Miranda stands across the grave from the boy, her hands knotted into tight fists that she hides in her pea coat pockets. She feels her boots settle themselves into the slushy dirt underneath her, in the same spot she'd stood not even a month ago, adorned in black silk with pearls around her neck.
Today, while Miranda wears a baby blue dress under her coat, her friend still sports his funeral colors. She fears it's slowly becoming his everyday wear. Carter has changed, like something in him switched on when Charlotte left.
Rather, she thinks to herself, he switched off.
While Miranda has spent nearly every day of her high school life with this boy, she was beginning to see him as a stranger. His happiness had come and gone with the passing of this girl and, despite herself, it made Miranda hesitant. He was a whole new person, now, as anyone would be.
Grayson stands, motionless over the grave. His face is void of emotion. Those green eyes that used to well up from laughing too hard and make butterflies erupt in Miranda's stomach were now empty, fixated on the plot of ground just before them. Charlotte had those same green eyes, Miranda remembered, though hers cut daggers into you more often than they made you feel giddy.
Miranda recalls a crisp vision of the girl, with her blond curls bouncing around her shoulders, a shy grin, and the birthmark right under her eye that made her look like a little model. She was sure Grayson, with his sullen face and wrinkled forehead, had been haunted by the same memory ten thousand times over.
Dull shades of white stick to the boy's hair as a Maine snow flurry carries on around them. Inside of her pea coat pockets, Miranda's hands are growing colder. She looks at her companion's fingers, wrapped bare around a bouquet, and considers offering him her gloves.
Carter neals down, which catches the girl off guard. She can see that his eyes starry and about to overflow. They share a brief glance before he looks away from her, and lays his gift against the stone. Miranda feels the need to say something. She's tired of just watching him be miserable, but she knows that no amount of "I'm sorry's" could cover it. So she stands with him in silence some more, hoping that just to be there could speak what she could not.