I never wanted it to turn out this way. I never guessed, I never thought …
(she cried and wailed)
I never thought it would turn out like this. It’s all gone wrong.
(she shook and begged)
I never even thought to ask.
There’s a tulip in my hand, but it’s not exactly freshly picked. It’s made of badly dyed cloth. I don’t know if she hated fake flowers. Maybe I’m committing a cardinal sin in her eyes. Well, she never told me. I don’t know anything. Is that my fault?
I stare at the sky, and it’s blue, it’s not grey or white or black. There are some clouds in it. I could say they’re wispy and fragile like lace, but really, in the end, when you stop making these things so important, they’re only clouds and nothing more. Perhaps they’re something less.
They told me I should be crying but honestly? I can’t. All I can do is stand there, numb, and I don’t even feel the urge to cry.
Pathetic, isn’t it.
So I lean down and drop the tulip on her grave and I don’t feel a thing. I poke it with my shoe. There is a warning movement at my side, and I draw my foot back. The fake flower rolls into the dirt.
I didn’t want it to be like this.
It’s not even my fault. Why did it turn out this way?
The breeze whispers past and the trees rustle, but nothing moves the memorial carved in shining granite at my feet.
She’s dead, and I don’t even care. They say it’s my fault, and I don’t even care. Is there something wrong with me? They said there’s something wrong with me. It isn’t fair, it isn’t right, I didn’t want it to be like this, I didn’t want them to send me to prison and ruin my life. Once you’re in jail, that’s it. It’s a criminal record, it’s a stain on you for life. Why did it turn out like this? Why does it have to be this way?
I reach down and pick the tulip up, the pathetic apology that I don’t mean at all, and I put it back in my pocket.
I think I can hear the guard’s disgusted intake of breath. He didn’t mean for me to hear it. I don’t understand why. He feels contempt, so why not show it?
(she cried and wailed and shook and begged, but in the end, it didn’t matter, and I didn’t care.)