8. Ghul-ish Thoughts (2)

“You, skulking out there on the terrace, shut that door,” Mother’s friend said to the gardener. The friend was thin, pale and dark-haired like my mother. She wore a black suit, black hat, sheer black stockings, black heels. The gardener, a bony little man, nodded respectfully and complied—I remember him because he frightened me. I had nightmares about him standing under the elms for months after I was sent to Geneva, to the first of my many boarding schools .

“And you, poor child,” said the friend turning to me, “put on some warm clothes. Lizette would be horrified by the chill in this place.”

Later I heard her talking to the men in suits. “So Christian is the executor? Oh, even in death she keeps trying to please him. And Erin becomes the new victim of his neglect.”

The new victim of his neglect—I have played those words over again and again in my head: those words and the cold, the wet garden smell, the aroma of coffee, the voices murmuring in the parlor, and what I did after that.

—DEAD LOVE/Chapter 8.2/Ghul-ish Thoughts