Sam sat down, wishing she could disappear. Sighing, she tightened her scarf around her neck, a force of habit, and decided that Tony’s funeral was perhaps the one place where she couldn’t avoid talking to people—playing the grieving wife, on the other hand, would be more appreciable.
She saw the guests approaching, beginning with Mrs Gonzales, their sixty-five year old neighbor who hosted barbeques every Sunday; Emmett Hanson, Tony’s roommate in college and lastly, Greg Jackson, his partner at the NYPD. She still remembered the day when Tony had, for the first time in three years, allowed an outsider into their home. Greg, sweet Greg, as a symbol of gratitude, had brought a set of cutlery, somehow, having noticed the fact that Sam loved to cook. The set had included six plates and bowls, a ladle, several spoons and a knife and was heavily decorated with intricate oriental patterns, carrying a green colour.
Approaching the coffin, Greg glanced back at Sam, his eyes holding an emotion that didn’t quite border on sympathy for a grieving wife.
Instinctively, Sam tightened her scarf as Greg took a seat behind her. The priest began his sermon by stating how nice of a young man Tony was and what a shame it was that he lost his life—in the most brutal way—a swift cut to his neck; he stood no chance.
Soon, everyone moved outside, placing a rose over the coffin just before it was lowered into the ground and then began to leave.
Sam sat on a bench under the shade, assuming everyone had left before she felt the air next to her shift. It was Greg.
“You okay?” he whispered.
Sam nodded, not trusting her voice.
“We’re looking into it,”
Sam nodded again.
Greg sighed, “We’ll solve this. Tony will be brought to justice, even if I have to do it myself, alright?”
Sam asked, “Did you find anything?”
Greg sat up straight, “Not much, except-”, he procured something from his coat’s pocket.
In front of her, Sam saw the sun beginning to set as a gentle warm breeze blew. Looking back, she saw Greg hold up his hand. Between his fingers, he held a transparent plastic bag, labeled ‘EVIDENCE’ in which lay a jagged piece of wood. Even in the diminishing light, Sam could distinctly make out the oriental patters and the colour green.
Sam sucked in a deep breath.
Beside her, Greg sat quietly, wondering if he’d done the right thing. He glanced at her shivering form, the red scars on her wrist and the black eye; all covered up with make-up. And if she removed her scarf, he’d see marks of strangulation as well.
Sam saw Greg get up as they both looked ahead at the horizon; the sun had almost disappeared and in the distance, they could see the Moon; that shone just as bright.
Without looking back, Greg walked away, leaving behind a plastic bag with a green piece of wood inside.
By Prabhroop Kaur