“I must be going mad.” She could no longer tell if she had said it aloud or simply thought it. She tried half-heartedly to think logically; to remind herself that people reacted in all sorts of ways to death, particularly if guilt was involved. She didn’t really believe it. She should never have allowed herself to imagine what his death would have been like for him. The sudden shriek of the telephone startled her so much that it was a few moments before she could control herself enough to answer it.
“Katherine, where have you been? I’ve been so worried!” The relief in Aunt Abigail’s voice came as a surprise to her. Suddenly ashamed that she had avoided her for so long, Kathleen mumbled something about her visit to the grave.
“I’m coming over in a couple of weeks once Julie has settled into a routine.” Belatedly Katherine remembered to ask after the new arrival. Her Aunt’s delight at becoming a Grandmother was obvious, as was her grief at the loss of her brother. As she allowed herself to be drawn into her Aunt’s world and the details of the up-coming visit, Katherine felt the room grow warm again and the hairs relax on the back of her neck. She sighed and rubbed her eyes with the back of her hand. If she wasn’t careful she would die alone just as her father had. Once the conversation had drawn to a close she replaced the receiver in its cradle staring at it for a moment before standing and making for the door. The rest of the team usually went for beers to start off their weekends. It had been a long time since Katherine had joined them. They usually invited her, but she had always wanted to finish just one more task before leaving. She smiled and the room grew warm. Perhaps it was time for at least one member of their little family to start living.