The Silver Lining

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Chapter 15 - Zoe

Viv and I lay next to each other under the hum of her bedroom light. We hadn’t spoken much since we returned to her house. I loved how easy things were around Viv. Effortless. Sometimes, we didn’t need to talk. When I did need to get something off my chest though, she was there, all ears.

“Why wait until she was dead?” I murmured.

“…I don’t know.”

“All my life my mum wanted to protect me. Then she leaves me with this shit to sort out all on my own?”

It wasn’t a direct question, but the accusatory nature in my voice was undeniable. I was angry. No two ways about it.

“Grace loved you. I guess she felt guilty leaving you without telling you the truth,” she said, turning her head to face mine. “People call it a death bed confession.”

“You heard the police. If they can prove the letter was written by my mother, she was a witness. She could have made the difference here. My dad is just going to lie to the police. How can I go on, knowing this about him?”

“Zoe…” Viv’s face changed in the half-light. Her lips pouted outwards, and her brows drew closer. Her mouth opened and then closed, struggling to continue.

“Yes?” I willed.

Her head shook and her brows loosened. “We don’t know anything for a fact, Zoe. Neither of us does.”

“That’s even worse. Am I just expected to go on playing happy families, never knowing if my father is or isn’t a serial killer? What if there are more, Viv? More murders we just don’t know about yet? We haven’t even looked into Ireland.”

Tears sprang from my eyes, but I held them back.

“Let’s not get worked up again. There is absolutely nothing we can do at this moment. Let the police do their job. Tomorrow I’ll call in sick. You won’t be alone. ”

Her hand rubbed my shoulder comfortingly, sending a tear down my cheek. She wiped it away before I could.

“For now, I think we need a laugh. Let’s binge-watch a comedy sketch, and I’ll make us some tea.”

“Thanks, that sounds perfect,” I muttered.

I didn’t need a man in my life with Viv. Every time I felt like crumbling she kept me whole. What would I ever do without her?

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