((Daisy Pennington - Meanwhile - Start))
Daisy Pennington was letting her tears and snot burn her face in the car she resided in for the past few minutes. She still hadn't left her garage. She was suppose to have left to go to a group therapy session for all the parents who had children abducted by the terrorists. Daisy couldn't leave. Even though she promised Mariam she would, she couldn't go. She wanted to forget about that. Wanted to forget about everything involved with it. Wanted to forget Venice.
She hated herself. She couldn't even stand being around anything that reminded her of Venice. She couldn't look at any type of drums or listen to Hotel California, she couldn't go in the backyard where the pool was, walk in the hallway where Venice's room was and family pictures were turned face down on a daily basis. She wouldn't look at herself in the mirror, less she be reminded of her spitting image.
Daisy Pennington was a sorry, pitiful woman. So she told herself that every morning and every night. She was terrible, and it was why Mariam had told her to get help. Why else would a mother try to forget their child? Surely not to bury all the pain that came with seeing an empty grave when she wasn't even sure Venice had died.
Of course Venice was dead, she reminded herself. She'd be home if she wasn't. The government would have found the island already, wouldn't they. It had been a week since Survival of the Fittest had started streaming, why wasn't she back? She had to be dead. Why wouldn't they have her daughter back otherwise?
She got out of the car and sat on the couch, and called Miriam while she was at work. She screamed and cursed for saying she should go to therapy. She told her how she was scared, and yelled about Mariam herself never wanted to go to therapy either. Even though they both lost their child, Daisy was the one who felt like an awful person trying to cope in awful way.
"I'm sorry, honey. We'll try again again tomorrow. I love you, but we'll have to talk about this when I get home."
The familiar tone of the phone hanging up and a lonely ringing was heard. They wouldn't talk. She caught a glimpse of a picture of Venice. Mariam must have put it back up before she left for work. Daisy held it and stared at it. It was one of those professional photo shoots that was meant to make everything look as beautiful as it could be.
Daisy stared at it for a long time, not really looking at it. Like finally realizing it's place in the house and why it was there. She put it back on the dresser, straight up. She went back to her bed, and waited for Mariam to come home.
It was July 5th. The day after she had found out her son hadn't died after checking her facebook. When he turned out to be a part of those fucking terrorist abductions. And there was one thing that had crossed her mind after that night.
How does someone go about removing a tombstone? Lucina was about to find out. Well, she was trying, through the internet.
A stonemason removed one after some family had refused to pay the bill. She didn't know what to make of that at first, but maybe that was the right guy to call. If she could remember what R.J.'s headstone was made of. She remembered it was in the shape of the Cross, but that was it. Lucina hadn't thought of it since her baby's lie of a funeral. A lie. Crossed and dotted by that headstone.
Dammit, she wasn't getting anywhere. She kept looking. A link. She clicked on it.
"When you decide you want to put a headstone on a burial pit, it is the grave owner's responsibility to look after it, as it your property.
It is not the stonemason's authority or the cemetery's authority to take care of it."
That cross belonged to her. And she could do what she damn well pleased with it. Lucina knew she had bought it, but she thought it was for the actual service of the grave being made then actually owning it.
Lucina grabbed the shovel from a closet, knowing full well what she had to do. She left her apartment building and got in her car. She kept patting the shovel that sat next to her as she drove to the cemetery, making sure it was ready, just to be sure.
She stopped in the cemetery and rushed over to R.J's grave marker, shovel in hand, sweat beads already forming from anticipation and the hot summer day. She saw the little plaque that lied in front of the white cross.
Rutherford Graham Roger II
We Always Love You
October 4th, 1993 - June 13, 2012
We Always Love You
October 4th, 1993 - June 13, 2012
Gently placing the plaque aside, she grabbed hold of the the cross, the indicator that her son was dead even though he wasn't. She knew R.J. wasn't. Lucina had seen him grow up into what he is. He had become fast and strong and he had friends and he could be smart when he wanted to be. He could survive whatever was thrown at him. He could live.
The cross wouldn't budge. This was why she had brought the shovel. Digging off the area around it, Lucina tried again. With grunts and snarls, the cross was loosening it's entrapment around it. With one final heave, it was free. A cemetery worker approached her.
"Lady...what are you doing?"
"I am taking my property and what shouldn't be here. Goodbye."
Plaque, shovel, the cross, and the various flowers that covered an empty grave stowed in the backseat, Lucina began her drive back home, leaving the cemetery worker baffled as he pressed some numbers on his phone, waiting for her son to come back to her soon.