1352. Painted toenails

Rosemary had recently moved to another town with her fifteen year old daughter, Lissie. It was to be the start of a new life. Forget the past and move on, was Rosemary’s motto and motive. Thus far, she hadn’t met anyone new, not even the neighbours. She knew that gradually her circle of friends and acquaintances would grow. Lissie, on the other hand had quickly made some friends at school. In fact, she was staying at a school friend’s place for several days.

And then, around midnight, Rosemary got the call every parent dreads; there had been an accident. Would she mind coming around to identity the body?

“She a bit of a mess, ma’am,” they said, “make sure you bring some company.”

But Rosemary didn’t know anyone else. She had to do it alone.

“I don’t need to see her face,” Rosemary said. “I know her feet anywhere, and she always wore distinctive nail polish.”

And there were her feet… with the turquoise nail polish except for the big toenails a florescent pink – sometimes with spots on, sometimes not. Rosemary was inconsolable.

She said that they had just moved into the area and didn’t know anyone, so a simple cremation without ceremony was all that was required. That was done the next day.

Two days later, Rosemary got a phone call. “Mom, when on earth are you going to pick me up?” It was Lissie.

On the way to collect her daughter, all that a stunned Rosemary could think was, “Who the heck did I have cremated?”

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