The days following the death of her sister are dark and dreary, like winter. She cannot eat, cannot sleep, cannot move. Sadness is not even present, she does not cry, she does not scream. She is just...empty.
Chrysanthemum feels as though someone has ripped out her heart.
She remembers staying limp by her dead sisters side, holding her graying hand in her own. Screaming and shouting when her father pries her away. She won't be seperated from her, she won't.
A week later, her sister is cremated. Her family (her mother, her father, and no one else) is dressed in proper funeral clothes, heads bowed as they pray for Gerbera's wellbeing in the afterlife. The sun stretches overhead, but Chrysanthemum doesn't feel very warmed up inside. She feels cold, barren, lonely. Tears slip down her cheeks. Oh how she misses her. Sweet, precious Gerbera.
Her heart aches.
Her father is first, dipping his calloused hands into the vase of Gerbera's ashes. Tears drop freely, and despite this Chrysanthemum has never seen him look stronger. He lifts his ashen hands up to the sky, watching with wide eyes as the wind catches it and pushes it west. Her mother's body is wracking with sobs as she spreads Gerbera's ashes around the house.
(Her and her father hold hands as this happens, because sadness is not as strong when you have someone to share it with)
Chrysanthemum's eyes zero in on the hill. The orchid hill that they used to play on when they were children. Her hands grip the edge of the ceramic vase tightly, knuckles turning white. Oh, sister, how I miss you so. Her journey starts at the front porch, dainty little hand dropping ashes down as she walks the path to the orchid hill.
Memories swirl through her head, Gerbera as a baby, Gerbera as a child, Gerbera now. Gerbera. She reaches the beginning of the hill. The green stretches on for acres and acres, plentiful. She remembers chasing her sister around, tackling her into the grass. She remembers climbing the trees, Gerbera waiting paitently at the bottom. She remembers passing down fruits to her sister, racing to see who could finish who's first.
A wind blows, strong and powerful. Chrysanthemum drops the remaining of the ashes. Her eyes watch, fuzzy through the tears, as the wind drifts the remaining pieces of Gerbera down the orchid hill.
Dinner that night is quiet. Chrysanthemum is lonely. She wishes for a friend.
(She is gifted one in spring, when the orchids bloom so prettily. Something about the spring air chants I'm here sister and for once, Chrysanthemum doesn't feel so alone anymore)
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