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The Room...At The Funeral Home

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Sure, Peter was a psychologist, but he didn’t need his fancy degree from UCSF to realize that this situation...was awkward. The funeral home had two wakes going on that night, and sadly, the grandma in the other room was getting a lot more visitors. Probably had something to do with the coffee they had. It wasn’t bad.

Okay. So he’d liked Johnny. Scratch that. He thought Johnny had been an okay guy. It was hard to make friends as a psychologist, and Johnny was the sort of guy who did his best to include you in things. Even if they were things Peter didn’t really care about. Like jogging. Or football. Or jogging to a park to play football.

But now Johnny was gone, and the whole situation he’d left behind was a mess. Lisa (the bitch, in Peter’s mind) was up at the front with her sociopath mother by the (thankfully) closed casket, sobbing and pretending she was upset that Johnny was dead. More like her cushy lifestyle was over. No more lounging around with her “computer job” - no, she’d have to go get an actual job now.

Peter stayed out in the lobby, sipping his coffee from the deceased grandma’s wake. To be honest, he wasn’t entirely sure why he’d come. Johnny had no family to speak of, so there was really nobody to offer condolences to. Most of the mourners had only come out of curiosity - why had Johnny done it? Where the hell had he gotten a gun? Why was the woman from the flower shop the only one crying? Denny had locked himself in the bathroom, and Peter was off the clock. He wasn’t touching that situation with a ten foot pole.

“Peter! Long time no see!”

Peter shuddered, gathering his courage as Mike approached. The douchebag had worn a tuxedo t-shirt, holding out his beefy hand. Peter shook it limply. “Real tragedy,” he said sarcastically, but Mike nodded, holding back tears.

“I mean, Michelle and I, we like...I mean, that couch. In Johnny’s apartment. So many memories. Now they’re probably renting it out.”

“Oh?” Peter asked, disinterested. “Lisa can’t afford the rent?”

Mike made a stupid face. Or maybe it was always like that. Peter didn’t much care. “Well, not with what she makes. At least that’s what Michelle told me. But I guess once those crime scene cleaners scrape the last of Johnny off the floor, it’s up for sale!”

You could always count on Mike to be tasteful.

“Thought Mark would be here,” he said, trying to make small talk in hopes that Mike’s brain wouldn’t be able to handle it. “He was Johnny’s best friend after all.” Not like Peter would be all that happy to see him - Mark had almost thrown him off the roof, after all.

But like a first grader with ADD, Mike’s eyes were already drawn across the way. “Hey, they got coffee at that old lady’s wake?”

Peter lifted his cup. “Not bad.”

“See ya later, Peter. You take care.” And off Mike went.

He’d had enough. He’d put in an appearance, made awkward conversation with a few of Johnny’s other acquaintances, even gotten a business card from one of Johnny’s co-workers at the bank (he was looking to getting a car loan soon, anyhow). He crushed the empty coffee cup and tossed it in a garbage can, heading out the door.

He bumped into a tall, angry looking man in a black tank top and track pants, making Mike look well-dressed. “Pardon me,” Peter said, moving aside.

The guy looked around, eyes moving quickly. “That Johnny’s wake in there?”

“On the left. The one without the coffee.”

“I see. You know if there’s gonna be a will reading?” The guy sure was twitchy.

“I don’t think he had one.”

“Well. You know if Denny’s here?”

Where did Johnny meet these people? This guy looked like he’d come straight from jail. “Probably locked in the bathroom still. He’s rather torn up about the death.”

“Well, he owes me some money. I’ll get him out of there.”

Peter just nodded. Getting Denny out of the bathroom was probably a step in the right direction for the healing process. “Have a good night,” he said, heading off.

He needed some new friends.