Mourning

Everyone was leaving. She could hear the footsteps behind her, clacking and slapping against the cold marble floor, the rustle and shuffle of clothes brushing and the whisper of voices just meeting the cold autumn air. If she turned, someone would come over and clasp her hands, mutter sorry, tell her again how Neil was a good friend, coworker, brother. She didn’t want to hear any more of it. She didn’t want to see the eyes welling with tears or the wrinkles that shuddered in curves around frowns.

Instead, she bent forward and laid her head in her hands, elbows digging into her knees. That way, everything was out of her view – the smooth wood and bursting flowers before her, the clusters of murmuring mourners behind. Only the floor spread before her, through the gaps between her fingers, flat and unremarkable. She stared at it until her eyes burned, waiting for everybody to be gone.

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