Warm under the covers, she holds her lover tight.
The phone vibrates. Aakifah stretches her arm out of the blankets—her eyes squint from the harsh light. The phone drops to the floor. She feels like someone has cut her with a knife.
She stands far back—hidden—as the crowds gather to pay their respects. Abiding by her faith—head to toe in black—she wipes her silent tears. She watches them lower the body into the ground. The final goodbye. Aakifah softly whispers, “I love you, dear mother, I hope you can forgive me now.”