“Today it’s four years since Bertha died.”
“Well. More or less,” said Dan.
“Oh, Dan, don’t start.”
“I’m sorry, but the truth is implacable,” Dan said, looking at Sacha but glancing at Sally in quick, lizard-like flashes of acknowledgement. “Today we remember Bertha,” he said. “But the truth is this is the anniversary of her funeral, not her death.”
“Dan, cut it out.” Elaine turned from the stove and crossed her arms over her chest. Sally stared wide-eyed at her.
“What?” she asked. “Was she murdered?”
“Oh, no,” said Sacha, putting her arm across Sally’s shoulders. “Nothing like that. It’s just so sad. We never found out how long she’d been dead when they found her.”
“They. A neighbor,” Joanne said softly.
“Sometimes she just disappeared, you know? She was private that way. We never thought...” Sacha gave Sally’s shoulders a squeeze and let her go.
“Are you going to her grave?” Sally asked.
“No. Her family...”
“This year we’re making flowers,” said Joanne. “Elaine took a course on napkin folding.”
“I’m pretty good at it,” said Elaine with a wry smile. She tossed a weight of dirty blond hair off her shoulder. “I figured out how to make dahlias, Bertha’s favorite.”
“What are you gonna do with them?” Sally asked.
“We haven’t decided,” said Elaine. “We could decorate the restaurant.”
“Oh, sure, pulling for the home team, huh, Lainy?”
“We could take them down to the beach and let them loose in the surf.”
“Dan, she never went near the sea.” Sacha poured tea into small hand-made raku cups. “We could take them over to the hospital…”
“If we’re going to honor Bertha,” Joanne broke in, “what we should do is go up to the train station and hand them out to random travellers. Whoever strikes our fancy. Some good-looking guy…”
“Good luck with that!” said Cora. Everyone turned to look at her in surprise. They burst out laughing.
“I love that idea,” said Dan. “Something special and unusual. Quirky. Like Bertha.”
333 words for , on their 2nd Anniversary Challenge. Using Remember (verb): 3 a : to keep in mind for attention or consideration
b : REWARD