Two memorial sites created one mile apart.
Two incidents happening three weeks apart.
Two victims aged six years apart.
One gone right before Christmas.
One gone right after New Years.
Clusters of candles lay stacked like miniature scale models of New York City. Balloons, once hovering several proud inches above the ground, now droop listlessly, almost apathetically, as though they’ve forgotten what they were originally placed there for. Nicely-framed pictures of them in their prime, nice pictures to blot out the memories of twisted wreckage, broken glass, wailing ambulance sirens, blood, shattered limbs, flat-lining heart monitors, inconsolable mothers, unused toys, unopened presents, and unrealized dreams.
The warmth of the bouquets harangued endlessly by the cruel cold of the winter air.
Ongoing condolences, sympathy, and grief mocked by the sudden, brutal finality of it all.
Two empty beds.
Two empty rooms.
We never said hello...
But it still hurts to say goodbye.