Jordyn laid the roses on the kitchen table. She began raiding the drawers searching for the good pair of scissors. Gabe came in. He wordlessly pulled a cereal bowl from the cabinet, filled it, and sat down to eat while Jordyn opened and rifled through each drawer for a third time.
Having taken a few bites, Gabe was finally in a place where he could coherently comment on Jordyn’s increasingly noisy search. “What’re you doing?”
“Looking for the good scissors.”
“I used ‘em last night. Other room,” he explained.
“Why couldn’t you put them away when you were done?” She shoved the drawers closed and marched to the den to retrieve them.
“Didn’t know you were gonna need ‘em.” Gabe was unfazed by Jordyn’s frustrated tone. “What’s with the flowers anyway?”
“It’s Father’s Day,” Jordyn responded as she made fresh cuts to each rose’s stem.
Gabe’s brow furrowed as he squinted at the calendar on the wall. “Huh. Still, what’re you gonna do with ‘em?”
“What d’you think? They’re for Dad, duh.”
Gabe’s chewing slowed. He watched Jordyn wipe the scissors and return them to their proper drawer. She avoided looking at him while she tore paper towels from the roll, folded them, and soaked them under the faucet. His spoon clanged against the ceramic bowl in a not-so-subtle attempt to capture her attention and force her to acknowledge the disbelieving and uncomfortable expression on his face. Fetching a sheet of aluminum foil, Jordyn returned to the table with her eyes intent on the materials she carried for the task at hand. The saturated paper towels were wrapped around the gathered and freshly trimmed stems before the aluminum foil secured the bouquet.
Gabe continued to sit stoically and will Jordyn to look at him as she shouldered her purse, tucked the roses into the crook of her arm, and grabbed her keys from the table. Before she could breeze past him, Gabe spoke up. “Dad’s dead.”
“So what…” he fumbled to try and make her understand. “Why… Don’t you think it’s… weird… to… you know…” He raised his eyebrows in the direction of the flowers.
Jordyn stared at him blankly for a moment. She opened the door and floated out, letting it slam behind her.
* * *
Jordyn laid the bouquet at the base of the granite gravestone. Running her fingers over the etched letters, the stone was warm from the sun.
A few rows over, a pair of boys played catch while their mother watched from a blanket spread on the ground by a carefully tended stone.
Off to her other side, Jordyn could see someone with grey hair and a dark jacket, man or woman, she couldn’t tell, on his/her knees pulling up weeds at the base of an old and weather-beaten gravestone.
Jodyn looked back at the stone in front of her. “I love you Daddy. And I miss you. Happy Father’s Day.” She kissed her fingers and pressed them against his name.