Thursday, 18 February 2016
She practices his signature. Tight loops, more like the output from a demented ECG than the cursive hand of an architect. What right has it to be illegible? Is it because of the careful block lettering on his drawings of houses and the recreation area between two blocks of flats, where kids are supposed to find amusement in old chip wrappers and discarded needles, and never mind the falling Budweiser bottles from the seventeenth floor. If the kids weren't brained outright they suffered explosions of translucent green shards sharp enough to peel the skin from their faces.
She scrawls his name over and over, filling the yellow pages of a legal pad with signatures of every size. Pages and pages of mnemonic scribbles. After an hour her loops become lighter, more fluid. After two hours she stops seeing the letters in her head, trusting her cramped fingers to respond to muscle memory. After three hours she signs the document.
His body is already cool to the touch, the incisions along his wrist bloodless valleys along the lines of his arteries. She dips a corner of the document in red-stained water, just enough to smudge the date, wraps his fingers around the pen.
His was the selfish act, his desire to be with the women he loved outweighing his responsibility to his fourteen year old daughter.
At least she'll get to keep the house, now.