Dan and Father had organised the wake. It
was sausage rolls and relations standing glumly
around. Once the drink appeared, the mood
thawed. Uncles chattered about their bubbly
niece. I didn’t know a soul, apart from Margaret
and Jack, who’d come up to London to show
their respects. I tried to talk, but my voice kept
breaking up. Those bewitched days in Devon
seemed centuries ago. Elizabeth had been my
first love. This barbaric world had dismantled
her soul. It was an unforgivable shame that
Elizabeth had taken her life. Blame sat squarely
on her psychiatrist. The system was bent and
broken. I sipped at the cheap plonk, and watched
Dan weep. It was just so painful. I couldn’t cry.

Author: Robert James Berry

Poet & Novelist