She felt as if there hadn't been enough time. It was a flowing river, time, and it had carried him away in its tide, drowning him. Taking him away from her forever.

"Do you miss him, Eloise?" Tom said, snapping her out of her reverie. She winced and a feeling of exhaustion washed over her as she was dragged back to reality. The brown-ness that was a local funeral parlor. The grubby brown carpet on which people had dragged their filthy, sorrow filled feet upon. The moldy brown wood furniture- all of which were not only rotting, but filled to the brim with either dozens of slimy fake flowers or the ass of some weeping octogenarian. The walls matched everything else and radiated the smell of must. They were covered in gold-framed pictures of puppies and Jesus.

Tom was watching her look at the surroundings. "It's really disgusting, isn't it. This place gives me the creeps. I'd really like to give the place a makeover. It'd make a good t.v. show: 'Switching Homes- Funeral Home Edition.' Whoever covers the walls with the most pictures of Jesus wins a special basket of fake flowers."

Eloise snorted, and Tom was laughing at his own joke, but she could hear his voice getting softer as he wandered away. Suddenly a large hand was put on her shoulder.

"Eloise, are you okay?" It was her father, standing where Tom was a minute ago. "It's a difficult time for all of us, I know. I know how close you were with Tom. It always made me overjoyed to see my twins with such a close.bond," he managed to say in a shaky voice.

Oh God, Dad. Don't burst into tears. Please, just don't cry, Eloise thought.

"Sweetie, w-what were you laughing at?" he asked.

Eloise broke eye contact. She couldn't really tell him that she was laughing at her dead brother's jokes. She instead chose to stare intently in front of her, at some particularly nasty photos of Tom with a donations basket in front of them. One was his sixth grade school photo- oh, she remembered that one. The last time Tom took a school picture with a serious smile. His light brown hair, their hair colors had still matched back then, was in a bowl cut and parted to one side, disgustingly straight. He was looking off into the distance with an expression that made him appear retarded. The next one was a school photo from freshman year. Tom had long since fixed his hair into a somewhat indie-rocker style and was wearing sunglasses. He had refused to tilt away from the camera and instead was positioned directly in front of it, his head leaning forward a bit.

She had to laugh at that one. They were always next to each other on school picture lines, of course, and she was waiting for him to finish. Tom had whipped out the dark sunglasses and slouched while the photographer tried to position Tom with her broken English. Eventually one or two school authorities were called, and they just took the picture because God damnit, they couldn't leave a blank space instead of a pupil's charming face (gag, gag). There was another picture of them at the beach as twelve year olds. Eloise's hair was wet and clumped from the sea water, and Tom was shading his face. They were both grinning like maniacs of course, because they had been trying to make sand traps for passer-bys. Eloise's eyes skimmed by a few pictures of Tom being smothered by relatives to look at a picture of them, age three, nestled in a pile of leaves in front of their house.

But what the hell was a donation basket doing in front of Tom's photos? There was no way, no fucking way, that Tom had a favorite charity. Or, in fact, that Tom supported organized charities at all. Donations can be made out to the Feed One of Tom's Hungry Friends Fund, Eloise snidely thought to herself.

"Eloise," her mother whispered in her ear. "Eloise, honey, we're going to start moving to where they're giving the little speech to now, okay? Is that okay? Okay?" Eloise had stood there, silently, refusing to take her eyes away from the pictures, steaming with irritation at her mother. It had been one of those supposed comforting whispers, but it came out as a hiss. She wasn't in the mood for that. Today wasn't the day, for being consoled, Mother. Today was Tom's day.