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.And I knew thenwhat I was going to do, what I was supposed to do. Everything just fell together? I asked this as gently asI could. Like it was meant to be. Umm.Maybe so, but how did you get Grady tocome? Why would he show his face in town knowing youhad proof that  Remember Me in April was your composition? Wasn t he afraid you d tell people, even if it ruinedyour marriage? That you were setting him up so he d behere when you did? He knew better.After all, I d given him the song, hadn tI?She wanted me to work it out, but my brain had stretchedas far as it would go.At no point in my hypothesis hadI figured on Veronica s conviction that she was meantto murder Grady, that somehow she had divine permission, even help.That gave everything a new twist.Peoplewho are misguided enough to use God as an excuse for violence are people with no problems repeating themselves.I had been banking on Veronica s innate good sense to A Lie for a Lie 281keep this conversation in bounds, good sense that had beendistorted by her fury at Grady the night of the Idyll finals,but good sense that could still be appealed to.Now I knewbetter. So you re not quite as adept at this as you think youare, Veronica said when I didn t, couldn t, respond. I lljust tell you, so you won t have to strain so hard.I toldGrady I had another song for him.One that was better thanthe other two put together.I told him I would give it to himfree and clear if he came to Emerald Springs and gave methe tape. You thought that would end it? Of course, I knew he could make a million copies first,but I told him that like before, I d have proof this song belonged to me.If a tape of us together ever showed up anywhere, I d bring out the heavy guns, because by then I dhave nothing to lose.But unless that happened, this would bethe end.He would come and judge the Idyll, which wouldmake up for a lot of the bad things he d done.After all, raising that money for the new pediatric wing would make melook like the town savior.At least I d have that.Grady wouldhave a wonderful new song, and I would have the tape andmy place in Emerald Springs history.And all our businesswould be completed.I remembered that right from the beginning, Fred hadsaid Grady was behaving much worse than usual nowthat he was home again.So greed had brought him to ourfair city, but even Grady had realized he might be walkinginto trouble. And he bought that? I askedShe shrugged one slender shoulder. He was hungry foranother hit.I d given him the only two he d ever had.Hewas willing.He was a fool.But hadn t we all been fools? Hadn t weunderestimated this woman? Luckily, I hadn t underestimated her so much that I hadn t gotten backup.And now, Iwas almost sure my backup had arrived.As Veronica had 282 Emilie Richardsgiven her explanation, I had heard the front doors of thechurch open, and the faintest whisper of footsteps.Saved.And in a Unitarian-Universalist church, too, wheresuch things are almost never discussed.I didn t look up.I ignored the subtle creaking of thefloorboards and spoke louder. And then, you killed him, Isaid, hoping to get this over with.She hadn t really admitted to murder yet, just the desire.She still didn t. Of course I didn t kill him.Yes, Iwanted him dead, but it s a long way from wanting to doing.Then things took a turn I would never have believed.Nora went backstage the night of the finals and murderedhim herself.And Grady managed to scrawl nor on the wallbefore he died.A trooper, our Grady.Right up until theend.See what I mean? It was all meant to be. Only it wasn t Nora s name he was scrawling, Veronica.It was yours.Grady was dyslexic.Lisa Lee told me in highschool, he even tried to read music right to left.In those lastmoments, when he only had seconds to live, he scrawled thename he had known you by in high school.Ronnie.He couldonly manage ron, the first three letters, before he died.Unfortunately for poor Nora, he was printing your name, as hehad so often printed others.I paused for effect. Backwards.She stared at me, and for the first time I saw anger flickering in her eyes. I didn t go there that night with murderin mind.Man, oh man, I was hoping, yes, praying, that this lastsentence had been caught on tape.I wanted so badly to seewho was coming down the aisle, but as she continued, I wasscared to look away. Yes, I set up everything just in case.I hired a boy fromthat ridiculous tent show to steal something from Nora shouse I could use as a weapon.I had no idea she wasshacking up with a knife thrower.Another piece of divinecollaboration, wouldn t you say? Or simply a coincidence. A Lie for a Lie 283She ignored me. At no time did I intend to kill Grady before the Idyll ended.No matter what you think, I did have aninvestment in a positive outcome [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]