July 14th, 2016
Farrow is dead.
His assistant found him in his study outside Bluebeach still as a rock and as blue as a washed out sky. It was a suicide – a drug overdose. I’m sure with his scientific knowledge, Farrow knew which drug would be the most convenient and least painful to take. Unless he wanted the pain – unless he didn’t care anymore.
My mother was mid-bite into an egg and bacon sandwich in the morning when the phone rang. We didn’t think much of it - we just continued with our lives as usual. We didn’t know that everything was soon to change.
“…What?” I breathed, my voice turned wispy.
“He committed suicide this morning. He left a letter. In the letter, he… he said he wished for the truth to be revealed. He asked his assistant to send it to the local paper.” My mother says.
“The truth about me?”
“Yes, Annie. He wants the world to know about you.”
“I thought he said he never wanted for that to happen,” I sat back down, feeling weak. “I thought he said this would be kept quiet for good.”
“We need to read the letter,” she said, voice shaking. “We need to find out what he said, before it’s published. This is important.”
“How are we going to do that?” I asked.
“We need to head down to his house, right now.” She breathed. My father had downed the rest of his scotch, grimacing. “We need to find out what he said on the letter, before we decide whether it goes out to the general public or not.”
“Decide? His assistant said it was his wish. He wanted it published. It’s not our choice.” I protested. I’m not sure why. All I know is that my parents are afraid of being seen as monsters. That’s why she’s hesitant.
“Let’s go. Grab your coat,” my mother said quickly. She rushed for her shoes. My father followed suit. I just stood in the middle of the kitchen, staring at the unfinished meals laid out on the table. “Come on, Anne. We don’t have all day! We need to read the letter before anybody else does.”
And now we sit in the car, driving at the speed of light in hopes of reaching Farrow’s house in time. We know that he has been sent to the mortuary, and his long-time assistant, Clarence King, is currently occupying the building. Probably sorting out paperwork already.
From what I know, Farrow hardly has many family members. He had no siblings, and his parents and wife are long-gone. What makes it even worse, is that they emigrated from Poland when Farrow was young, and eventually all ties were cut with any relatives abroad. The only people Farrow knew well were a couple of assistants… and us. We were all he had left, but that wasn’t enough. Despite his relatively old age, he still needed to go on his own terms, which I can understand. It’s better than being sent to a nursing home once you’ve gone cuckoo, slowly rotting until your consciousness is dead before you are. But even still, why now? Was there a certain trigger? A lever pulled? Why did he decide to leave now? As selfish as it may seem, I do wonder who will perform my check-ups now. Farrow knew me inside out - he knew things that nobody else should ever know. How am I supposed to sustain my health without him?
Clarence King stands waiting at Farrow’s front door. He looks slightly sheepish – even being a man in his early fifties, there’s just something so mousy and weak about his posture. He seems like the person who had the most ultimate loyalty for Farrow - I bet the discovery of his death hit him hard. I’ve hardly ever met him, and I sometimes wonder if he was one of the people who helped to clone One.
“We’ve come to see the letter.” My mother says in an instant. Not a hello, or even a mention of Farrow in any other way.
“I’m afraid I cannot give it out, Mrs. Middleton.” King replies awkwardly. It’s like he saw this coming - the army of Middletons, marching up to the Farrow house upon his death in order to keep what was always meant to be a secret, secret. But you can’t keep secrets forever.
“You don’t have to give it to us,” my mother shakes her head. “We just need to read it. We have every right.”
King rubs the back of his neck apprehensively. There is something on the letter that he knows we won’t like. But then if that’s the case, why publish it to the entire world? Oh, that’s right; Farrow would never have our consent either way. After everything he did for my parents, I can understand why his dying wish doesn’t include any intervention from them.
“It’s best you don’t, ma’am. This was one of Farrow’s requests.”
But my mother storms into the house either way, looking around frantically for something she knows she won’t find easily. It might not even be here anymore – King may have taken it into his possession, or hid it somewhere impossible to discover. After all, you don’t just leave somebody’s suicide note hanging about – but then again, if you’re going to publish it, why not?
“Where is the letter?” My mother raises her voice, acting irrationally. My father chases her around, trying to calm her down. “Just tell me where it is, goddamn it!”
King swallows, loosening his tie. After thirty seconds of biting silence, he finally says: “Let me go and get it. The second you have read it, you give it straight to me. Please. That is my one request.”
My mother nods her head quickly, eyes still wide with anticipation. When King returns with the letter, she grabs it from his hand instantaneously.
But this is not just any letter – it’s a pile of pages all typed up in nice font, printed out. I was maybe expecting some blurred, splodged ink work, but this is the 21st century – I guess a Word doc isn’t too outlandish anyway.
My mother sits on the nearest seat and reads alone, as my father and I stand nearby, watching. My father attempts to read too, but Mother swats him away. This is her moment – her chance at knowing Farrow’s truth.
After a look of concern, I watch as her features slowly warp into fear and dread. It’s not looking good at all, it seems.
And when my mother cries, we know that the letter was nothing covered in sugar. It was the plain, hard truth.
But when my mother begins to rip the pages to shreds, we know it must have been worse.
King jumps into action, taking as much of the paper as he can whilst she tumbles to the ground in a heap, sobbing painfully. “I’m sorry,” is all that she can say. “I’m so sorry, Annie.”
“Sorry for what?” I ask. She doesn’t respond at all.
The letter is torn now – I don’t exactly know what that means. I guess maybe the news won’t get out, and things will slide back into place. But it was a word document – what if King could just find access to another copy? God knows, but there is no point in worrying about it.
We drive back home, trees whizzing past, and sky painted a naked blue, with only clouds working as accessories.
Mother warms up our lunches, and we sit and eat in silence.
I go for a shower in the evening, trying to forget about Farrow and the letter, and all the things that it could have said; the thoughts eat away at me like parasites.
I go to sleep tonight, dreaming of Kal. Dreaming that we swim together in a big blue ocean, and that we don’t even need to come up to breathe air. I dream that Farrow is floating dead at the bottom of the ocean, on the seabed, and that my mother has a hook in my mouth, trying to pull me up.
I wake up to a tonne of noise the next morning. It almost sounds like a… congregation. It’s mainly coming from outside, though.
When I open my bedroom curtains, I see a sight worse than I could imagine.
I see vans, and people with microphones and cameras. I see news channel logos and showbiz journalists wrestling on the street, specifically in front of the Middletons’ household.
Somehow, they found out. They found out about me, and they’re relentlessly trying to be the first to report about it.
The secret is out.