In God’s Time – Part 9

1989

Conchita promised herself she wouldn’t cry. She greeted a small gathering of people during the viewing but was unable to smile. We’re so sorry . . . He’ll be missed . . . He was such a passionate man, they said; their words dug into her chest, heaving in spasms of repressed grief.

Some of Conchita’s friends had come but not by Conchita’s invitation. Her roommate Leslie must have told them, Conchita thought. Conchita had only told Leslie.

She frowned at Leslie pouring herself a cup of punch across the room. Great, just what Conchita needed. There were already too many drama queens at school who feasted on other people’s misery. Add her misery to the list.

During the funeral service, Conchita glared at the priest from the front row. He droned on about pathos when he was pathetic and full of it.

God doesn’t recognize suicide, Father Liuzzo had told Mom when she was in his office begging him to perform the ceremony. She spent three hours trying to convince him; finally he agreed. Dad had been an altar boy and never gave up on the church. Conchita clenched her teeth in anger at the memory.

Maria put her arm around Conchita and tried to draw her nearer.

Conchita frowned and shrugged her Mom off, still upset with her for not telling Conchita the details of how she’d found him or what the note had said. Mom only said he’d left a brief note.

Conchita had argued with her: Why can’t you tell me what it said? You think it doesn’t hurt already? You owe it to me, to him, to tell me.

If only Conchita hadn’t gone out that night with her friends.

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