It was all wrong. The colors were not balanced – there were too many baby’s breath, making the arrangement look too full, too white. Not that it would matter. Nobody ever looked at the flowers anyways.
A father stood at the front of the receiving line. A mother stood rigid next to him. Neither of them had been prepared for this, although they both seemed strangely calm together in the flickering light of the parlor.
They had separated 3 years ago. Mostly because of his affinity towards men, but also because of her desire for independence. Not at all because of their daughter. They had made it a point to tell her this constantly, both together and separately. She had made it a point to blame herself even as they told her not to.
She had loved playing basketball before the separation. After, it became a point of contempt between her mother and her father – who would pay for it, who would go to which game in order to avoid seeing each other. More often than not, they missed it all together. Eventually, so did she.
She slipped between the cracks in their newly fractured life, sneaking out of her father’s house now and then to taste the freedom her mother craved, flirting with boys and girls alike to see if she would follow in her father’s footsteps. She had ended up choosing her own path.
The couple stood steadily next to each other, next to the casket. Gingerly, the mother reached out to one of the bouquets. “Do you think there are too many baby’s breaths?” the mother asked, touching a small petal.
“No,” the father said, his dull smile fading into wrinkles. “Not enough.”