Logs:The Funeral of Anita Patel
|The Funeral of Anita Patel|
The funeral of Anita Patel, who tragically drowned while skinny dipping at a local pool. Part of The Oakfield Community Pool Haunting plot.
|Dramatis Personae|| |
14 April, 2017
The Funeral of Anita Patel
Pine Grove Crematorium
The Pine Grove Crematorium in Hyacinth Ridge is where the well to do of Fallcoast come to say their final farewells to their dearly departed friends and family members. It's a place that is heavy with the residue of darkness, stillness and cold that comes with prolonged exposure to the energies of death and today it hangs damp and oily in the air upon passing the threshold.
The first thing that one notices upon approaching the crematorium is that it is busy. Anita Patel was wildly popular, being both last year’s prom queen and already a rising star on the social scene at SJU and a competition level swimmer. The building is designed for a smaller crowd, but by the time our heroes arrive, there are already several hundred of Anita’s friends and family present.
The majority of those in attendance seem to be in their late teens, being Anita’s friends from either college or high school, though there are a fair number of her former teachers present, as well as her coaches and other members of her swim team. In addition, Anita was from a large family, many of whom are in attendance today. The atmosphere here is emotional, though these themselves range from those sharing their stories and experiences of Anita with smiles on their faces, to those who are still inconsolable at her sudden passing.
In accordance with Hindu tradition, everyone in attendance is dressed in white, which is a colour of mourning in India.
Kara may not have known Anita, but she heard about the death and was also, at one point, a competition swimmer. So she's come to pay her respects. She's even dressed nice, and perhaps she heard about the tradition, because she's wearing white as well, in the form of a sleeveless shirt and loose pants. White...is /not/ her color.
Frankie Allen is undercover. Sort of. She's trying to blend in, at least, and this is a funeral for a super-pretty prom queen kind of girl. Not wearing makeup and looking grouchy wouldn't blend in. Hence: undercover. Which for Frankie means wearing heels and a modest but flattering dress (both white, and both reluctantly purchased only for this occasion), makeup, and curled hair. This might be unsettling for people who know her, like 'dog walking upright on its hind legs like people' unsettling. She can't scowl, but at least funeral don't call for smiles.
Molly has arrived in a white suit, bit relaxed in the collar. She has her purse full of tissues and is quite ready to do some good work here. She is currently standing by a few teens, nodding as she has them tell her about the deceased. Listening intently, she is paying attention to the small things, like the picture one girl is showing her of her and Anita from last year. Its the one thing she has to remember her by. -That- will have to be destroyed before she heads out, but for now, it just goes onto a mental list of things to handle.
Frankie is watching the crowd, mostly. It's bigger than she expected - much bigger, which makes her job harder. In scanning the various faces, she spies one she didn't expect to see: Molly. Frankie frowns, brow furrowing. Dammit, she is in a dress and now there is a witness.
Our heroes have arrived on time, but it is clear things are already well underway by the published time, even judging by the sheer number of people already here, which must number several hundred already, with more arriving constantly. Just how popular was this girl? There is a respectful line of those waiting to view the body, which is something of an expectation in the culture, though easy enough to skip out on with such a crowd. The atmosphere may be somewhat subdued, but with so many people packed into a space too small for them there is a constant buzz of noise and progress through the crowd is somewhat slow. Upon entering, both Frankie and Molly will spot an older woman stood near the doorway, looking perfectly put together in a white sari. There are enough pictures scattered around the place to immediately note a strong family resemblance between her and the deceased.
Noticing Frankie, Molly makes a mental note of it for later. Oh, she cannot resist. A phone is lifted and -click-, something to save for later. People should know how nice they look, especially after they take the time to clean up. Looking back at the teen, she asks her for the picture to make a photo copy. After a convincing plea, she gets a hold of the possible fetter and pockets it for later. Turning, she heads back towards Frankie, on her way towards the front door. "Hey you, would you like to join me and offer sympathy to the relatives?" She indicates by nodding towards the woman by the door.
Kara doesn't see much in the way of familiar faces, and certainly doesn't recognize the other two 'interlopers'. But at least it means she isn't shocked by Frankie's appearance. She takes a minute to simply look around, at the pictures, the mourners, before her head tilts slightly and she studies the older woman for a moment.
"Uh... sure," Frankie tells Molly. Good thing she didn't notice the picture taking. "I need to talk to people anyway. Anita's the third young woman to die this way." As if that explains something. Adjusting her grip on her little purse, Frankie starts toward the woman by the door.
Molly gives a slight shrug. "Are you thinking there is some pandemic among the popular that needs to be looked at? It doesn't matter with this one. We just have to keep her passing clean. She was too dang popular. People need to ..calm down. I mean...its going to take some work to break some of these attachments. A good scandal or bad rumor would be soooo lovely right now."
Prisha Patel is in her late forties, but still very much glamorous and attractive, a result of a combination of a relatively well to do lifestyle and the kind of genetics that make regular people green with envy. She's looking somewhat pale and worn today, it must be said, though as Molly and Frankie approach, she immediately plasters on a warm smile and moves into the role of hostess, stepping forward to greet them both. Kara too, she's standing close enough to the others she mistakes them all for being together. "Thank you all so much for coming. Nita would have been so grateful" she explains, reaching up to wipe away a tear with one hand as she extends the other to shake Frankie, Molly and Kara's in turn. "Did you know her from...school?" she asks, trying to place the three unfamiliar women.
Kara looks at Frankie and Molly, since she doesn't know them, then back to Prisha and she gives a sympathetic smile. "No, I never had that pleasure, but I heard about what happened, and since I was also on the swim team when I was in school, I thought I'd come pay my respects to her, and to her family. I'm so sorry for your loss," she says, shaking the woman's hand.
Frankie shoots Molly a sidelong look, looking as though she might say something... but it's too late. They have arrived by Mrs. Patel, and Frankie musters a smile as she reaches out to clasp Prisha's hand once Kara's released it. No black nail polish, even. Pale pink. So weird. "I knew her from school," she agrees. Sure, she'll know Anita from school. "I'm so sorry. Everyone just loved her so much." Molly pulls out a picture she got from the other teen. "Here is her and Vicky from last year when we were at the concert. " Picture has so many uses before its burned. Reaching over, she puts a hand on Prisha's shoulder, squeezing lightly. "I am so sorry. Such a bright light let go too soon. How are you getting by?"
Prisha smiles warmly at Kara when she explains she has come to pay her respects to a fellow swimmer and nods her head in agreement. "Thank you so much. The swimming community has been so kind and supportive since..." she trails off here, giving Kara another warm smile before turning her attention to Frankie then. "Thank you all so much for coming. Little Nita was so popular, everyone that met her just loved her, it seems..." she gestures around the assembled crowd before producing a tissue from within the folds of her sari and using it to dab once more at the corner of her eye. The sight of the picture is just a little too much and as Molly lays her hand upon the woman's shoulder there is a quiet sob. "I'm so sorry..." Mrs Patel sniffles, dabbing at both her eyes "I just can't believe she's gone. She was so young."
Kara shakes her head. "You have absolutely nothing to apologize for. You have every right to be upset. But I'm not surprised other swimmers have shown up." She smiles, just a touch. "We're a close knit group and try to be there for each other."
Frankie clasps her little purse in both hands. "I can't believe how it happened," she says, approximating mournfulness. "She was such a good swimmer."
Molly comforts her with her hand on her shoulder. "What reminds you of her, what do you hold comfort in with her? I am sure seeing her room, it would be just like she went out for a bite. " Right to the point, she realizes she might have gone in too fast. "I know when I lost my daughter, it took a while. She drowned as well. I was holding her hand when she passed."
Prisha nods slightly in response to Frankie's words. "It was so surprising" she agrees with a nod of her head. "It was really..." she hesitates for a moment "...well, I'm sure you know what happened, it was in the newspaper..." she sighs, before continuing. "It wasn't like her to misbehave, she was always such a good, respectful girl" explains her mother, before agreeing "and yes, such a strong swimmer. I didn't beleive it at first..." she trails off once more, dabbing at her eye, which is now smudged slightly with mascara. Finally, when Molly speaks, this sets her off "You lost your daughter too?" Prisha asks, before drawing the Sin Eater in for a slight hug. "Everything reminds me of her...everything" she offers, before letting go of Molly and taking a small step back. "I haven't even been able to go into her room yet"
Kara glances at Molly, face shielded from the grieving woman to give Molly a 'wtf?!' look. It only intensifies when the woman goes on and she mouths, "Seriously?" before turning back to Prisha. "I think things will always remind us of people we've lost," she says with a sad smile. "And I have no doubt she was a very good girl, ma'am. Dont' let anyone or anything convince you otherwise."
Frankie nods to Prisha with a tiny, sympathetic smile. Frankie is not entirely angry all the time, so this is not actually that much of a stretch for her. Turning to Kara, she murmurs, "Are many of Nita's swim team friends here today?I don't know them."
Sympathetic to what the woman is going through, Molly nods. "I find it best to have friends clean out the room as soon as you can. There is a way to memorialize yet, keep her warm in your heart." Biting her lip, the captain thinks a moment. "If you would like, I will offer to help. I could help pack some of it up carefully, then you can...find a way to remember her in the right way."
On the other side of the room Frankie and Kara spot a large group of teens in white...are those...yes, matching white track jackets with 'SJU Swim Team - RIP Anita' screen printed on the back of them. It's a sweet gesture, if a questionably tasteful one. They're all clustered together, looking somewhat morose. It's not quite possible to smell the chlorine from this distance, but you never know! In the centre of the group is one particularly upbeat girl. Upbeat in that deeply annoying, contrary way that some people are in the face of death. She will probably try and convince you it is a 'celebration of life' because she is that annoyingly trite. In any case, she s buzzing around the group, clutching a photo of Anita and offering hugs and smiles to all of the other swimmers, most of whom seem passingly happy to receive them.
Prisha meanwhile, looks taken aback by Molly's offer, blinking once or twice before saying "That's...that's so kind of you. I don't know quite when I'll be ready for that, but I will certainly think of you when that time comes" with a warm smile. Another group of arriving guests catch her eye at this point and she bows her head slightly to Molly, Frankie and Kara before saying "Please...excuse me. It was so lovely to meet you all."
Kara glances around then nods slightly to Frankie. "Yeah," she murmurs to the woman, and she lightly inclines her head toward the group of swimmers before she gives Prisha another smile. "And lovely to meet you. I'm just sorry it was under these circumstances."
Frankie nods to Prisha with another sympathetic look. "So sorry," she echoes Kara. She looks over toward where Kara is indicating, notes the jackets, nods. "Thanks," she murmurs to Kara, and then she's off toward the swimmers. Frankie has an agenda here, and the swimmers are next on the list. She sidles her way to the group, smoothing her hair back from her face, and looks for someone looking at her. Looking her over, if possible. Hey, it IS a flattering dress.
Damn it, Molly is going to have to burn her house down now. Why can't people just agree to let things go? Nodding in sympathy, her sadness is more focused on what she will end up having to do to this poor woman. Nodding to her, "Yes, lovely to meet you as well." As she starts to move off, she looks back to Frankie and Kara, then following Frankie, "Do you have her home address perhaps?"
As Kara, Molly and Frankie approach the group of swimmers, there is only a slight whiff of chlorine. It seems most of them showered for the event before donning their memorial tracksuits, which is really a very sweet gesture. The obnoxiously upbeat girl almost immediately singles out our approaching heroes and, breaking away from what looks a particularly unenlightening conversation with a redheaded boy in braces, comes bouncing over to greet them. "Hi! I'm Sarah, Sarah Brown, I was totally like, Nita's total best friend right. Well, I still am! I'm sure she's looking down on us!" she beams, before adding "So, I never met you guys before! How do you know Nita? Everyone knows Nita right. She was the best. I was her /best/ friend though" she stresses.
Kara gives Molly another odd look when she asks about the address, shaking her head a little. "I never met her, but I was on the swim team and wanted to pay my respects," she says, echoing what she told Prisha minutes ago. But the young woman is given a subtle study.
Frankie shakes her head at Molly. Nope! She turns her attention to Sarah. "I had a class with her," she tells the young woman. "It's not important. I kind of looked up to her. I was thinking of going for the swim team, too. I'm so sorry." Frankie opens her arms a little in a sheepish little offer of a hug. "How are you dealing with all this? She mentioned you." Lies, lies, lies. They pour out of pod person Frankie.
"Like oh my gawwwd! Hi!" Sara beams, enthusiastically hugging Frankie when the offer of a hug is made. "That's so sweet of Nita! I mean, she totally looked up to me too, I was like, her hero, right?" she beams, before turning her attention to Kara and Molly too. "It's so great to meet you all, like totally!" she grins. "Isn't this such a great way to celebrate Nita. I mean, it totally bites what happened to her, but she was such a great and special person, right?" she babbles, showing a picture of her and Nita dressed as slutty cheerleaders for Halloween to each of them in turn. Kara and Molly are each then offered an equally enthusiastic hug.
Molly nods to the upbeat teen, considering how to approach this. "You seem to have found a way to remember her without letting it pull you too far down. That is good, to remember for the parts of those that pass, without focusing on the loss." Soapbox, get off it, Molly. Leaning into the hug. "So you and her, competed together then? Like relays or more of head to head?" Watching her reaction carefully, she listens if it is a true well adjusted lass or a competitor who is more pleased to be on top now.
Kara shifts slightly when Sarah's hugging Frankie, to put Frankie between them and to avoid hugs. Nooooo, no hugs from overly enthusiastic strangers. Or at least not /this/ one. "Yeah, totally bites," she agrees with a nod as she starts inching away from the chatterbox.
Molly seems to ease up a little as she nods, watching the young woman. Thinking a moment, she reaches into her pocket and pulls out a business card and pushes it into her hand. "Hey, you and the team, I have a ship down at the docks, that large 3 masted tallship? Why don't you all come out for a swim one day. I'll serve lunch, sorta like a memorial swim for her...if you want. Just an idea. Be strong." Patting the bubbly girl on the back, she focuses her stormy eyes upon her before looking back to Frankie and Kara with a wink.
Sarah makes a little grab for Kara, but holds off when she takes pains to put Frankie between them, instead just offering a bright smile and an overly enthusiastic wave. To Molly, she nods a few times as she says "I know right? Sooo, much better to try and be positive about it, right? Nita is like, was like, totally a Hindu! She will probably come back as a Kardashian or something" she nods enthusiastically. When Frankie asks if she was there though? Sarah shakes her head. "No, it was like, seriously so weird, right? She had been spending waaay more time at the pool, but not with any of us. Like, she said something about a cute lifeguard or something? But none of us met him." she shrugs, seeming to enjoy gossiping with these newcomers perhaps a little too much.
Kara pauses for a moment in her retreat when Sarah mentions the lifeguard. Well, that and to look baffled at the wink from Molly. This is one confused woman here. "Did she tell you anything about the lifeguard, beyond him being cute?" she asks, unable to help herself.
"Oh my god," Frankie says, eyes widening, glancing around. "Do you think he's here?" she whispers at Sarah, doing a really good job of looking like someone who is down for some gossipin'. Which, well, she kind of is. As a force for good?
Looking surprised, Molly glances to the other two then back. "Thats a good point. Maybe he came here, to pay his own respects." Folding her arms, "I did want to sign the guest book, do you know if there is one?"
"Ohhh my god! That would be the BEST!" Sarah actually squeaks excitedly and does a little hop in place when Molly offers her and the team a special swim on an actual pirate ship. "You have like, a ship? That's the coolest! Awesome!" Sarah enthuses, before looking back to Kara and Frankie and shaking her head "That's the thing, toootal mystery guy. Like, nobody has seen him. Like e-ver!" Sarah spills as she glances conspiratorially between the girls. "Like, I dunno, kinda odd, don't you think? Waaay creepy. Like, I totally loved Nita but...toootal square right? She didn't even turn in her math homework late. Let alone go skinny-dipping!" she explains in a loud stage whisper. When Molly asks about the guest book, Sarah gestures vaguely back in the direction of the door. "Oh like...over there somewhere" she explains.
Kara looks away from Sarah and the other two women who are, still, strangers. And she's looking for guys who look like they might have been described as a cute lifeguard, while letting the others talk. She can listen while looking!
"So weird," Frankie agrees, nodding to Sarah. And then she's opening her little purse and pulling out a phone. An apologetic look at Sarah and a step away, and she's pretending to take a call while she eyes the crowd, looking for a handsome dude with a swimmer's build who's on his own.
There are of curse, several guys that fit that exact bill in the immediate vicinity of our heroes, being as they are, after all, stood in the middle of a college swimteam. This is, understandably, the dream of many young women, but not our intrepid investigators, who dream only of JUSTICE and UNCOVERING SECRETS. The guy in question is, unsurprisingly, dressed all in white, with a mop of curly blond hair atop his head. He's stood a little off to the side, on his own, not really seeming to be wanting to speak to anyone at all, really.
Kara skims over most of the male swimmers, and she looks at the solo guy juuuust long enough so she'll be able to recognize him if she sees him again. Because you never know! But she doesn't seem to have any desire to go over an dtalk t the guy, even if there are SUSPICIONS.
Frankie makes a note to have that guy followed once he leaves the funeral. She has a crow friend who can switch his anchor, after all. Not that Norbert is visible; he's outside, investigating the roof and being present but out of the picture. She doesn't go over to talk to him, either. She does put her phone away. Fake conversations are best kept short.
Molly nudges Frankie at the side and nods towards the stalwart gent by himself. He may meet a few of her dreams, but not quite the expected. Molly pulls up her phone and takes a quick pic for later. Who knows, it may come in handy. Taking a few more pictures of others, to be less suspicious, she slides her own away the looks back to Sarah. "Call me at some point, sorry again for your loss."
When Sarah sees the girls noting the boy just across the room, she shakes her head. "Ohhh, that's Shane....not him" she shakes her head, leaning in to whisper to Kara, Molly and Frankie. "He's the *ex*" Sarah whispers, as though divulging some deep dark secret. "They broke up in the summer and he never really got over her..." she explains, warming up to these girls since they are so willing to stand around gossiping with her. "He's kinda hot though, right?" she offers, before excusing herself to rejoin the rest of the swimteam.
Kara glances back to Sarah just in time to see her leave, then looks to Frankie, shrugging a little. "Didn't have much time to get over her, I guess," she murmurs, before making her way toward the book so she can sign her name. After all, she really did just come here to pay her respects. Who knew!
Frankie nods to Molly - yes, she saw him - and glances back at Sarah. Sarah is not done being a source of information, it seems. She peers over at Shane. Frankie starts to ask another question of Sarah, but the girl's turning away and Frankie doesn't want to attract all that much attention to herself. She nods to Kara. "I guess," she echoes quietly. Kara's off to sign the guest book; Frankie has zero interest in that, so she remains on the scene to keep observing.
Molly sighs, a little disappointed perhaps. "Little odd, but grief does strange things to people right?" Looking over towards Kara, she waits near the other. "Does this feel...odd to you at all? Like not everything adds up?" Whispered to Frankie.
As Kara wanders off to sign the guest book and Frankie and Molly discuss the possible mystery further, the signal is given and the guests start to file through towards where the actual cremation is to take place. People begin heading on through and once inside, any likely targets for taking to will likely become unavailable. This will be our heroines last opportunity to catch any last guests they might want to speak to.
Kara is no heroine! Not today, anyway. Just a guest, and one who, it seems, isn't interested in watching someone go into the incinerator. She scrawls her name in the book, just the first name, no last, oddly, before finding a spot where she can watch the people filing into the other room.
Frankie has a quick glance to see if anyone's paying attention before telling Molly, "That's why I'm here in the first place. I'm gonna take a crack at Shane, though. Stay here." That said, Frankie heads Shane's way, circling to come up from behind to try to lay her hand on his arm. "Hey, are you okay?"
Molly is unsure but nods and folds her arms, watching from a distance and looking over the room, keeping Frankie and Shane in her vision.
Shane starts a little when he is ambushed behind by a prowling Frankie, evidently not having noticed her stealthy approach. "Uhh, hey..." the boy asks, glancing over his shoulder at the Sin Eater, his brow creasing into a light frown. Over near the guest book and around where Molly is stood, the guests continue to file slowly past toward where the cremation will actually take place. Shane glances over toward where the other guests are disappearing and moves as though to follow suit, somebody will need to create a distraction or they may lose him.
Kara continues to watch for a moment before she turns and starts to head for the door. Alas, she knows nothing of agendas or anything, so really just seems like she's leaving!
Frankie just nods, not pushing contact or anything. She makes her way to join the rest of the guests in filing toward the cremation. A glance over her shoulder at Molly, and a shrug.
Molly looks to Frankie and is about to do something, make a scene but...perhaps she will just wait until after. She has a name and picture. It shouldn't be too difficult.
As the guests file into the crematorium to say their final goodbyes to Anita Patel, a quiet hush falls across the crowd, now numbering near to five hundred of the drowned girl's friends and relatives. There are occasional sniffles and poor Mrs Patel breaks down into sobs, that perfect face of makeup soon becoming a streaky mess as she watches her daughter's cremation. It doesn't last terribly long and the guests disperse quickly afterward, it becoming hard to find anyone in particular among the mass of people heading their separate ways. The air is now heavy and solemn, even Sarah has a defeated look about her as she files back out of the room.