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.