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It was raining. Just like in the movies and on TV, he thought.

It seemed about as real. He stood silently, uncomfortable in the new suit and tie he had been forced into. The collar was too tight, and he felt like the tie was choking him. He wondered if everybody else felt equally uncomfortable.

He wiped his cheek with the sleeve of his jacket. It was just the rain, he told himself.

He heard a sharp intake of breath beside him. He looked to his left and saw his sister biting her lip, trying to be strong, trying to be quiet, trying not to cry. Failing at all three. He reached out and took her hand. She squeezed it tight.

She didn’t have to be strong. He would be strong enough for both of them.

He set his jaw as they lowered the coffin into the grave. He was the man of the house now.

© Kari Fay

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