Like most doctors, the fanciest ones, he seemed offensively healthy, as if he kept the real secret of vitality to himself. He would live forever and people would crumble and die around him. You were supposed to feel like death after seeing him, in terms of your complexion, your posture, your whole body. If necessary, this doctor would eat you to survive.

I’ve never been to a funeral until today. I see dazzling arrangements of red, yellow, and purple flowers with long, green stems. I see a stained-glass window with a white dove, a yellow sun, a blue sky. I see a gold cross, standing tall, shiny, brilliant. And I see black. Black dresses. Black pants. Black shoes. Black bibles. Black is my favorite color. Jackson asked me about it one time.
“Ava, why don’t you like pink? Or yellow? Or blue?

During our time together in this place Holly didn’t outright avoid me or treat me rudely. But she wasn’t-how do women like to put it? She wasn’t emotionally available to me.

Successful people will tell you that they do not wonder if they are going to succeed. They know they will. It’s just a matter of when.

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