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FICTION: Beads Part 6: 'Reveal'

Published: March 25, 2005
Section: Arts, Etc.


Ophelia sat numbly at the desk. Her hand rested on a piece of paper.

They didnt know how couldnt they know why didnt they know about me? she asked, her voice small, distant. She fingered the writing, reading the words aloud as if they would reveal the answer she sought.

Last will and testament of Harold L. Bead then her voice softened, as more tears continued falling down her face, deceased 2001.

He moved behind her, placing his hands on the back of her chair.

Im sorry I was only trying to help.

Ophelia Bead, she began, trying out the words, pronouncing each syllable delicately. Its pretty, isnt it. Ms. Bead. Ms. Ophelia Bead.

Oh, Lia, he whispered, behind her. Suddenly, she blinked herself back to reality, and wiped away her tears. Her face felt very warm. She sat up in the chair, looking over the documents spread out on the table.

How did you get all of this?

Crawford came around the table, and she could tell he was phrasing his reply carefully. I just want the truth, she told him, watching as he sat across from her.

We took it. Just like the jewelry. The estate documents. We just took it.

But why?

Because. Because!

He leaned across the papers, and grabbed her hand tightly. Because I love you. I love you. Ophelia was too startled to pull away. Her head was swimming with too much, too soon.
He let go of her, stood, walking animatedly to the motel bed, to the window, to the table. I cant stand idly by, watching you relive that accident, over and over again, and have part of your life taken away from you every single time.

Frustrated, but mostly confused, she let tears resurface. I dont understand. Why what does Gregs death have to do with stealing my parents money?

They didnt know how couldnt they know why didnt they know about me?

Crawford sighed softly, careful not to agitate her further. The nights conversation had taken a lot out of her. He told her almost everything. Only the parts she needed to know, parts she already knew but made herself forget each time. The fact that she and Greg had been adopted, and the fact that they were on their way to meet them when the accident happened, and the fact that she had been in a coma for 7 years afterwards.

Last will and testament of Harold L. Bead deceased Crawford mouthed along, 2001.

He had never felt as helpless as he did now. He wished she would just give him more time. Just a little while longer. He could fix everything. He simply needed a few more days.

Impulsively, Crawford went to her, but just before embracing her, he paused, lowered his hands and let them rest on the chair. She probably needed her space, for the time being.

Im sorry I was only trying to help.

Ophelia Bead. Its pretty, isnt it. Ms. Bead. Ms. Ophelia Bead.

Oh, Lia, he whispered.

How did you get all of this? I just want the truth.

Defeated, Crawford slumped into a chair across from her. He didnt think she would understand if he told her the truth. She would return everything, she would give everything back. He didnt put all this time and effort into a project that would fail hours away from the end.

But as he spoke, he found the truth sort of just rushed out of his lips. We took it. Just like the jewelry. The estate documents. We just took it.

But, why?

Crawford wanted to laugh. Because. The answer was so obvious. How was the answer not obvious? Because! It wasnt obvious because she didnt feel the same way. What if he lost her? What if he had done all this, just to lose her completely?

He reached for her. Because I love you. I love you.

When he couldnt gauge her reaction, he stood up, began pacing, trying to explain. I cant stand idly by, watching you relive that accident, over and over again, and have part of your life taken away from you every single time.

I dont understand, he heard her mumble, then, Why what does Gregs death have to do with stealing my parents money?

To be continued