He's already flustered. Even with the map, he had trouble finding her place. He walks up the lawn, acutely aware of his own heartbeat.
Sitting beside her, he's sweating like a fat kid on field day. His mouth is dry--South Carolina-bars-on-Sundays dry. The silence is intolerable, and he babbles to fill it. He feels like he's talking to a rock.
"I'm a little out of practice with this. Man, I think the last time was Dana, the girl I dated senior year. We lost touch after graduation. Always regretted that. I looked her up right after my divorce. Don't know what I expected. But she was, you know, gone. So, I found out where she was and visited her."
He shakes his head.
"I broke down like a goddamned sissy. Sorry. In all fairness, I cried at car insurance commercials back then."
He prattles on about his new job, which allowed him to replace his rusty truck and inspired his ex to request more child support and alimony.
"I oughta pay some sap to marry her money-grubbing ass," he somewhat jokes.
He gives her the flowers he brought. The tulips look nice in her bronze vase.
"I didn't know your favorite," he mutters. "Thought these were pretty, so ..."
The catch in his voice irritates him. The tears straight piss him off. Maybe if he'd come home more often, he'd know her favorite fucking flower. But he was too busy. Always too busy.
"I miss you so much, Mama," he sobs.
In the six months his mother has been here, random pieces of grass have sprouted from the cracked dirt. He absentmindedly yanks a few blades and tosses them on her neighbor: Esther Willadene Banks, beloved wife and mother until 2007.
He makes a mental note to ask them to put down more seed. Mama kept her lawn well manicured. Her final resting place should look as nice.
trifecta weekly writing challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "rusty," as defined below:
a. of the color rust
b. dulled in color or appearance by age and use
Word count: 333