An excerpt from “The Glass Triangle” by Jane McMaster (Conroy) Published December 2006
ISBN# 13: 9781413783025
It was the coldest April morning on record. At least it felt that way for Moira Kelly, who stood in the pouring rain feeling numb down to her bones. The dark green raincoat she wore hung loosely on her small body. Though it was tied tightly around her, it didn’t keep her dry. She was soaked through to her skin. She hadn’t even bothered with the umbrella. The rain was hitting her from all sides so it was useless to fight it.
April was supposed to signify new beginnings. Spring had begun a few weeks ago, followed by a warm spell that coaxed the flowers to bloom early. Now they only drooped pathetically from the buckets of brittle rain drowning them. April showers bring May flowers. How many times had she heard that in her life? But this wasn’t an ordinary April shower. She thought of an old wives’ tale that claimed if rain falls on a coffin the departed’s soul arrived safely in heaven. But those words offered little comfort. If only the rain could wash away the feeling of remorse.
Standing alone in the background of the cemetery, she watched the family carefully, looking for a sign in their body language that told her they would recover. She watched his children standing under the green canopy that sheltered them from the rain and a sad smile grew on her face. It wouldn’t be easy for them facing life without their father. Moira was thankful they were young and would forget all of this quickly. Kids were resilient, after all.
Shivering, Moira pulled the collar of her raincoat up to protect herself from the cold, damp wind that blew around her. She despised funerals, and only planned on saying a quick prayer for him and leaving quietly. As she turned to go, she suddenly became aware of Elaine’s eyes on her, and she froze like a rabbit being spotted by its prey. Elaine stood still for a moment, and even from the distance, Moira could see the hatred burning in her eyes. They were probably swollen and bloodshot from tears, just like her own. Elaine slowly began to walk toward her, leaving her children behind with the members of the crowd. As she passed them, people would offer their comfort, and then start whispering as she passed, but Elaine ignored them. She only stared straight ahead, making her path toward Moira. Within seconds, they were face to face like enemies in a showdown.
“How could you come here?” Elaine whispered as tears began streaming down her face. The black umbrella she firmly held kept her dry somehow, despite the winds whipping around them. It was as if the rain was afraid of her, too. Elaine looked the part of the widow perfectly with her black raincoat and sad expression. Moira focused on the fine pearl necklace that hung around her neck because she couldn’t look into her eyes. Like everything else on Elaine Hildebrand, they lay on her long, graceful neck dry and sheltered from the rain. “Have you no scruples?” Elaine’s tone was as icy as the air around them as her sharp piercing eyes carved into her in disapproval.