Roman sat uncomfortably in the old red leather banquette with the worn arm rests. He was waiting in the designated waiting area that was really just a narrow hallway between two offices. The walls there had been painted an umber-yellow and there was a window with a too-small sheer curtain above where Roman sat. Sometimes he could hear their voices beyond the door but not what they were saying. Why, Roman wondered. Why must I always be waiting for her? He looked up and noticed a potted plant balanced precariously on the window sill above his head. The plant was dead.
I must forgive Gus.
Those had been his father's dying words: I must forgive Gus. You must forgive me and I must forgive myself.
How, Roman wondered, did the old man manage all of that in the last few hours of his life? How was that even possible? But that was exactly what Roman's father had done. As though forgiveness were so simple, Roman thought. As though the alternative were somehow--!
Thanks for waiting. Please, come in.