All the mourners had left. The casket stood in obstinate, definite silence, like a shut-in turtle, not giving anything of itself. Tiny lacy patterns swirled in silver paint around the bottom and the top rim, and the black wood shone. In Marcia's brown eyes the room blurred and dulled, and she half tripped down the two steps into the parlor. She drew a breath to avoid sobbing aloud, walking slowly toward the black box. She carried flowers, a bunch of hovering baby's breath; and as she came close, she drew up the long, badly fitting dress to her knees, kneeling on white tile. Her eyes would not lift from the floor. She felt she must say something to her mother, say anything, pretend for a moment that she was alive again. Too much weight, Marcia thought, all at once, I can't take it all at once, I can't, mom, I need one more minute of you, I didn't have long enough, let me tell you something. You don't have to talk back, just pretend you're listening, let me sit you up and talk like you can hear me. I want to tell you what I did in school, what I want for supper, what my teacher said, and that I can't take it all at once, it's too much.