Friday, January 29, 2010

Sharron's Story written by Michelle McNamara

Sharron's Story

Thirty years later, Yvonne Prior and her twin daughters, Moreen and Doreen, tracked the beekeeper down. He wasn’t a beekeeper anymore; he’d long since left behind the small field where he kept his beehives. But the Priors remembered enough vague details about him to find a possible email address. It took a while. Messages bounced back and were forwarded. Finally, a message appeared in their inbox.

“I’m your man,” it said.

He agreed to meet them at a restaurant. He brought his wife. What were the Priors hoping for? Recollections. Clues. He had always been “the beekeeper” to them, an essential but abstract figure in the most important event of their lives, and here he was, polite and solemn and real. He searched his memory and answered their many questions the best he could.

A couple of hours later the meeting was winding down, the silences between sentences growing longer.

“Would you take us there?” Yvonne asked suddenly. She had not been able to visit the place when it happened. Could not. Would not.

The man didn’t owe them anything. He’d already done more than most people would. Still, he didn’t hesitate.

“Of course,” he said.

The area was different. The woods were gone. A truck covers factory had gone up nearby. The small piece of land where the man had once kept his bees was now vacant.

He took them straight to the spot. Yvonne knew from newspaper photographs and maps she’d pored over that he was exactly right about the location. She marveled at his accuracy after all this time.

“It really affected him,” his wife said quietly.

A friend had called him that cold Tuesday morning. Did he know the gate to his beehives was open? That evening he walked over to check out the muddy field.

Yvonne stared at the spot. So many things had changed over the years. Suspects. Buildings. Faces. Memories.

One thing had not changed: the pain.

“Like an amputation of my soul,” Yvonne says...

please read on...