A/N: This character was partially inspired by the song "Phenomena" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Chapters are short, to the point, and they will not be lengthened. A new chapter will be up every Wednesday. Kind of an experimental piece. All feedback is welcome.
Momma once said, "Oh, Noie, you're such a feminist – and we all know feminists never get married. Why I wouldn't be surprised if you up and went all rainbow."
That's the only thing she can think of as she stares down at the polished cherry wood casket being lowered into the earth. Everything else seems stagnantly blank. The comment brings a brief smirk to her lips. Contrary to her momma's belief, she didn't go all rainbow, but then not all feminists are, just maybe the blatantly obvious ones.
The sniffling continues, the sound she can't stand anymore: grief. With a grim set look on her pointed features, she turns and strides through the crowd with confident, determined steps. Armed in black boots that wrinkle and fall around her tiny ankles, ragged tight black jeans and a leather jacket, she looks dressed more like a rock star than a daughter in mourning. Her mother isn't there anymore to raise her eyebrows. It's a good thing too, she thinks ruefully. She probably wouldn't like the way she's cut her hair; she'd cut it just like Jane Fonda when she'd gotten arrested: short bangs, sort of a mullet shag but prettier because she can pull it off.
She pulls out a cigarette and presses it between her thin lips without lighting it. Even in death Momma still has an influence on curbing her habits. Instead of leaving like she intended, she waits, leaned up against an old Maple tree, watching the huddled black crowd shift and sway.
Slowly they disperse, lingering only to hug each other and shed more tears. Her sister glances around, searching for her no doubt. It doesn't take too long, and soon she's picking her way over gravestones to where she stands.
A black coat hides her swelling belly. The child within her will never know its grandmother. "Why'd you leave like that?" Nadine was always better at putting up with people's emotions than she ever could. She's so much more like Momma it's sickening.
She shrugs and pulls out her lighter, hoping to drive her sister away with second hand smoke – it's not good for the baby.
Nadine glares disapprovingly.
"Sympathy, Nadine." She says with a jaded air. "I hate it. Why should they care what the hell I'm feeling?" With her cigarette poised between two fingers she gestures to the thinning crowd of black.
Her older sister glances back but doesn't reply. Instead she changes the topic. "My offer's still good, you know. You can come stay with us –"
That's the problem with Nadine: she's so damn determined to save everyone, and she's persistent. "I already told you my answer. I'm leaving tonight and I'm going to school. I don't want to be stuck here because you think I need…emotional healing." She sucks hard on her cigarette and glares, just as equally determined to get out of this place as her sister is to keep her here. Vancouver beckons.
"Noelle, I just want us to be a family again for –"
"No," she interrupts, her brown eyes taking on that deathly glow whenever she's angry, "– no you don't get to pretend that you can take her place. She's dead, Nadine. She's fucking dead, and I'm glad it's over, but I'm not sticking around so you can play house and act like everything is suddenly normal!" She can't take anymore bullshit and stalks away.
The weather couldn't be more ironic for such a day, the clouds playing with the idea of blocking out the sun's rays, but are foiled every few minutes. For hours, as she walks through rows of gravestones in silence, the clouds continue to be unresolved. She doesn't mind, though; her mother was somewhat ambiguous too.
Gravediggers arrive to the open grave where her mother lies just as the sun begins to go down. From a distance she watches them. Quietly, in her own way, she says goodbye to the woman who has raised her with such a defiant spirit, salutes her with a cigarette and a breath of smoke before turning and walking away.
It's the last time, she resolves, she'll ever come here again.