"That was then. This is now."
She rolled her eyes at Sadie who was repeating the line and pacing. Her heels hit the second floor balcony rhythmically, sending anxiety through the wooden decking straight up Catherine's spine making her head tingle. She urged her to sit in one of the upholstered deck chairs hoping it might take the load off of her friend's heart and soul.
Sadie's role in her family's schemes was hardly central. Her brother didn't feel any guilt and he was directly responsible. She'd been duped into believing the history her mother crafted about the land. But after she "figured things out" she'd done nothing. The series of unfolding treacheries might have been avoided if only she'd acted. This was the emotional weight she carried around. Her therapist and closest friends urged her to let it go.
But as soon as she sat down she began the "if only" litany again.
"If only I hadn't married Ace."
Chocky snorted out a laugh and began pacing where she'd been a moment before.
"If only you'd refused an arranged marriage. If only you hadn't gotten lost in your sadness."
He suddenly stopped and glared at her. Everything seemed very still.
"If only you'd acted differently? You'd be dead! If you were in the way, you wouldn't be here today. Repeat THAT a few times."