Do pacts still apply when the other member is dead? That’s my question. Is there a postmortem clause? Am I still receiving credit if he isn’t here to know it?
I realize I have been staring at the carpet for a while now. It’s thick and off-white and not very interesting. Dr. Camry probably thinks I am stupid or something. That wouldn’t be so bad. Maybe she would tell my parents I shouldn’t do any more sessions.
Of course, then I would probably have to talk to the police again. There was an investigation, at Mom’s urging, and they interviewed me. When I didn’t answer their questions before, they let me off easy, saying it must be hard for me to see my brother’s car like that. Next time, I’ll just seem obstinate, and it’s never a good idea to jerk around law enforcement.
But what do you say when someone asks you if your brother committed suicide?
I mean, I know that I can’t say anything, but what if I could?
“This is an important question, Brooklyn.”
“It’s an important question for you, Brooklyn.”
Why? I am not the one who is dead. It might be important for you, Dr. Camry, because my parents are paying for you to drag this out of me. It is not important to me.
When I still don’t answer, Dr. Camry stands up and goes to her desk. She hands me a file when she comes back.
I have seen this file before. It’s a copy of the police report about the accident. My parents must have given her access to it. I flip through the pages. The accident report. A clean tox screen. The report from the phone company saying his phone had been inactive. I know all this and so does she, but it kills some time.
I close the file again and look up.
She doesn’t ask the question this time. It’s clear in her expression.
How does an eighteen year old with no alcohol or drugs in his system, and who wasn’t texting or talking, drive off a cliff?
It’s not like there aren’t answers out there.
He could have been changing the radio station or digging for a CD.
He could have dropped something and bent to pick it up.
He could have fallen asleep.
He could have been daydreaming.
Everyone has all these options to choose from, but they don’t want to unless they are sure. For some reason, being certain about him matters now.
Except for Dad. Dad is happy thinking Milo died in an accident. He doesn’t want to question it because he doesn’t want to know. But Mom, Mom is on a crusade. She needs to know. She needs the facts. She needs the truth. So she called the police station night and day until they opened an investigation. Until they gathered evidence. Until they gave her the facts.
The problem is that the facts don’t come to any conclusions.
And when the facts didn’t help, she came to me.