Bad things happen and sometimes there’s no one to blame. But each time I heard that from some well-meaning friend, the knife twisted a little further, cut a little deeper. I didn’t need them to tell me I was throwing everything to the wind: career, money, marriage. It wasn’t as if I had a choice.
Damned if I was going to lose my daughter–not again. Each death was a little harder to bear than the last.
So I pulled the photos from the envelope for one last look, even though I was running late for the divorce hearing. It gave me pleasure knowing Suzanne’s lawyers probably billed her by the minute.
I tilted the photograph on top for a better look. Except for a desk lamp, the apartment was in darkness. Beyond the picture window, downtown city lights glittered distantly thirty stories below. Suzanne used to call the place god’s platform and it did seem rather apt. My money had bought me that: luxury and distance–and other things besides.
In the photo, Alyson looked happy. We’d had a row the morning of her death, a stupid, pointless little argument. But I saw no trace of lingering resentment on her face now. I tilted the photo to catch the light, wanting to be sure.
Tomorrow (or maybe the day after) this would all be gone: the apartment, the houses, cars, investments–all my assets liquidated. But it would buy me the most important thing of all.
And that was all that mattered.