love is the flower
Levi finds me outside the church, in between white roses, with a blank smile on my red lips. He takes a long, long breathe when he sees me.
"I was worried," he says finally, coming to sit next to me. "You sounded- weird, on the phone- like-"
"I know," I sniff. "I don't know what's happening to me. I feel mad."
"Mad? Angry, or-?"
I shut my eyes. "I don't know, Levi. I feel Alice in Wonderland mad. Delusional. Crazy."
"Why?" he whispers, like he believes what I'm saying but can't possibly fathom it into being real.
"I can't find my peace with it."
We both know what 'it' is, and he takes a second long, long breathe. "Maybe you should go to church more? Your mum seems much happier now."
"It doesn't help. It just bores me." I clasp my fingers together. "Someone is to blame."
He narrows his eyes slightly, and puts a steadying hand on my shoulder. "We should talk about this at home, Ivory."
"Don't," I say abruptly, and shrug him off. "Its true. Someone is to blame for Isabela's death." I run my fingers over a single white rose. "Was it me? I said she should go out and have fun.
Or maybe it was Mum. She gave Isabela the invite to the party.
Or what about Rae. Rae invited her.
It was Jasmine's car.
Rory drove them there, you know. Rory crashed it.
But Danila was in the car. Danila should've helped.
Who was in the other car? They messed up.
But it was Rae's mum who decided to throw the party."
"It wasn't anyone's fault," Levi says, "Look, it was-"
"Fate? You think Isabela deserved to die? Don't be stupid! Things don't just occur. We make them occur. We pay for them. Isabela was murdered, really, if you consider," my mind wavers, then finds focus, "Someone made it occur: someone has to pay. There has to be justice, karma, for the murderer."
Levi takes a third long, long breathe. "Then blame it on me, Ivory. I suggested to you Isabela should go to Jasmine's party. It was me. Blame me."
I groan, and pull Levi into a hug. "It wasn't you. Don't be silly," I feel myself crumple, droop, like a fallen flower. "I'm sorry. I don't know what I'm thinking- why I'm thinking like that."
"You don't have closure," Levi says flatly, "You don't really know what happened. And its okay, not to know everything. I deal with a whole number of people in the office like that. You want to have someone to blame, and that's normal. You just need someone to stop you when you go to far."
I rest my chin on his shoulder. "Mum is too busy watering petunias and bustling. And dad just likes shackling criminals, and not much else. They don't know me, anymore. They don't care."
"Well you have Jasmine. And Rae. And me, of course."
His arms tighten around my waist and the closeness makes me feel comfy again, like the stars are back. Its clear.
"Thank you," I mumble, and we break apart.
He smiles softly, "I think you should come round mine. We can play monopoly."
I stiffen. Monopoly isn't boring. But circles are.