The door creaked closed behind her. Slowly her eyes adjusted to the dim light and focused on the figure across the room. The shape of the nose was familiar, as was the droop of the shoulders, the knob at the elbow.
He bounded to his feet and she was certain.
“Morena! Why are you here?”
“Me? Why are you here?”
She mumbled her question into his chest. He clasped her tightly; his frantic heartbeat moved under her cheek. She closed her eyes to inhale the comforting scent of him until he stepped away.
“Come. We must talk.”
“They are listening.”
“It’s why they put us together, I know. But Morena, you have to know. You have to understand, this isn’t your fault. None of it is your fault. If I never get through the entire story, promise me you will remember this one thing, no matter what anyone says, no matter what “proof” they offer you to the contrary, this is not your fault.”
In the dim, surreal moment she was certain of one thing. In this moment her life was changing. Pieces would be put together. The picture would become clear and complete and it would not be anything like her landscape had ever been before.
Had it been in her power she would stop it here. Now.
She knew better.
“I will. And I will always love you, Dad.”
“How I hope so, my girl. I hope so, but I will not make you promise that. Here. Sit. I will tell you a story. Our story.”