The weather was cold and rainy, everywhere was as dark and miserable as Nancy felt.
She clenched her fists in a bid to avoid tugging at the collar of her black shirt for what was going to be the tenth thousand time.
She felt very tired and uncomfortable. She hadn't bathed in days, she hadn't bothered washing her face or combing her hair before coming, she was too drained emotionally to even think of doing anything.
She noticed how people stared at her but she didn't care, didn't care if they thought she was losing it, apart from the fact that she really was losing it, nothing in the world mattered to her anymore.

"The fact that you are mourning someone doesn't mean you should look this unkept" her daughter would have joked if she were around.

There was absolutely nothing Toke couldn't joke about. She could even make her laugh even during a time like this.
She tried in vain to convince herself that Toke was going to come, she tried to expect her, but it wasn't possible, it was her own funeral after all.

Her only child, her everything, her universe... really gone, gone forever, there was nothing she could do to bring her back.
She would wake up from sleep some several months from now and find solace in a moment of denial, she would doubt it really was her daughter that was in the coffin that was laid six feets into the ground, she would set out to search for her daughter, she would scoure every single crevice of the world if she could but she still wouldn't find her.

She hated life, she hated herself, a part of her wished she had gotten the abortion fourteen years ago, wished she had listened when the doctor told her that she and Toke's father weren't compatible because they were both AS, she hated herself for having such thoughts, for even slightly suggesting to herself that Toke was a mistake that could have been avoided.

Toke was a vibe, a gift to everyone who knew her, she did very well in school, everybody loved her, she was always smiling and even though she fell sick every other week, she didn't seem to ever think life was unfair to her.

She was in a much better place, it was only right that she was, she deserved nothing less than heaven. Nancy wondered what she was doing that instant, was she singing with God's angels up there? Or playing with her father? Or was she looking down at them, at her, when the wind blew at her face was it Toke trying to tell her something? was she trying to dry her tears?

She cleared her throat, heaved a deep breath and held the microphone to her mouth. She caught the priest's gaze, with a sympathetic nod he urged her to go on.

"I don't have a speech written actually, not that I couldn't write one or didn't want to....I just couldn't find the right words, the right expressions to use to describe Toke's beauty, wisdom, humor and selflessness..."

She scanned the massive crowd which consisted mostly of their neighbors, Toke's schoolmates and teachers. She noticed Pere, Toke's best friend in the front row, she looked a mess, tears trickled down her eyes uncontrollably. The sight of her crushed down every ounce of control Nancy had managed to build up.

"I can't take talking about this any longer " bursting into tears she wrapped up
"may her gentle soul rest in perfect peace..... Amen"


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