Over the River 6

Alec took a seat on the sofa, across the room from where Todd was sitting. “My only observation, was there was more to you than meets the eye.”

“Indeed.” Todd shifted in his seat. “And my air of mystery must remain, for knowing the full truth about me would be — overwhelming to you.”

Alec nodded in response.

“You said you didn’t remember my first year at the Anderson Thanksgiving dinner. I, on the other hand, remember it well. Your father-in-law, Jeremiah, had just been diagnosed with cancer.”

Sitting on the sofa across the room, Alec sensed he was being given clues to a mystery he had yet to comprehend. So he waited, hoping Todd would continue to reveal himself.

“The Andersons were very confused, very afraid at that time. It had been over a decade since his sister Miriam had passed. Jeremiah had been so healthy — to hear the cancer had already reached stage four, inoperable, untreatable… six months, maximum.”

“Nobody could understand.”

“But I remember Jerry’s words that evening. We all die. We don’t have any choice. The only choice we have, is how we live our final days. Those words were what drew me to the Anderson family, the quest to create meaning out of senselessness, to defy the chaos so endemic in this world.”

Todd paused, and Alec sensed the older man was waiting for him to catch up. Then Alec’s eyes widened — “Miriam. If it had been over a decade, how could — ” and then he stared back at Todd, as he felt his heart sink into his stomach.

“Don’t be afraid, Alec. I meant what I said earlier about presenting no harm to your family, and I hope my assistance with your niece was proof of my good intent. I know being friends with your family can never be possible. My only wish, is that we come to understand each other, and our purpose in this world.”

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