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In the twilight, they drove up to the cemetery, which was at a foothill outskirt of town. It wasn't easy for Lily to be there but she appeared stronger than Daniel expected. He stood by her side throughout that time, holding her hand, as she fought within herself to accept that they were gone.

"I still can't believe they're really gone," she said with a quiver in her voice as she looked at the fresh mounds of graves where her parents' bodies lay buried.

They lay side by side in one cleared corner among the greenery. Trees and shrubs grew in wild freedom around them.

"It wasn't their time yet," said Daniel. "I will erect their memorial stones as soon as I can."

"We should." She got down on both knees and placed her trembling hand on the mound of her mother's grave.

She wasn't sobbing out loud but the way she ran her palm over her mother's mound and gathered the earth into her fist, in hopes of reaching to her, seemed to split Daniel's heart into two. This was not fair. She was not supposed to be staring at her parents' cold graves and talking about erecting memorial stones in their memory. She looked over to her father's grave and pressed her cheek on the mound while salty tears flowed from her eyes and mixed with the soil. And she wept, very quietly but painfully.

"Papa," she called but he was far gone.

They didn't stay for too long. Every second at this place, for Lily, was a reminder that she'd lost the people she loved most.

While walking back to the truck hand in hand, Daniel told her, "You know, in Reiveihmai, cosmos are blooming. They cover entire hill slopes the way those Giant Himalayan lilies did. You would love to see them. Local film stars keep coming over to film music videos and stuff."

"How long would they bloom?"

"Throughout the fall season. Probably till the end of November. But now is the right time if you wanna see the real beauty. They bloom in different colors over entire hills. Marigolds are also blooming. They're common but when they do flower in great number, it's quite a sight."


"I'm also taking care of your flowers." He gently squeezed her hand. "I water them every day in the evening. They're all doing good but I bet they're missing you. You should come by fast."

She smiled at him. "I do wanna go with you. I wish I was stronger."

"You would be in no time. No worries." He patted her hand and took her home back to her uncle's.

He joined them for dinner at the family's insistence and left at dusk.

On the next of his visit, the following Saturday, when Daniel took her out for a ride along the highway, Lily was inconsolable in the car as she cried, saying she wanted to move back home.

"I can't sleep. I can't study. I can't breathe. I can't do anything. I'll be better off dead!" she wailed like a baby in the car, burying her wet face in her hands and nearly blowing off the roof of his truck.

Daniel couldn't seem to grasp how it all began. They were talking and joking just a moment ago and before he knew what happened next, she was crying. He recalled she was staring out the window, listening to him and suddenly her tears came over her. Now they were parked by the road, in the middle of the highway, and she was sobbing aloud. This wasn't natural. He couldn't remember her crying this bad in all his years.

"Lily, tell me what's wrong," Daniel asked as he scooted over to her.

"I just want all of this to be over! I wanna disappear. I wanna die!" she sobbed.

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