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Maple Street Memories #15

Episode Fifteen

She touched the velvet petals of a red rose.  “I can’t believe you’re gone, Papa.  I didn’t get enough time with you.”  She took a tissue from her pocket and dabbed her nose. “I’m not sure I can make it through all this without you.  The thought of leaving the house and moving on without Mom.  With you, I could bear it, but not now.”

She flinched at the sound behind her.  When she turned she saw a well-dressed older woman.  The woman smiled and said, “You’re Mary, I suspect?”

“Yes, ma’am, I’m Mary Williams.  I’m sorry, who are you?”

The woman moved closer and extended her hand.  “I’m Beatrice.  Beatrice Mulvaney, Mr. Bernard’s secretary.”

“Oh, yes, I talked to you on the phone.  I’m happy to meet you.”  Mary frowned and then said, “Did you say, Mulvaney?”

Beatrice’s eyes twinkled and she said, “Yes.  You recognize the name?”

“I, uh…it’s the name of the people who bought my house.  I’m sure it’s a coincidence.”

The woman reached into her handbag and handed Mary a large manila envelope.  “Mr. Bernard, your father, wanted you to have this.  It will explain everything.”

Mary took the envelope and gave Beatrice a questioning look.  “I don’t understand.”

“Read it, dear, and you will.”

Mary felt the heft of the envelope in her hand.  It was bulging at the edges and secured with a band.  She eyed it and then looked again at Beatrice walking away.

The older woman turned and said, “He loved you.  He was most distraught that his family wasn’t accepting of you, but he loved you, probably more than any of them.  Always remember that, Mary.  He was a fine and good man.  I will always miss him.”

Mary nodded.  “Thank you for telling me that.  I wish I could have had more time with him.  I loved him.”

Beatrice wiped a tear from her eye.  “I left you my card with my phone number.  If you want to get together for lunch, give me a call.”

Mary smiled and gave her a wave as the woman turned and made her way to the paved pathway.  She placed her hand on top of the casket and wished Papa one last goodbye.

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