“You just came for me. To be here for me.”
The young man is quiet for a long while. He gathers up the pages of the letter and reads them again. When he finishes, he stares at his father, feels the tremor he’s been fighting for the last two days sneaking back, and he has to sit on his right hand to stop it.
“I want to do something for you now. It ain’t much but it’s all I got to give. You remember the big Magnolia tree I used to climb in the cemetery? That’s where Mom is. Underneath it.”
A sheet of tears begins to shimmer across the surface of his father’s eyes.
“I can’t tell you why I did what I did to her. To you. So if you came to hear where I put her, now you heard, and now you can leave and quit pretending and I won’t hold it against you.”
His father lowers the phone and leans in toward the scratched-up Plexi.
Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
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