— That’s because it isn’t fair.
[Her agreement comes swiftly, informed by Maria’s tone and slipping seamlessly into sync with it. It’s been a long few weeks, of course it has, but the only thing keeping Sharon from falling apart at the prospect of attending another funeral is the fact that if she’s out of commission, who knows what other kind of hell would break loose in her absence.
And she couldn’t make Maria do it alone.]
Funny, right? [the scrape of her laugh is anything but humor] All that noise, all those protests, but who got to retire or disappear and who’s stuck – who’s stuck doing this —
[Her voice filters to a halt, the bitterness that’d fueled it wearing off, cooling into something heavier, harder, the next words breathed out almost like a secret.]
I hate this, Maria.
[ Eyes shift sideways, sliding into the jacket that will cover the dress, make the practicality of it, the functional simplistic beauty for which it was chosen obscure- not that it matters. Maria likes to think that every choice she makes this morning will be, on one hand, made for those they’ve lost, for those that they’re honoring with this next service.
It’s with that same attitude she’ll shake the hands of the widows, offer her condolences and those of the entire agency, the WSC and the United Nations. She’ll do her best to become a pillar against the grief they’ll both be witnessing, a silent representative of respect and shared sorrow. ]
So do I. But I’d rather it be me making the rounds than someone else. Us.
I know we’ll do it right.
[ She wears that dress like a sheath, a suit of armor that acts as such but also as a sort of softening filter over her sharp edges– ]
I do hate feeling like there’s nothing we can do to keep it from happening.