Steph missed the real funeral because she had second thoughts about her pink dress. Then she became distraught over what to wear instead and about losing her friend. For once, Katy had a moment of empathy and common sense. Let’s have our own commemoration of Tina, she said.
So Steph, Katy and Luke told stories about Tina while drinking beer and listening to Tina’s favourite songs. Perfect, until Luke started casting lecherous looks at Katy. Ick, especially when she returned them. It’s not surprising coming from him. He’s been girlfriend hunting since he arrived on the street, and he didn’t really know Tina all that well aside from having put the makes on her. But Katy? Maybe not surprising either, despite her having known Tina better. Katy, despite the high horse she’s on about Anna ‘selling’ herself to Phelan, sets a far lower price on herself, I think. A compliment, a can of beer, and she’s all yours.
Both Roy and Mary were on the street to see the hearse off but neither went to the funeral. Looking across the street at the memorial bouquets in front of the building yard, both were saddened by how quickly they too had died. Roy quoted from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, and an idea formed in his mind while he and Mary played chess. He suggested a trip to the garden centre.
Steph too thought of something. She went out to the store, leaving Luke and Katy to cozy up together. And she was back. The three of them wrote messages to Tina and tied them to helium balloons. Then from the balcony that Steph had not been on since Tina plunged off it, they sent the balloons aloft. Lovely.
Roy and Mary finished up their garden box. Hoping the flowers would do what we ask of perennials: give new beauty each year and remind us of when and why we planted them. These two groups celebrated Tina’s life in their own, and fitting, ways.
Everyone at the funeral did pretty much as they pleased too. Rita was gracious, respectful and heartbroken. David was rude. Peter was drunk. Simon had a tantrum. And there was a fist fight at the cemetery. Fortunately, no one fell in the grave.