Kate wore black clothes to work so she could go straight to the funeral instead of stopping at home to change. It was cold for March, so she looped her favorite yellow scarf around her neck and made a mental note to remove it before she got to the wake.
The casket was open, the woman inside propped up to be visible from anywhere in the room. She was young, a member of Kate’s substantial extended family, and Kate hadn’t know her well. She looked asleep, like Snow White waiting for a kiss.
“Nice scarf,” Kate’s mother Mary said dryly.
Kate’s face burned. “I forgot to take it off.”
Everyone was staring at her, she knew it. She could remove the offending accessory but the damage was already done. Then again, not everyone was there yet. She could sneak off to the bathroom…
“Her mother is coming,” Mary whispered. Kate watched in horror as the woman approached.
“I’m so sorry,” Kate murmured. “For your loss.” The woman’s teary eyes fell on Kate’s scarf.
“Thank you,” she said. “Yellow was her favorite color.”