Author: Peter Abrahams
Sometimes the dead live on in your dreams . . . at least that's true for Roy Valois. His wife, Delia, died
fifteen years earlier while working for a private think tank and he has never forgotten her. Roy is a well-
known sculptor in the art world. His newest piece, a magnificent creation he calls Delia, has just been
finished, a sign that he's found a little closure at last.Then Roy gets some news of the grimmest kind. It's
the kind of news that forces thoughts in unexpected directions, such as the contents of one's obituary.
Roy and his lawyer, a close friend, find themselves wondering whether Roy's obituary will mention a big
goal he scored in college hockey. Roy's friend suggests that they could probably find out. With some
help, they hack into the morgue files of the New York Times. There's no mention of the goal, but
something else about his obituary bothers Roy. According to the New York Times, his wife was working
for the United Nations when she died—not the think tank.At first, Roy thinks it's a simple mistake, but
when a conversation with the writer of his obituary fails to clear things up, he suspects something more.
The deeper he digs, the more confusing his wife's past becomes. Delia's former colleagues deny ever
knowing her, the building that housed the think tank has supposedly served as the offices for another
organization for decades, and Roy can't find any records of its existence. Who was Delia? Who did she
work for? How did she really die? Did she really die? With time running out, a desperate Roy won't stop
until he knows the truth about the woman he can't stop loving.
Sometimes the dead live on in your dreams. Delia was very much alive now, sitting on a terrace wall high
above a tropical bay, bare legs dangling. She'd never looked better—her tanned skin firm and glowing; her
eyes, light brown with flecks of gold, narrowing in the way they did when she was about to say something
funny. Her mouth opened—sunlight glinting on her lip gloss—and Delia did speak, but too soft to hear.
That was maddening. Then came the realization from a nondreaming brain region that this glittering bay
lay somewhere on the Venezuelan coast, and all that tropical sunshine went dim. Venezuela: the word
alone was still destabilizing.A vein throbbed just under the skin of Delia's temple, a prominent blue vein
shaped like a bolt of lightning. The weather changed at once, a cold breeze springing up and ruffling her
hair. Things were going bad. Roy reached over to smooth out the ruffles, but the hair he felt was not
Delia's; finer, and straight instead of curly.He opened his eyes. Wintry light, frost on the window, posters
of ski racers on the walls: Jen's room."I always hated when men did that," Jen said, her voice still husky
with sleep.Roy turned his head. The eyes that watched him—pale blue, not brown—were very pretty in
their own way. "Did what?" he said."Touched my hair."He withdrew his hand. Blond hair, not brown; that
special brown, also flecked with gold."But with you it's okay." Jen waited, maybe for him to say or do
something. Roy couldn't think of anything. Their faces were a foot apart. Jen was very good-looking, her
skin a little roughened from the weather, but that only made Roy like it more. What was left of the dream
broke into tiny pieces and vanished."You feeling all right?" Jen said."Fine."Under the covers she moved
her leg against his. "I had some news yesterday. Out of the blue.""Good news?" said Roy."I think so—it's
a job offer.""What job?""Like what I'm doing now," Jen said. She ran the ski school at Mount Ethan,
twenty minutes from her condo. "But on a much bigger scale, and it pays twice the money.""Where?"
Roy said, thinking Stowe, close by, or maybe Killington, a little farther.Jen looked away. "Keystone," she
said."That's in Colorado?"She nodded. Then her eyes were meeting his again, maybe trying to see
inside, to read him."Well," Roy said. And came very close to following that with Why don't we get
married? Why not? They'd been like this for two years, somewhere between dating and living together.
Was there a reason not to take the next step? No lack of comfort between them, no lack of affection,
sexual heat. An age difference, yes—he was almost forty-seven, Jen was thirty-four—plus she wanted
kids and he no longer did, but so what? Roy found himself smiling at her."Well what?" she said.And was
just about to speak the words—why don't we get married?—when the thought came that blurting it out
right now might not be the way to go. He could do better than that. And wouldn't a more formal
presentation—at Pescatore, say, Friday night—be better? So, for now, he just said,
"Congratulations.""Congratulations?""On this job offer.""Oh," Jen said. "Thanks. I'll have to think about it,
of course. Colorado's far away.""I understand," Roy said, realizing from that last remark about the
distance that on Friday she was going to say yes. Two days away. He felt pretty crafty.Jen got up and
went into the bathroom....
Peter Abrahams is the author of sixteen crime novels, including End of Story, Oblivion and the Edgar
Award-nominated Lights Out, as well as the Echo Falls mystery series for young adults, the first of
which, Down the Rabbit Hole, was also nominated for an Edgar Award and won the Agatha. He lives on