We sit in perfect silence for a bit. The judgy brunette from earlier, dragged her husband back down the aisle and left. I guess their family time requirement is done for the year. The late summer air breezes around us, setting off a light shiver through my body. “I hope you’re warm enough Mom, it’s awfully cold for this time of year.” I pull my knees up and wrap my arms around them.
A soft hand settles on my right shoulder. “It’s funny that this place is named “Cope Cemetery” since we have to learn how to “cope” without those that are here.” Jack Jones comes to sit next to us. He looks nice in his new Amish clothes.
No one would have thought that Tasha’s best friend in high school would have joined the local order of Amish, but when you live so close to Missouri’s northern Amish country anything is possible. He still comes into town every once in a while, but no longer frequents the Southside bar or chases every skirt he sees. At one time there was some speculation that he is my father, but he would never own up to it.
“Hey Jack. How’s the farm?”
“Same old, same old. It’s never dull, but duller every day.”
I giggle. “I think the country life seems interesting, but I don’t know if I would be able to survive without indoor plumbing.”
He sighs and folds himself down next to me. “It takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s not too bad.
Awkwardly, we fell into a short silence. “You were Tasha’s best friend in high school right?”
“Yes, I was. I was also in the car crash with her.” his sandy brown hair falls in front of his eyes as he bows his head.
“Can you tell me about it? No one in the family will say anything.”
“I don’t think your family would appreciate that.” We look over at Tasha, but she doesn’t object.
“She won’t mind. Now that I’m old enough.”
Jack rubs the back of his neck. “Well it was amazing that any of us survived in the first place.”
“I figured it was bad. I know…three people died?” I think that is right, but not sure.
He nods his head in confirmation. “The drunk driver, however, got away with a slap on the wrist.” After all these years, there is still a lot of anger in his voice.
“Wasn’t there some kind technicality, because it was a blind corner or something so the judge was lenient?”
“Yes, as you come out of Jamesport, there is a wide high corner with a wrought iron Horse and Buggy statue. Both the hill and monument block the view of oncoming traffic. Our driver, best friend Sadie, didn’t see the dim headlights in time. If I wasn’t on the passenger side, I wouldn’t have survived. The driver’s side had it the worse.”