“I know lots of people, you know,” Jason said, “like my friends before, or Mark’s friends, they did nothing. They had money but they gave nothing back to the world. And I don’t think that’s how we should live. Think about how I ended up here. With Brent, and everything.” He stared out of the window at the tiny back garden, his expression troubled. “Why do we only learn the hard way, grand?”
She shook her head. “I don’t know. As long as we do learn, I suppose.”
“But Brent paid the price, not me.”
“Yes. When your grandfather was having an affair with his secretary …”
“ …Yes,” she continued placidly, “such a pretty girl and your grandad was always partial to pretty girls and a real polygamist if that’s the right word which is why he married me because there were others you know whom he found more attractive such a funny word like magnets and iron filings I did enjoy science at school but in the end he stayed with me I did love him but there were times when I could have strangled him and after the affair I could have frozen him out some women do you know but then she or the affair at least would have won and I couldn’t bear that. So I turned a blind eye and forgave him.”
“I didn’t know.”
“One doesn’t talk in front of the children. But he did love me and I him and in that case the mistake could be fixed though not in Brent’s but I think perhaps even if we don’t mean it we hurt each other and who’s to know what happens inside a marriage like ours or like yours and Brent’s.”
It was like a marriage, thought Jason. And I should have been more forgiving and understanding. And I wasn’t. And Brent is dead because of it.