Conchita promised herself she wouldnâ€™t cry. She greeted a small gathering of people during the viewing but was unable to smile. Weâ€™re so sorry . . . Heâ€™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 Conchitaâ€™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 peopleâ€™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 doesnâ€™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 sheâ€™d found him or what the note had said. Mom only said heâ€™d left a brief note.
Conchita had argued with her: Why canâ€™t you tell me what it said? You think it doesnâ€™t hurt already? You owe it to me, to him, to tell me.
If only Conchita hadnâ€™t gone out that night with her friends.