I sat in the lobby of the hotel, the cold air escaping the sliding glass doors and wending its way around my bare legs. I twisted to look behind me at the fish in the tank, their mermaid’s skin glinting like gold in the warm light of the ceiling lamps.
Trying to avoid looking at the large, red-sweatered woman in the corner of the lobby who kept staring at me (not unkindly but with disturbing frequency), my eyes drifted to my dress. I had worn it to a school recital before in the sixth grade, with the same black patent leather heels. It still fit me two years later. I liked the way the swirling yellow roses burst from the black background – like stars in the darkest of nights. Perhaps such a dress might be frowned upon at a funeral, but I didn’t really care. Why frown at stars?
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