I’m always telling myself I don’t have many feelings. Even when something does affect me I’m only moderately moved. I almost never cry. It’s not that I’m stronger than the ones with teary eyes, I’m weaker. They have courage. When all you are is skin and bones, feelings are a brave thing. I’m more of a coward. The difference is minimal though, I just use my strength not to cry. When I do allow myself a feeling, I take the part that hurts and bandage it up with a story that doesn’t cry, that doesn’t dwell on homesickness.

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?

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