Henry couldn’t remember when he had last felt so happy. He found himself enjoying the easy company of John and the renewed closeness to his son, whose burden, whatever it was, seemed to be lifting off him now that he had returned home. A flickering thought of Ginnie gave him a brief flash of guilt but that disappeared as quickly as it had struck him, chased away by laughter following John’s loud burp after finishing his Irish breakfast. He was reminded of his student days, a time in his life which when looking back became more and more glorified, when John had acted as the catalyst of introducing a much needed mix of lightness, brightness and confidence into Henry’s personality.
Junior sensed that Mariella was keeping watch over their table and tried to eat a little faster. He was the slowest eater at their table. Mariella appeared as soon as he had wiped his mouth with the white paper napkin, staining it red with the ample ketchup he’d used on the potato wedges.
“You’re a lucky man, she is gorgeous,” he said to John while Mariella was away getting them the second round of drinks which John had ordered. Even his dad had succumbed to the chummy atmosphere and had ordered a glass of stout which John reassured him would keep him well under the limit and wouldn’t impair his driving capabilities in the least bit.
John grinned and shrugged, “She’s taken a shine to you two. I don’t get this VIP treatment when I’m in here for lunch by myself. Maybe we should make this lunch meeting a regular occurrence. Which reminds me that I asked you guys to meet me here for a reason.”
He reached under the table and lifted his briefcase up onto the chair beside him to pull out a dog-eared and coffee-stained folder.
“Ah yes,” Henry scratched the top of his head eying the yellow post-it stickers which protruded from it, “you said you had spotted something in her file. Some sort of a pattern judging by the post-its. What did I miss?”
“Don’t blame yourself, it’s so subtle that I’m not even one hundred percent sure that I’m right about this, but it’s intriguing nonetheless. I think there’s a very good possibility that she has started retrieving her memory of past events. Have a look at this note you made here of something she told you about before you started your therapy session with her a couple of months back. Of course it may not mean anything, but …”
John opened the file at the first post-it note and turned it around pushing it toward his old friend. Henry took his reading glasses out of his shirt pocket and placed them on his nose. He read with a frown of concentration, moved on to the next post-it, then the next and the one after it.
“I think I see what you mean. It didn’t occur to me that this could be of any importance and I only recorded a brief summary of what she recounted each time. There would have been more detail in what she actually said. I guess I’ve been blinded by my focus on helping people through making them focus on the present moment. If this means what I think you think it means then, good God, it would explain why it all came to a head yesterday and why she was so angry with me.”
“Can I see?” Junior reached for the file. Henry nodded.
“Dreams,” he looked up at John and then over to Henry, “she told you about dreams she had and it started about 2 months ago that she did that.” He closed the folder and pushed it back across the table toward John, “So what do you think?”
“I think she may be getting close to remembering what was done to her and who did it. Where did you say Luce said she went, some sort of a retreat?”
“The White Well Hermitage. You don’t think that someone there might have anything to do with this terrible business?”
“I don’t know, I hope she’s safe there.”
“Junior, didn’t you say you felt that you might benefit from a weekend retreat? Maybe not such a bad idea after all.”
© Ash N. Finn, 2016