Kadie’s funeral was on the coldest day in January. Mara couldn’t have told anyone what the temperature was that day; the coldness was determined by the frozen state of her heart. It ran through her blood and seeped into her bones until it was impossible to imagine ever being warm again. Kadie was gone and with her the sun went, too.
The church was filled with a sea of blacks, blues and grays spilling out into the foyer in standing-room only fashion. The death of a young person always pulled a community closer and brought them together; their attempt to make a stand against the great injustice of wasted youth. In spite of the weather, friends from school, teachers, coaches, neighbors, cousins, the mailman and even Libby’s vet showed up. It was a final act of love for their hometown girl.
The coffin had been closed, the accident too horrific to allow anyone to see her face. Flowers were laid out covering the coffin, the alter, the entryway until there was room for no more and still they continued to come. It was the flowers that made Mara find her rage. People sent flowers when they didn’t know what to say; as if it would make a difference and somehow bring her daughter home. As if she would know who had sent flowers and who had saved the money to spend on their own children….their LIVING children.
Mara sat beside Davis, refusing to turn to him for comfort and strength. Even side by side, they were miles apart. In the crowd of faces, she was completely and totally alone.