I glanced out the window and contemplated my answer. If I’d been a cop, the department would have confiscated my badge and my weapon. My superior would have claimed I was a danger to myself and others. But I wasn’t an officer. Who cared if an analyst was overcome by grief…or guilt?
Swallowing hard, I admitted what I had told no one—not even Josh. “I’m responsible for their deaths.”
With a little more conviction, I said, “My husband and my son are dead because of me.” When Dr. Upton didn’t interrupt, I added, “I should have done more. I could have shared the crime reports with Ryan. If I had, he would have taken proper precautions. If I’d picked up our son that night, no one would have been home when the robbers showed up.”
The good doctor pushed her cup to one side and folded her hands in front of her. “That’s quite a scenario you’ve painted. Let me share a different one—a possibly more accurate one. The reports you mentioned weren’t for the public, otherwise the newspapers and online periodicals would have referenced them. Second, if you had picked up your son, it could be your husband sitting here with me as he mourned your death.”
Her words, regardless of how truthful they might have been, did nothing to lessen my guilt or my temper. “Your point?”
“My point is there was nothing you could have done. To hold yourself accountable is an exercise in insanity. Eventually, you’ll have to let it go, or this constant anger will tear you apart.”
“Or it’ll help me get justice.” With that, I slid out of the booth and left the coffee shop.
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