The funeral was over, and Maria and Conchita pulled into the Arlington Heights apartment complex.
Theyâ€™d moved into the apartment after Conchita graduated from high school. They had less square footage than they did at their previous apartment, but they were also paying less in rent. Maria was working at the Arlington public library, and since Eric had been drawing on disability, they were living from paycheck to paycheck.
The brick high rise was 12 stories; their apartment was on the 10th floor. On a clear day Conchita often gazed at the monuments and the National Cathedral.
Once they got home, Conchita changed into some jeans and stepped out onto the balcony. She surveyed the cloudless, blue sky and the horizon. The wind blew the tress of her hair and cooled her face. She gazed down at the swimming pool below. She leaned against the railing of the balcony.
So easy, she thought. Painless. Weâ€™d be together then. Somewhere in hell according to Father Liuzzo, but this is hell.
She rocked back on her heels and held the railing, closing her eyes. She imagined the fall down and shuddered in fear.