Georgia had picked the prettiest bouquet she could find. She didn’t even know if Keith had had a favorite flowers but she didn’t want to go empty handed.
‘How do I look?’ She turned to Ahmed in the small office out the back of the kitchen.
‘Like you’re going to a funeral.’
He had a point. ‘What will his family say when they find out what he did?’
‘You just smile at them, give your condolences and leave the party before anyone can ask questions.’ Georgia nodded. ‘So when do you actually get the key to the place?’
‘I don’t know. The lawyer said he’d talk to me after the funeral. I don’t know if he meant today or another day.’
A little more than crestfallen, Georgia lay the flowers at the foot of the grave and stood wondering. Wondering where Keith’s family and friends were. Wondering what kind of a life he lived if he left barely any footprints. There has been barely a handful of people to say their goodbyes. None though that she could say we’re related to him. After a moment she began to walk away.
‘Excuse me, are you Miss O’Keefe?’
An elderly gentleman stepped up beside her as she walked past him. ‘Yes.’
‘Then these are for you.’ He held out a sealed envelope and as Georgia reached for it she could hear faint jingle of keys. ‘The keys to Keith Richards property. Which is now yours.’ He reached for inside his jacket pocket and pulled out another envelope. ‘And this. It’s a letter with some of his wishes, in case anyone ever comes looking for him.’
‘Thank you,’ she studied the envelope. So many questions floated in her mind. So many she doubted would ever be answered. ‘Can I ask you why me? Why did he choose me?’ She looked around and could no longer see anyone. ‘Where is his family?’
The lawyer shrugged his shoulders. ‘Keith was a very private man. Hardly told me anything. He had a family once but I don’t know what happened to him. He never talked about them. Just said someday they may come back.’ The man started walking back to his car and Georgia kept pace. ‘You see, that was the reason he never sold his place. He was hopeful they’d come back and he needed to be there.’
The lawyer stopped at his car. ‘He was going to give the house to charity but he came to me few months ago and told me he wanted to change his will.’
‘He met you I guess. He didn’t say much then, just said if he had a granddaughter, she’d be like you. Old man’s wishes, I suppose.’ He scoffed. ‘Anyway, I’m sorry for your loss. Everything should be in order and I’ll send you the new title in a week or so. You can move in whenever you’d like I guess.’ He got in the car and with a reserved smile, drove away.
Georgia stared at the two envelopes and felt a new wave of sadness. He was waiting for his family to come back all these years. As she got into her own car she couldn’t help but wonder where they were. Or if there were any left.