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only weeping was from the sky. No one had come to mourn Bester, only to bury him.

There was no graveside service. After the press had been run off, a man in EA uniform checked the coffin. Girard saw him lift the lid, nod, and speak briefly into a recorder. The lid came back down, four men in prison uniforms put the box in the hole, a fifth in an earthmover covered it over, and that was that.

He had half expected that woman to show up-what had her name been? Louise? She had looked Girard up, years later, to ask him what he knew about her role in things. He had thought she would eventually talk to Bester himself, but maybe that hadn't been allowed. Surely she knew-his death had made the news everywhere, and even now the sordid details of his life were being rehashed on the networks.

But no. The men did their work in almost eerie silence. No words, gentle or harsh, were spoken. No benediction, no blame. He almost felt as if he should say something himself.

But he didn't. Girard watched until the men left. He wasn't in any hurry. His wife was shopping, and he had nothing to do for several hours. He stayed, thinking that surely, surely someone else would come.

He realized he was still waiting for the woman, Louise. After all, it was Bester's love for her that had gotten him caught...

Merde, but I'm a romantic! Girard thought. Yet here was the proof, love could be destroyed, cut out as if it had never been. And a man really could go to his grave ungrieved. It made him feel better about his own life, his own choices. Despite himself, Girard had people who loved him.

As he was finally walking away, some instinct made him look back. He had just passed into a small copse of trees, and a breeze mingled the scent of clay with the green scent of the leaves fluttering
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