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Critical Error 22


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“The other end of the house has a media room with pool table, games, TV, all the amenities,” he grinned.  The room took her breath away.  One entire wall was filled with windows. A huge stone fireplace occupied the centre of another wall and the seating was arranged for maximum use while gaming.  The walls on either side of the fireplace contained floor to ceiling bookshelves, edged in cherrywood, filled with reading material.The floor was finished in a light hardwood with a heavy gloss that reflected the light from the wall of windows.

“It’s sumptuous.”

“There’s another guest wing, through that door, if you think the kids would prefer sleeping inside.”

“I’d prefer the girls and my son inside for obvious reasons.”

“What an amazing job, I can’t imagine anyone feeling less than regal in any of these rooms.”

“I was pleased with the results.  Although, sometimes I feel pretty silly living here all alone.”

He’d dedicated the time required in creating this home, one he hoped to fill with boisterous kids one day especially having been an only child. Spotting a picture of his father and their home he was momentarily caught up in reflections.

His father was a private investigator.  His work often took him away for extended periods of time.  So his grandfather practically raised him.

Upon reflection, he decided Bert was the best father he could have been under the circumstances.  He spent every waking moment with his son when he was home, and phoned as often as he could when he wasn’t.

His mother, what he could remember of her, was a little woman full of vivacious spontaneous excitement and fun.  She’d died in a freak car accidents at the hands of an inexperienced driver on wet pavement.

It happened late one Friday night.  He remembered that phone call like it was yesterday!  Business was slow at the Hotel that night, so the manager sent her home early.  She’d called to let him know she was on her way home but she was stopping to pick something up at the store they could share as soon as she arrived.

When she hadn’t arrived by midnight, he’d told his grandfather and asked what he should do.  His grandfather said he’d take a drive out along the highway and over to the Hotel and he’d see what he could find out.

About an hour later, he’d come walking through the front door, eyes enormous, his face drained of colour.  Paul knew instantly something was horribly wrong.

He remembered his grandfather walking to his side, telling him to take a seat then he’d proceeded to break the bad news, minus the grizzly details.  He remembered looking at his grandfather and bursting into tears.

Anger and fear took over and he’d started pounding on his grandpa’s chest.  Ed had grabbed hold of his arms and held him tight, then pulled him close into a crushing embrace.  He’d cried forever.   He didn’t remember getting into bed that night.  Later his grandfather told him he’d cried himself to sleep and he’d carried him upstairs to his bed.

His mother was alive in his memory and in pictures and every now and again he’d take pictures out and stare at them, burning her likeness into his brain, determined never to forget her.



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