2004-11-16 - 2:13 p.m.

Chapter 18

He didnít even have time to check into a hotel. Sitting at the police station, talking to Brass at Officer Polkís desk Gilís cell phone rang from his back pocket. He checked the display and found a return text message from his mother. It said simply, ĎSaraís goneí.

Thanking the officer for the ride Gil noticed the rental car in his motherís driveway. He let himself into the house and found Trina in the kitchen. Neither bothered to speak aloud, their hands told the story.

Sara had come back to the house just as Gil had said in his message. Trina had welcomed her in and told her to get rest, but she had to go, a standing appointment she could not miss. When she returned home she found a note on the table, which she handed to her son.

Mrs. Grissom,
Thank you for opening your home to me. I am sorry for everything. I cannot stay. Tell Gil Iím sorry.
Sara Sidle

He ran his fingers over her signature. He knew he had to tell his mother what they had found but he didnít think it was possible. His fingers didnít know how to leave the paper, his hands too tired and grief stricken to carry the messages she waited for.


Gil stayed with his mother for a month. Together they comforted young Miles and shielded him from the news reports of his fatherís legacy as best they could. Ms. Dillon asked to keep him with her, letting him visit with his grandmother and uncle whenever he wanted and they agreed. It seemed kinder to leave him with something familiar. Gil and Trina both saw him frequently and made sure he was taken care of financially. For the sake of his nephew and mother Gil planned a small funeral for his brother and watched while Miles team and classmates surrounded him.

Trina insisted on helping Gil clean out the house once the detectives and criminalists were through. She would never know about the bindings on her bed, or in her chair and while she had heard about the horrors of the basement they had been taken away before she entered the house. The videos had been watched; it was determined unlikely any of the killings or rapes had taken place in his childhood home.

The house sold quickly, it was in a good position, quiet and perfect for a small family with no ghosts.
As they exited the door the final time Trina slid a small box into her sonís palm. His jacks set from the kitchen, sheíd remembered through everything.

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