"Will Fletcher, you can't be serious!" Lily Fletcher exclaimed, her normally smiling face contorted in a mask of despair. "You can't go away so soon! I've lost a daughter already - I refuse to lose you, too!"
Will was not about to listen to reason. "I know you want me to stay around, but what is there for me here?"
"Your father and me, for starters! Please, William, don't leave us alone!" Lily pleaded.
"I have to do what I have to do."
"But you don't have to do this! You have so much to live for, Will - don't leave yet! Have you even spoken with God about this?" Lily asked, her voice wobbling from unshed tears.
"Yes," Will said abruptly. Nobody, save himself, knew that he hadn't spoken to God in ages.
"And God wants you to go out East? Think rationally, Will! Surely you can find some reason to stay!"
"My mind's made up," Will replied. "I'm leaving tomorrow. It's a five day journey to Hendrick. I want to visit Miriam's grave so that I can leave with closure." His voice caught.
Will had never seen his sister's grave.
"Are you sure you're not leaving so that you can escape memories of Grace?"
Lily Fletcher's question made Will stop in his tracks. Turning to face his mother, he set his jaw and let his anger and bitterness rise. "Why would you ask a question like that?" he asked through gritted teeth. He hoped he looked as angry as he felt.
"I'm sorry, Will; I didn't mean to upset you."
The silence was nearly palpable.
"Well, if you don't mean to upset me, then may I humbly suggest that you don't bring Grace up ever again?" Will demanded. He headed for the front door. "I'm done here," he called over his shoulder. "I'm traveling to Hendrick and then for the Coast. Don't even think about following me."
The door slammed shut.