Thats what he got paid to do surely the insurance

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Unformatted text preview: ing nice, but such gestures never worked on her in these situations. A wrong move and she would snap again. Trudy would cool down, but only on her own terms. Trudy reclined on the bed, closed her eyes, placed the back of her wrist on her forehead. The room was dark, like the rest of the house-blinds and shades pulled tight, lights off or dimmed. There were a hundred people loitering out by the road taking pictures and shooting film to be used with all those wretched Patrick stories. At noon, she'd seen her house on the local news, in the background as some silly orange-faced woman with large teeth gushed on about Patrick this and Patrick that, and the divorce filed by Patrick's wife that very morning. Patrick's wife! The thought made her numb with disbelief. She hadn't been Patrick's wife for almost four and a half years. She'd buried him right properly, then tried to forget about him as she waited for the money. By the time she received it, he was a fading memory. The only painful moment had come when she sat down with Ashley Nicole to inform the child, then barely two, that her father would no longer be around, that he had gone on to heaven where he would certainly be happier. The child was puzzled for a while, then shook it off as only a toddler can. No one was allowed to mention Patrick's name in the presence of the child. This was to protect her, Trudy had explained. She doesn't remember her father, so please don't try and make her. Other than that one brief episode, she had shouldered the weight of widowhood with remarkable resiliency. She shopped in New Orleans, ordered health foods from California, sweated two hours a day in designer spandex, and treated herself to expensive facials and treatments. She had a nanny to keep the kid so she and Lance could travel. They loved the Caribbean, especially St. Barts with its nude beaches. They stripped and strutted with the French. Christmas was in New York at the Plaza. January was in Vail with the rich and beautiful. Ma...
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