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AZALEAS — a fiction
Your most favouritist place in the world
You are buried among the azaleas, you most favouritist place in the world. Mummy says you’ll be safe there from the foxes and the squirrels who might dig you up and eat your bones. The azaleas are poisonous, she tells me. The animals know better than to dig there.
I tell her I miss you.
She tells me that’s normal. Everybody goes through something like this.
I asked her why we didn’t put you in a box. Everyone on TV gets put in a box before they are put in the ground. Aunt June got put in a box. She says we didn’t have one big enough. I think she is right. You were awfully big.
Mummy smiles. I ask her how you died and she stops smiling. Sometimes it’s just your time to go, she says.
What happens then?
After you die?
Well, honey, if you’ve lived a good life you get to go to heaven.
It’s a place where you can have everything you ever wanted.
So I can have whatever I want when I die?
You’ve a long time to live yet, my little one.
We are at the window, watching the birds in the garden. A big black bird scratches at worms in the grass. You used to love watching the birds with me.
Is Daddy in heaven? I ask her.
I don’t know, honey. We watch as the bird pulls up a really big fat one. Why do you ask? she says.
I look past the bird to the azaleas and the flowers you planted near the bird feeder.
Because he’s with all his favourite things right now, I tell her. She doesn’t reply.
We have waffles for breakfast. We burry them with melted chocolate spread, banana and maple syrup. I think Mummy misses you. She was crying while we ate them.
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