There is an envelope with her final letter. There is a man to whom it was addressed. There is a world which does not seek his memories, or family to thank him for his time.
Karen Black who took his heart at the end of their affair; who chose prudence over self-discovery, he always thought, left him when her husband moved abroad. She talked of loving him forever but would not pay the price. He watched her leave and take their secret with her, but thereafter he always lived alone. “I cannot live with copies” he once said, when a colleague asked him why he never married: that was fifty years ago. Now in his dotage and living in a care home he hides within his memories: an enigma to all around him.
His thoughts are suddenly interrupted by the matron standing by him, “There’s a lady to see you” she exclaims, looking as surprised as he clearly is himself. A woman in an expensive coat steps forward and in her hand is a photograph which she offers up to him.
“My name is Sarah Parsons, I am Karen Black’s daughter and she wanted you to have this” is her opening remark. With that she sits down and looks at him intently saying, “My mum told me all about it after my father was gone, and I promised I would find you when she passed away.”
Looking at her closely, he can see a trace of likeness, or certainly he wants to, though her face does not have that softness which Karen saved for him. Instead there is an anger, “Just what you would expect then,” he thinks but keeps that to himself.
“Thank you very much” he says, taking the photograph and hoping she would leave, but now there is vitriol and it’s pouring over him. “Better come away ” says the Matron taking her by the arm. “You’re a bastard old or not” the lady shouts, and everyone can hear her. Everyone discovers he’s got “history” just like them.