Chapter 13: The Future’s So Bright

Dear Adrian W. Griffith,

I’m sorry to bother you like this, but my name is Marlene Griffith. I am your daughter. You died when I was a baby. I don’t blame you for leaving me, my mom, and my sister alone for the rest of our lives. God called, and it was your time to go.

I work for Section Seven now. I was recruited over a year ago. I was drafted as an agent under the Understudy program. I’m not cleared to know the details of your final mission. Maybe someday I will, but not now. I don’t know whether to thank you or hate you for my new life. Should we hate the dead for their effects they would have on future generations? I want to, but I can’t. You gave me half my DNA. At any rate, it’s something to think about.

I wonder why you never told me I had a brother. Was it because I was too young to know? Was it because Mom was under strict orders not to tell? I met your parents. They’re wonderful, loving, and full of all the goodness you would be, if you were still alive to see it. They’re coming to Fairview (where we still live) for Thanksgiving. A real, honest-to-God, American Thanksgiving, which they don’t celebrate in the UK (but I bet you knew that). It’ll be nice for them to see Lily too. She’s grown up so much.

I’m engaged to a wonderful boy. His name is Malcolm Heller. Legally, it’s Malcolm Thurman-Winters, but I know in my heart that someday I’ll be Mrs. Malcolm Heller.

I’m afraid if I keep typing then I might tell you my whole life story. But somehow, I think you already know.

Love always,

Maria Magdalene Griffith

Marlene Griffith

P.S.: If you see Sophia Anders, Syrai Glover, or Pilar Hepburn in the great gig in the sky, tell them I love them.

Malcolm wrapped his arms around her as Marlene lit the sealed letter on fire and put it on a tiny boat, like the toro-nagashi in Japan. They watched in companionable silence as the sun set and the current of the Fairview River took the burning letter down its waterway.

“What did you write in it anyways?” asked Mal.

“Just my goodbyes.”

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