Five Minute Fiction Week 102

Week 102 Finalist

“Kate and I first met as children on a playground.”

My father’s speech halts and he has to clear his throat before continuing. His fingers grip the podium he’s standing behind, as if it’s the only thing keeping him upright.

“Even though I was only a boy, I felt drawn to her, and not a thing has changed in the thirty years that have passed since that day.”

My little sister, Meghan, pushes her face into my shoulder. I can feel her tears soaking through the fabric of my suit jacket. I lift the arm she’s crying against, and wrap it tightly around her.

“I will choose to remember her as she was then, and not how she has been for the last year, while the cancer slowly took over.”

My father takes a breath, and even from down here in the pews, I can see him tremble.

“I will always see her as magnificent and carefree – her easy laughter as she lifted her soles to the sun, her hair streaming behind her as she pushed her swing higher and higher.”

He steps from the podium and lays a hand on my mother’s casket. I pretend it’s only Meghan trembling as we watch the tears fall down his face, but I know I’m shaking, too.

“Goodbye, my Lilly,” he whispers.

We all stand, and I hold my sister’s hand as we follow the pallbearers out into a sunny afternoon, knowing life will never be the same.

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