That Sinister Thing

Six-teen

“Wayne.”
“Baby, you know I am right. When have I ever been wrong?”
“. . .Wayne.”
“Ok, when have I ever been wrong about your brother?”
Margaret Leighann closed her eyes and sighed.  He was so annoying when he tried to make her feel better sometimes.  She shook her head before opening her eyes again and nodded.
“Now do you want to know what I think?”
His Leighann kicked off her shoes and went to sit in the chair by the fireplace.  It was early spring, shortly they would be placing her father in hospice to live out his days.  Her burdens were just beginning to become heavier. Wayne moved to raise her feet and seating himself on the ottoman placed her feet on his thigh and began massaging.
“I need you to listen.  This is important.  Hear not only what I say, but what I don’t say.  Ok? ”
Leighann nodded.  Eyes tear filled, lips held between her teeth to keep from talking. If ever her life was complicated before, it was nothing compared what was to come. She knew this in looking into his face.  She loved that face.  She trusted that face.
“Lee, the business is valuable to a lot of people. Who runs it doesn’t matter so much as who owns it. The business could be sold off, parts, pieces of whole.  Typically to settle debts owed by the deceased.”
Tears flowed over the edge of her lower lid, tracking down each side of her face.  Hands gripping the arms of the chair, knuckles white. This was a conversation she didn’t want to hear.  Wayne took a deep breath letting his words settle in her head.  He saw the sinking of her heart reflected in her eyes.  There was nothing he could do to stop it.  He had tried.  He had tried maneuvers to prevent this conversation for months.  He couldn’t fix this.

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