Flowers for Ann

March 29, 2012
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Dead leaves crunched under Angel’s feet as she walked up to Ann’s grave. Her gloved hands squeezed a bouquet of daisies – Ann’s favorite. She stared down at the gravestone. It said Ann was a ‘beloved daughter, cherished sister, and faithful Christian’. Angel hated that grave marker.
“Ann,” she said. She felt a little nervous, talking to herself. If someone walked up, they would think she was weird. But no, she wasn’t talking to herself. She was talking to her best friend. Angel looked down. “You know, I don’t think they put enough on your grave stone. I mean, where’d they put, you know, ‘great friend’ or ‘loyal friend’?” She fidgeted. “I think they should add that,” she said quietly.
“And, Ann, I saw your obituary.” Talking to her friend, Angel became less shy and timid, morphing back into the person she always had been with Ann; joking, quick to smile, witty. “I don’t think it was, you know, summed up well there either.” She chuckled once, ruefully. She could write a book about Ann, they knew each other so well. Like, when Ann got her first kiss, the first person she told was Angel and when Ann snuck out of her house when she was fifteen, to go to some late-night party, Angel was her invited friend and Angel was the one standing next to her, head bowed, as they were lectured afterwards.
“You know, Ann, I read it and thought, ‘Wow, that’s all they had to say?’ It was, like, almost funny in a terrible, terrible way.” Another dry chuckle. “I miss you, Ann.” Tears leaked out of Angel’s blue eyes. She brushed them away and looked at the flowers in her hands. “Sometimes I…I pick up the phone and start to dial your number and then I, you know, I remember. That you won’t pick up the phone. It’s terrible, Ann. I wish, sometimes, that I could join you. But you – you know how terrible Mama is. She needs me, Ann, or else I’d be with you.” While she spoke, she never took her eyes off the bouquet; she shook her head.
“Since Daddy died, you know how she’s been.” Angel turned her head, as if she didn’t want Ann to see her tears. She crouched and set the flowers down, leaning them against the gravestone. “By the way…if you see Daddy, can you – you say I said hi? Thanks, Ann. For everything.”
Angel stood up, turned and walked away.





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