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The Last Will & Testament

“I don’t think this is an overnight thing,” Florence said, looking at Dr Levi directly in the eye “It’s going to take some time to repair the damage I’ve done and gain back my family’s trust. But I’m ready to try.”

“Did Chase’s passing have anything to do with your change of heart?′ His pretence of a casual approach faltered as he stopped what he was doing and turned to face her.

She wanted to cry just hearing his name.

Fold over and scream. But she stood tall and ignored the ache.

“I think it might’ve. Life’s too short. If Chase taught me anything, that would be it. I want to get on with living mine”

“I’m just me, Dr Levi. What you see here is what I am.”He seemed satisfied.

“That’s good to hear, Florence”

She nodded, knowing what that meant. At the end of the session she pulled out a small bag from where she’d tucked it into the waistband of my miniskirt, and held it out to him.

He took it. ‘What’s this?’

“A bad decision.”

He looked in the bag and saw the locket filled with pills.

’Where did you ...?”

He looked nervously from the pills to her

“How did you ...?”

Florence shrugged. “Do we really need to get into the technicalities? The point is, I don’t want them anymore.”

He pursed his lips, confused. She knew the look. It almost made her smile. Yes, she was a mystery.

That night after midnight, she used her window key and walked all the way to the Public Gardens. She sat under their willow tree until the sun began to rise. The funny thing about life is, even when you make the decision to live it, to be in it, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will let you. But the days went by and she kept turning up. It was hard.

Having a goal helped and getting out of the clinic was her goal. She needed to get her life back in this world. Florence didn’t know exactly what that would mean or where it would take her, but she was determined to find out.

A few days before the funeral Levi came to her room, looking confused.

“Do you mind if I come in?” he asked.

She put away her notebook – it had now become a journal where she was attempting to document every moment, every conversation, every outing she’d shared with Chase

Levi sat in the chair and looked at her as she sat cross-legged on the bed.

“Florence... um, you might not have realised this, but Chase had been quite thorough in his preparations. He’d regularly updated his Last Will and Testament, and since his parents are no longer with us he’d asked me to look after the proceedings. The will was read today.”

“Oh.′ Had he left something for her? She didn’t know if she could bear it, but at the same time she would’ve done anything for a photo. She didn’t have a single photo.

“Florence it seems Chase left some instructions for me, in regards to you”

He pulled an envelope out of his pocket and a folded piece of paper. He handed her the sealed envelope.

“Florence” was simply written on the front.

He opened the piece of paper.

“Chase left us both a note. Mine ... Well, at the end of it, he said ...”

He cleared his throat.

‘“Please give my other letter to Florence I know that you have all formulated your opinions about her, but for what it’s worth, it is my professional opinion that she is of sound mind and not in any way a threat to herself or any other person. Take your time, Levi. Be sure, as I know you will be, before you let her out. But I know your instincts will tell you the same thing, and I implore you to trust in them as you always taught me to do. Furthermore, I hereby bequeath that, after the donations earlier stipulated, all of my holdings, my apartment and most importantly my car, be given to Florence in full.“’

He looked at her again as she stared back at him, hot tears rolling down her cheeks. He shook his head and cleared his throat once more.

“I don’t know what went on between you two. I’m sure I probably don’t want to know either, but he also wrote one last thing.”

He smiled. ’“P.S. Buy her a punnet of strawberries”

It was the P.S. that made her lose it. Him too.

She and Levi bawled like babies.

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