I saw Dad the next morning. His face was grey and haggard. He looked old.

I realised what sorrow can do to a man. Sorrow and despair. He was sad for Vere. He could not forget, like me. And he despaired. Despaired of his wife's madness and his son's depression, and he despaired of his own inability to find joy in anything ever again, like me.

Sorrow and despair makes a man old before his time. It enslaves him, and uses him, and he will never be free if he is too stubborn and guilty and lazy to change everything.

So that will be me. I will have sunken eyes and an unshaven face, sagging skin and grey hairs. So that will be me? Apart from the grey hair, that is me. My appearance is dirty and unkempt. But I am far uglier than my father. Where he is tall and slim and dark-eyed, I am stocky and podgy and murky-eyed. I am far more forbidding. He is a tired old man, though he is not much more than forty-five. I am an unwashed depressed teenager. That's our difference, and funnily enough, I think it's worse to be me.

Dad didn't say anything to me. He just looked out of his suffering eyes and walked out of the room, head bent. I felt satisfied. Dad had been curious. He had been trying to find out. And now he was paying. Paying as badly as I was. I who had seen the silver blade flash, seen the point pierce her chest, seen my sister die.

My father never saw her die. He just saw her dead, and he ignored me and my own suffering. Now it was his turn. He had nearly been killed himself. Perhaps the danger of it brought home to him the smell of death and the despair of five and a half years. There was nothing to find out. We didn't want the identity of the murderer, or the details of the murder. We wanted revenge. Or, rather, we wanted to be left alone to our misery in our damp dusty house.

The End

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