Olivia is the first to arrive in the Church car park. She turns off the ignition and rests her forehead on the steering wheel. This is going to be a difficult morning, the final goodbye. This is all new to her and she does not know how she will negotiate her feelings and juggle all the various social graces. It can be a minefield – this land of culture and tradition and being the OUTSIDER. Olivia looks out the window and notices another car arriving. She does not recognise the driver but the passengers in the back are familiar. She remembers having a lively conversation at birthday dinner, she smiles to herself, they were lovely ladies. She watches as the car backs into the space beside her, she leans forward and smiles at the women in the backseat. They do not smile back, instead they are looking straight ahead, faces blank, unreadable. Olivia leans back into her seat and sighs, this is harder than she thought. She is tempted to turn on the radio and listen to anything that will drown outside the oppressive silence in the car and the voices in her head. A third car enters the car park. An old man at the wheel with his wife at his side. Olivia recalls sitting behind them at another church service, this time a more joyous event, a christening, the start of new life – all things bright and beautiful. She remembers the old man holding his wife’s hand and beaming at her. It was their great grand child.
The circle of life. Olivia tries to reason with herself. All life has to end. There are no exceptions.
The fourth car rolls in – long and dark – the passengers in black and openly weeping. Olivia’s heart cracks and she starts to sob.