than standing here burying you. You taught me how to survive, Brenda, but now I'm not sure I want to, without you. But I'm lucky, in a way, I guess, because I know that I'm hurting so much, we're all hurting so much, because you meant so much to us. Your love, Brenda, was so abundant, overflowing, and it just made everything…right, amazing, as you loved to say. Your love for me, is the only thing I have now, Brenda; I can still feel it, transcending space and time. Can you feel me loving you? Do you know how hard it is, having a heart so full of pain and so full of love? I…" Becoming overcome with grief, Jax tried to continue, but Jerry came up and tried to seat him. "I…I have something important to tell you…I have to tell you before…I love you…I'm head over heals in old fashioned love with you…I love you Brenda…." As Jerry pulled him away, Jax threw his arms around the coffin, murmuring through his tears "I love you, Brenda. I love you, I love you. I love you, Brenda… I love you…."

None of the other mourners knew what to do, or how to react. They had never seen Jax like that; even Edward Quartermaine felt for Jax. Truthfully, everyone was in shock that Brenda was gone.

The funeral continued at the Port Charles Cemetery, where Jax, Jerry, John, Jane, Julia, Lois, Ned, and Robin, paid their final respects to Brenda.

Hello
Can ya hear me?
Am I gettin' through to you?


They each, once again, shared memories of Brenda, quietly, to her, to themselves, while Jax, clearly in agony, only sobbed.

Well hello
Is it late there?
There's a laughter on the line
Are you sure you're there alone?
Cause I'm
I'm tryin' to explain
Something's wrong
You just don't sound the same

Why don't you
Why don't you
Go outside
Go outside

From her perch in a tree above her grave, Brenda wept, too: not for her life, but for Jax, and the pain he was going through.

Kiss the rain
Whenever you need me
Kiss the rain
Whenever I'm gone too long
If your lips
Feel lonely and thirsty
Kiss the rain
And wait for the dawn

Everyone began to leave the cemetery, as it began to rain lightly over Port Charles.


Keep in mind
We're under the same sky
And the nights
As empty for me, as for you
If you feel
You can't wait till mornin'
Kiss the rain
Kiss the rain
Kiss the rain
Kiss the rain
Kiss the rain

Jax, however, stayed behind, and continued crying

Well hello
Do you miss me?
I hear ya say you do
But not the way I'm missin' you
So what's new?
How's the weather?
Is it stormy where you are?
You sound so close but it feels like you're so far

As the rain began to fall lightly, Brenda still sat in the tree, tears streaming down her face, and then disappearing into oblivion…

Oh would it mean anythin'
If you knew
What I'm left imaginin'
In my mind
In my mind
Would you go
Would you go
Kiss the rain
Kiss the rain


except for one. One tear, escaped down her face, and into the air, landing on Jax's lips.

As you fall over me
Think of me
Think of me
Think of me
Only me
Kiss the rain
Whenever you need me
Kiss the rain
Whenever I'm gone too long
If your lips
Feel hungry and tempted
Kiss the rain
And wait for the dawn

He knew at once that it was not a raindrop, and glanced skyward, directly at where Brenda was perched on the tree.

Keep in mind
We're under the same sky
And the nights
As empty for me, as for you
If ya feel
You can't wait till morning
Kiss the rain
Kiss the rain
Kiss the rain
Kiss the rain
Kiss the rain
Go outside
Go outside
Why don't you kiss the rain
Kiss the rain

She gasped, and before Jax could even begin to make out her distant features, she was gone…


Hello
Can you hear me?
Can ya hear me?
Do you miss me?
Do ya
The way I miss you
Goodbye

 

(Song Credits- Kiss the Rain, By: Billie Myers)