Evan wiped away a tear, the wetness and the action long unfamiliar. “I didn’t know. How could we have been so wrong?”
Maggie sighed, action familiar, constant over the years. “Because we were stupid. We wanted to blame her and we did. It was easier than blaming ourselves.”
Evan took a deep breath, then let it out slowly, haltingly, tiny repercussions among the silent cobwebs. “We have to tell the rest of the family.”
Maggie stiffened. “No!” Then relaxed. “Not everyone. Not yet. Think of the things we’ve done, what we’ve said. Things that are now lies, things that cannot be undone. We must take our time.”
“But what about her children? Surely they have the right to know. It could give them some peace.”
Maggie sighed again, another bead in her endless, twisted rosary. “And what peace will that be? How can there be peace learning that the person you hated did not do what made you hate them?”
“I would think there would be a lot of relief. After all these years.”
“Really, Evan? The story that we’ve told those children, the story they have been raised on, is a deception. A serious deception. Any time you rip away what someone has always believed in all their lives, there is going to be fallout. Even if the intentions are good. Trust is the hardest thing to get back once you lose it.”
Evan turned to look at his sister, now his only. “But we will tell them. And someday they will understand what we did.”
Maggie nodded, another bead touched. “Yes. And maybe.”
A crow, dark and glistening, flew over their heads, crossing the tiny graveyard and quickly disappearing.
The cobwebs rippled on the modest headstone.
Note: This is the second in a series of stories inspired by one of Claudette’s posts involving her gorgeous photography. More to come, eventually…