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Saying Goodbye
By Ann


Sara stepped from the car and headed down the smooth pavement, noting the various names on the headstones as she passed. A shiver ran down the brunette's spine, and she was uncertain if it was due to the chill in the air, or, the fact that she was surrounded by death on all sides. She clutched the small arrangement of flowers close to her body and walked towards her destination.

The investigator soon realized that death wasn't prejudiced in any way, judging from the names and dates on the markers. Death touched the young and the old, male and female, and Sara was certain that one's color and sexual orientation didn't come into play either. Yes, death didn't give a damn when it came to discrimination; it didn't discriminate against anyone.

Veering onto the grass, Sara headed towards the small gravestone in the corner of the cemetery. She knelt to the side of the marker and laid the flowers on the ground. Pulling a pair of gloves from her pocket, she slid them onto her shaky hands and began to weed the area around the granite stone.

"Well, here I am. It took me awhile to gather up my courage, but I made it. I know I should've come earlier, but I just couldn't. I wasn't ready to face it, I guess."

Sara made quick work of the weeds in the front of the marker, and she crawled around to the back, careful not to disturb any of the other graves and taking extra caution not to place any body part on an area where the deceased might lie.

"I've had all this time to accept what's happened, but, instead, I just kept busy, working overtime whenever I could. In my mind, if I didn't think about it, it didn't happen. Or, I guess the more accurate thing to say is if I didn't think about it, I didn't have to deal with it."

Smoothing around the base of the stone, Sara moved back to retrieve her flowers. She placed her hand on top of the marker and brushed the debris from its top. Pleased that the area was cleared, she gently laid the flowers on the rough surface. As the arrangement began to sway in the wind, the CSI anchored the stems with a couple of stones lying nearby. Satisfied that the flowers would stay, Sara removed her gloves and laid them on the ground next to her as she chose to remain in her kneeling position.

"There you go. I brought your favorites, irises. They, . . . um, kind of got smashed, but I managed to fluff them out some. Anyway, it's the thought that counts, right?"

"So, I guess I should fill you in on stuff, but truthfully, I don't know where to start. I just can't believe you're gone."

Sara stared off into the distance, desperately searching for the words to explain her feelings and emotions. She'd had plenty of time to think on the drive, but she figured she'd be able to come up with something once she was standing at the headstone.

"Damn Catherine. It's her fault I'm here, you know. She harped on me and harped on me for days on end. She said that if I didn't come to say goodbye, then I'd hate myself for the rest of my life. Well, I've hated myself before, so how would that have been any different?"

A strong hand gripped Sara's shoulder, and the brunette glanced up to find kind, blue eyes looking down at her. The investigator reached for the strength being offered and took the hand into her own, instantly feeling the love and support of her anchor.

Smiling, Sara turned back to the gravestone. "I finally found someone who cares for me, someone who would never hurt me, someone who loves me for me. Mom, meet Sofia, the love of my life."

The End

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