For those who don’t read the newsletter, last week Suzie woke up to a wonderful morning with her beloved Drew only to have him tell her he is leaving. He is an FBI Agent who was only assigned to the Madison WI office pending an investigation into the internet-based flash-crime ring run by the Smash Master. Now that the Smash Master is behind bars, his job is done. He leaves for New Mexico at the end of the week.
“Mom?” Ben’s voice came soft and tentative from behind her.
Suzie sat at the kitchen table, her head braced up, face covered by her hands to hide the steady leak of tears. Not wanting to upset her son, she kept her head down.
“Mom, what’s wrong?” His voice gained a sharp edge.
“Nothing,” she said through her fingers, sounding muffled and unsteady.
“There’s three pots of stew on the stove And two pies on the counter. And a plate full of cookies. I can smell bread in the oven and who knows what else is in there. Don’t tell me nothing’s wrong.”
“Huh?” She lifted her head, glanced over her shoulder at him.
“Everyone knows you cook when you’re upset. What. Is. Wrong? You said… when Dad… you promised!”
“I know, I know. I promised not to keep anything from you anymore.” She took a deep breath to steady herself. “Drew is leaving. He’s moving to New Mexico.”
“Oh.” Ben thumped down into the chair at an angle from her. His jaw hung open in surprise and his eyes turned down in sorrow.
Oh. Of course. She might be losing a lover, but Ben was losing the only good father figure he’d ever had.
“When does he go?”
“Friday. The end of the week.”
The two of them sat in companionable pain for several minutes. Ben sniffed loudly and blinked a time or two, but didn’t cry.
“I forgot,” he said. “I mean, I knew all along. He always said he came here because of that stuff with the Connors. And now that’s all over, right? So there’s nothing to keep him here anymore.”
“Right.” Suzie nodded, her chest feeling as if someone had shot a hole the size of a football through it. “There’s nothing to keep him here any more.”
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