Mark sighed and put his hands in his pockets. He thought they were done, that they could get out of the sun, but then a man in a tailored suit walked around in front of them.
The man reached out and took Mark’s mother by her hand and shook it gently. “Mrs. Odera, I’m so sorry for your loss. Everyone at the office is heartbroken.”
Mark’s mother hesitated. Her mouth opened, and then closed. “You worked with Liz?”
“Oh, yes. Very closely.”
The man turned to Mark and reached out. “I’m so sorry for your loss.”
Mark took the man’s hand. He looked into the man’s neutral eyes and was overcome with a sense of weight, of sadness. “Thank you,” Mark said.
“Such a terrible situation,” the man said and raised an eyebrow. “It’s a shame that none of us saw it coming.”
Mark nodded and pulled his hand back. “Yeah.”
“If there’s anything I can do, anything at all, please reach out.” The man put his hand in his coat pocket and pulled out a business card. He held it out to Mark.
Mark looked down at the card. He took it and held it out in front of him. In large letters on the front it showed Christopher Marston, Executive Director. “Thank you. We will.”
The man gave a thin smile, nodded to both Mark and his mother, and then walked away.
Mark blinked and then looked around him. His breath was short and shallow. He held a hand out and rested it on his mother’s shoulder. “I, uh… I need to go sit down. I’ll meet you at the car, okay?”
Image by Kaleigh Kanary