The funeral was long over, but three people still stood by the newly-made grave. From grey skies floated tiny flecks of white, beginning to dot the black fur adorning the blonde woman's coat. Silence surrounded them; no one spoke, and the sounds of the city were not audible from this far inside the cemetery. Sibella stood between Monty and Phoebe, the three of them looking down at the gravestone as the falling snow slowly accumulated on the top of it to form a dusting of white.
There had been a great deal of silence between the three of them recently. Ever since the accident. They all thought of it as "the accident", when in truth it was no accident that Lionel had crashed his precious motorcar as he suffered a sudden heart attack. It was no accident that his wife was in the car when it crashed. Nor was it an accident that Sibella had not taken her usual sugar in her tea that morning. Even Mrs. Holland's somewhat public breakdown was not an accident, and it was certainly no accident that after this breakdown Lord and Lady Navarro had taken her under their roof so that she would not be on her own while she recovered from such an intense trauma.
All of London was talking about poor Mrs. Holland's trauma, both physical and emotional, but there was very little talking at Highhurst Castle. Between Monty, Phoebe, and Sibella, there were no words to adequately express everything that they felt. So they remained silent and found other ways of communicating. They spoke through action or touch, through hands brushing against each other and kisses pressed to foreheads, through fetching cups of tea and tucking blankets around shoulders. They found that there were simpler ways of expressing emotion and thought than by speaking.
The same held true standing in the cemetery. No words seemed articulate enough to be spoken. No tears were shed now that there was no public to bear witness. Faces were calm, solemn, as the three of them stood side by side. Sibella's eyes remained fixed on the name carved elegantly into the stone.
Lionel Holland. That name used to invoke such emotion in her, whether it be admiration, disdain, or hatred. But now, reading it over and over on a headstone, there was only a calm sort of blankness. She had expected to be distraught after getting away with the murder of her husband. But this was far simpler than she had imagined. She felt no fear, no sorrow, no elation, no guilt. This was far less complicated than she had predicted.
"Murdering is easier than I had thought," murmured Sibella. After a moment, she turned and began to walk away from the grave, her heeled boots making faint imprints in the thin layer of snow on the ground.