The Strength We Come By (part 1)

“I’m going now,” Elena announced, buttoning the top coat button.

Jane didn’t look up from the newspaper spread out on the dining room table among breakfast dishes and a full mug of cold tea. “Okay.”

Elena waited, lips pursed.

Finally Jane lifted large, blue eyes and peered over the fine wire rims of her reading glasses. “See you later,” she said.

Elena gave a curt nod and left without another word.

Fifteen minutes later, Elena ran out of invective and realized that her jaws hurt from clenching, that she was gripping the steering wheel with white knuckled gusto, and that she’d left the flowers she’d so carefully picked and arranged that morning on the kitchen counter next to the sink. She pictured the bouquet of lacy ferns, white daisies, lime green Bells of Ireland, pink coneflowers and deep red lilies in her mind’s eye. “I guess it won’t really matter,” she said aloud to the idea that she drive to the cemetery without them. But they were her favorites, she continued the internal conversation. “And you always bring them,” she reminded herself firmly and found a parking lot where she could turn around.

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