“Well, we lost contact years ago. We’d grown up nearby, gone to the same schools, same college, but he was never interested in taking it any further. Said I was like a sister more than anything else, and if you know anything about relationships you know that’s the kiss of death.”

“Fair enough. But why contact you when he died? That was decades ago, wasn’t it? What about his family?”

“He doesn’t have any. Not anymore, anyway. His parents were only children and his brother developed paranoid schizophrenia his sophomore year. He’s in no shape to do anything even if he’s still alive.”

“Why not someone else then? I just don’t see why he felt the need to rip you away from everything here when there’s so much water under the bridge.”

“I…the officer said they didn’t think he had any friends. He was…basically a shut-in, doing all his work over the internet from home.”

“So?”

“My number was the only one they could find in his house. It’s how the police were able to track me down. It…it kills me a little, you know, to think that he might have been carrying a torch all those years. He had his shot and he blew it, but nobody, me least of all, wants to be the thing that drove someone to die so lonely and alone that they were discovered a week later by the mailman.”

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