“Do you know where your father’s wealth comes from?” he suddenly asks me the question. I’ve never asked myself, but simply took it for granted that my father earned it. All of it. But now, faced with this dilemma, I realize how childish my convictions have been.
“From his business?” I shrug. “It’s been doing pretty well, I think.”
“Sure, pretty well, but millions of dollars’ worth well?”
“I don’t know,” I shrug again. “It’s none of my business. I mean, I don’t run it, he does. So, why would I know the inner workings?”
“I guess it’s not really something you’d like to share,” he says solemnly.
“This is not for me to tell you,” he suddenly pulls back.
“Tell me what?” I take a step closer to him. “You can’t throw this bomb on me, and then say oh no, can’t tell you, sorry.”
“Well, that’s what I’m saying, sorry. I shouldn’t have started this conversation. It’s not my place to tell you such a thing.”
“Well, can you tell me one thing then?”
“Is my father the bad guy here?” My voice trembles as I ask this, the tears struggling to flood my face, but I’m not letting them.
Anderson takes my hand in his. It’s warm and soft.
“No, Maddie, your father isn’t a bad guy at all. In fact, he’s one of the nicest guys I’ve met. He just… made some mistakes that came back to haunt him, more than once.”
“Is this one of those times?”
“I’m afraid so.”
I slump down onto the sofa next to him, feeling an invisible burden pressing hard on my chest, not showing chances of letting go any time soon.
“Your father loves you very much.” His hand is still on mine, and I don’t know what to focus on, his words or his gentle touch. “And, everything he ever did was for you and your mother. Never forget that.”
“I won’t,” I smile, feeling the exhaustion of all the previous events finally catch up with me, threatening to shut me down completely.
“You just need a good night’s rest, or in this case, a good day’s rest. When you wake up, it’ll all seem a little less scary.”
“You’re probably right. I just don’t know how that will happen. It feels like nothing will ever be the same.”
“I know that’s how you feel, but that’s just it. A feeling. It’s not the way things really are. I read somewhere that we create our own reality. Sort of like, wishful thinking really is wishful thinking. You think positively, so you wish for it, and often, the Universe actually answers.”
“You read that somewhere, huh?” I smile curiously.
“Well, not that I have that much time to read lately, but yeah. It’s one of those things I read and it just stuck.”
“I know that feeling. Lately, life has gotten so busy that I barely have time to pick up a book let alone actually enjoy an evening with it.”
“Of course. Books aren’t priorities most of the time.”
“But, they should be.”
“Right?” I beam at him. “So, do we have any books around here?”
I look around, hopeful for some bookshelf with hidden gems, but I see nothing here.