February 3, 2015: Our Lady of Broken Hearts

Everyone smiled at her when she walked down the street.
That’s the type of person she was. Everyone loved her.

Oh, Maggie was beautiful. And just the sweetest! She was very popular. Men just drooled after her.

She was known for wearing flowers in her hair. A white or red camellia.

Black cars fill the street and slowly wind their way down towards the cemetery.

You’ll see more grown men crying today than you ever will. It’s like they all lost their mama.

I heard she went with some guy down South, but came back because she got sick.

I heard she was a…lady of the night. All those men, those were her lovers.

I follow the funeral procession, listening to tales of love and heartbreak, bits of gossip, snide remarks and jealousies.

I try to learn as much about Maggie as I can. Everyone just speaks of the flowers in her hair and of her many lovers.
One man, walking by himself, holds tight to a bloodied handkerchief.

She left it all. Turned her back on all of them, just to be with me. But look, they all still love her.
I just wish I was there for her…at the end.

Black umbrellas parade in front of us. It’s not raining, but it seems to be protocol.
From the windows above the street red and white camellias rain down on the mourners.

She had a dog. Oh, how she loved that dog. It would come close when she coughed, lick her hand in reassurance. I saw her cough blood once. I took her hand and just held it.

When she died…I understood what she felt when she lost that dog.

Ah, but no matter how long I live…I shall always love her longer.

I watched from the cemetery gates as they lowered her into the ground. Her grave filled with flower petals and love letters.

Everyone filed out, wiping eyes and bowing their heads.
All that remained were a few men, looking upwards, silent prayers on their trembling lips.

You could feel their hearts break, all at once, irrevocably.

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