At the memorial service, someone praised Jamie’s sense of humor. She held Cassie’s hand so tight that Cassie turned to her with wet eyes. Everybody’s eyes were wet. The room could have drowned in tears. People had brought cards and flowers to that street corner–bouquets in jars, vases, and someone left a tire painted sky-blue, in the center of which was set a clay pot filled with daisies. Jamie hadn’t enjoyed gardening with her, didn’t like his fingers in the dirt.
His friends and teachers came; her friends came. The little kids put on hollow expressions, trying to imitate the uncomprehending adults. They signed the guest book. Somebody had dropped a flower. A white rosebud on the hardwood floor, with the pale April light drifting through the square windows of the hall in St. Mary’s Elementary School. She bent to pick up the flower. The petals were soft as skin.
Cezarija Abartis’ Nice Girls and Other Stories was published by New Rivers Press. Her stories have appeared in Per Contra, Pure Slush, and New York Tyrant, among others. She participates on http://magicmasterminds.com/cezarija/, and . Her flash, “The Writer,” was selected by Dan Chaon for Wigleaf’s Top 50 online Fictions of 2012. Recently she completed a novel, a thriller. She teaches at St. Cloud State University. Her website is