Off the Bridge

The petals fell from his fin­gers, one by one, into the slow­ly-mov­ing stream below. Katya used to stand here next to him, pluck­ing petals from the blos­soms in her hand, drop­ping them off the bridge to form a zigzag­ging trail of pink on the dark flow­ing sur­face of the creek.

He had hoped, when they had pulled her out of the water about two miles down­stream, that she would have been clutch­ing a petal­less stem, assur­ance that she had per­formed her gen­tle rit­u­al one last time before she cast her­self in. But her bro­ken fin­gers had been emp­ty, mud packed beneath the shat­tered nails. Her cold pale cheeks no longer matched the ros­es. But he still thought of her as he dropped the petals in now. He would always think of her.

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