Chapter 9 - The Funeral

Chapter 9 - The Funeral

Maura sat, back upright, hands folded, eyes straight ahead. A hero's send off, they'd said. But there was nothing heroic about the way Jane had died at the hands of Paddy Doyle. The only thing 'heroic' about it was that he could now be tried for over 15 murders, to give families their peace. What about her peace? Jane had been her peace, the person to whom she looked for and found solace in when cases became too difficult because it involved a child, baby, mother. Jane was the one who soothed her, who made all her harboured misgivings and social inadequacies fall away. What was she now? Who was she without Jane? Who was she at all?

"Maura?" Maura looked down to see Korsak kneeling in front of her, flag folded, in hand. Before they had left for the funeral, Angela had taken her to one side and insisted that Maura be the one to receive the flag rather than herself. "It is given to family," Angela had said, "and as far as Jane was concerned, you were her family."

Her eyes filled with tears at the memory. The flag signified the end; the end of the funeral, the end of life as she knew it, the end of the loud, brash Italian, the woman she loved; a final tribute to Jane. Trembling, she took it from Jane's ex-partner as the people around her stood for the 21 gun salute.

"Thank you," she whispered, standing up. Korsak only nodded; words insufficient. She looked up willing the tears to subside as the guns went off, her eyes focusing as far away from reality as possible and in the blur of her vision, she swore she saw Jane, her detective standing there, standing straight, hands in pockets, darks curls blowing slightly in the wind.

The figure nodded, once, before raising one hand to their head, a salute in farewell. She closed her eyes letting her tears course down her cheeks. "She's not there, she's gone, she's not there, she's gone" she repeated to herself.

Hazel orbs opened again, hope flared brief and sudden, but this time there were only the rolling hills in sight, the figure long gone.

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