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September 19, 2012 / Ronald Chapman

Cycle of Violence

“What about you, Aaron? How did Maggie’s murder affect you?” asked Pitcairn.

The question seemed to settle him, though a haunted cast showed on his face. Pitcairn imagined he was now fully present as affectations dropped away.

“I’ve never stopped missing Maggie. I think about her all the time.” He snorted in a rather self-deprecatory fashion “She may be all I think about.”

“It’s been hard, hasn’t it?”

“Whatever,” he replied with a shrug.

Pitcairn felt a wave of concern and care sweep over him as he studied the young man’s face. “Aaron, right now, right in this instant, are you okay about this?”

He blinked, and for a moment Pitcairn saw the proverbial deer caught in the headlights.

“No,” Aaron replied firmly. “I’m not okay. I’m not sure I’ll ever be okay.”

It was quiet again as the two men looked at each other.

“I’m really sorry, Aaron.”

The comment jolted the younger one. Pitcairn could see it very clearly as Aaron looked away, through the window and across the parking lot.

“I’ve got to get back to work,” he said abruptly, then moved to stand.

Pitcairn extended his hand. “Lunch is on me. Thanks for your time.”

A distracted thanks popped forth. Everett couldn’t seem to get out of there fast enough.

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