Antony Fedora and Peter Ivanovich had been his closest friends such as they were. Peter had actually roomed with him when O’Ryan transferred to Daybreak as a junior and had considered that to be an almost familial, lifelong bond between them. He had never imagined that the lifelong aspect would be so fleeting and temporary.
Flanking the entrance to the funeral home were two gilt-covered statues of Chinese lions. Guarding the doorway as they did, they seemed to be anachronistically out of place as if purchased from an estate sale or perhaps bartered in lieu of payment for some unfunded invoice – which is, in fact, what had happened. Inside, a young man and a young woman both attired in somber shades of black ponderously took off their heavy overcoats and handed them to an attendant to hang on the long empty bars of an anteroom. Peter recognized the young man as being Jadwin “Yaddy” Ross, O’Ryan’s brother, but the young woman was a stranger to him – he was most certain he had seen her somewhere before on campus, but he couldn’t quite place her. She looked too old to be O’Ryan’s sister, but he wasn’t sure. It was obvious that whoever she was, her manner betrayed a young woman stricken with the devastation of a sort of all-encompassing sadness and grief.