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Unformatted text preview: 't have much of a choice, you know. Your friend is very persuasive." Patrick closed his eyes and bit his tongue. He said a quick prayer of thanks. She was out there and she was fine. "How much did she pay you?" he asked. "A hundred thousand." "Good," Patrick said, and then said no more. A long pause, and Sandy slowly realized that their conversations would be built around long silent intervals. "She's fine," he said. "She's a beautiful woman. She's smart as hell and fully in control of whatever she's supposed to be in control of. In case you're wondering." "That's nice." "When was the last time you saw her?" "Couple of weeks. I've lost track of time." "Is she the wife, girlfriend, mistress, hooker-" "Lawyer." "Lawyer?" "Yes, lawyer." Sandy was amused by this. Patrick shut down again, no words, no movement anywhere under the sheet. Minutes passed. Sandy took a seat in the only chair, content to wait for his friend. Patrick was reentering an ugly world where the wolves were waiting, and if he wanted to lie there and stare at the ceiling then that was fine with Sandy. They would have lots of time to talk. And no shortage of topics. He was alive, and right now nothing else mattered. Sandy amused himself by recalling images of the funeral and burial, of the casket being lowered on a cold and cloudy day, of the priest's last words and Trudy's controlled sobs. It was downright funny, to think that old Patrick had been hiding in a tree not far away watching them grieve, as had been reported for three days now. He laid low somehow, then snatched the money. Some men crack up when they near forty. The midlife crisis drives them to a new wife, or back to college. Not old Patrick. He celebrated his angst by killing himself, stealing ninety million dollars, and disappearing. The real dead body in the car suddenly erased the humor, and Sandy wanted to talk. "Ther...
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- Spring '10