They drove back to Indianapolis. Wilson took Marti and Lynn to a restaurant for supper and he spent another night at Lynn’s before leaving for Atlanta.
After he was on the road for four hours he gave Drake a call.
“Anything new?” Wilson said.
“Yes,” Drake said. “Let me be very direct, did you and Mom have any marital problems?”
“No,” Wilson said. “I mean there was a few times when she said she had to get away for awhile. She had a very heavy social calendar. She headed up charities and did work for me also. It got very demanding at times. I was doing something I loved and I think she was doing things because somebody who depends on sales has to be involved and for her it was hectic and at times a drudgery. I don’t think it was serious.”
“What about you, Dad,” Drake said, “any affairs?”
“No,” Wilson said, “of course my memory is not what it should be. Did you uncover something?”
“No,” Drake said.
“So why this line of questioning?” Wilson said.
“I ran into an old roommate from college,” Drake said. “He worked for a law firm that does primarily divorces. He hated it and they hated him so he got fired. He’s a little bitter about the separation pay so he spilled his guts to me. He came across a file with Mom’s name on it. In the file are pictures of her all bruised. Do you remember anything like that ever happening.”
“No!” Wilson said. He caught his breath. “I don’t think I could ever do something like that. Did your friend read any of the file.”
“No,” Drake said, “but given the fact they specialize in divorces we can only assume those pictures were going to be used as evidence in a divorce proceedings.”
“You’re Mom and I talked for two weeks before you and Missy came over,” Wilson said. “We talked about every confidential part of our marriage and nothing even remotely like that came up. She described me as being gentle and caring.”
“Dad,” Drake said. “When you get back to Atlanta see me before you see anyone else.”
“I think that is wise,” Wilson said. “Wait a minute! Your Mom went on a hiking event with some girlfriends a few years back. She took a tumble down the side of a mountain. She came home bruised.”
“When was that?” Drake said.
“Four or five years ago,” Wilson said. “Now that I think about it there was something strange; she never went to the hospital to be checked out. I asked her who were the friends she went with and she said her usual friends, no names. I saw one of the gals she used to take hikes and trips with and asked her about the fall and she said nothing like that happened. I told your Mom about it and she said her friend wasn’t there. I thought your Mom just might have been confused or shook up, but her friend said she didn’t remember your Mom really being there. I didn’t think anything of it because her groups start small and grow and divide. I thought it was possible they were just in separate parties.”
“Dan,” Drake said. “There is something more, you seem to remember that in great detail.”
There was a quiet; only the sound of the road.
“What is it, Dad,” Drake said.
“It’s nothing, Son,” Wilson said. “It’s private, it’s between your Mom and I.”
“I’ll respect that,” Drake said, “but if you ever want to talk…”
“Yeah,” Wilson said, “I’ll know who I can talk to.”
“There’s something else, Dad,” Drake said.
“What is it?” Wilson said.
“Think about this,” Drake said, “is it better you tell me or is it better I find out on my own?”
“I have to think that one over,” Wilson said. “All I can tell you is that your mother told me she tumbled down the side of a mountain and that’s how she said she got bruised.”
“Dad,” Drake said. “You have to come to grips with the fact it looks like Mom was all set to divorce you.”
“In our two week before you and Missy came over we never mentioned it,” Wilson said.
“What do you feel for Mom right now at this moment?” Drake said.
Wilson swallowed. “I just feel she’s a person in my life.”
“Do you love her?” Drake said.
“That’s so hard,” Wilson said. “I think that I should.”
“Do you love Missy and me?” Drake said.
“Yes,” Wilson said. “I can’t wait to see both of you. There are so many good things and warm feelings I recall about both of you.”
“And Mom?” Drake said.
Wilson tapped the steering wheel with his fingers. He mouth was dry. His lips stuck together as he said, “I don’t feel it.”
“That says something,” Drake said. “And we got to find out what.”