Later that night, Mr. Carrington suffered a heart attack and died. Emberlyn was now a widow, just three weeks shy of her 18th birthday.
When the police officers and paramedics arrived, Emberlyn gave an honest, detailed account of her relationship with Mr. Carrington, including how they met, the nightly dancing and the one and only kiss. She wasn’t ashamed of their relationship and defiantly offered no apology.
She watched as they looked at each other with raised eyebrows as if they were hearing somebody read a pornographic Penny Dreadful.
They had questions, of course. An older man of means and a young teenage girl would make anybody suspect a perfect motive for murder, although there were no signs of foul play and no indication that there were any problems in this unusual marriage.
The coroner had pronounced time of death and said he saw no reason for an autopsy. Mr. Carringtons’ age, coupled with his health history lent credence to myocardial infarction, which he noted as cause of death.
As they were taking his body away, she heard one thoughtless officer make an off-hand remark that she had “delivered the kiss of death.” She cast fiery eyes toward him but held her tongue.
After everybody left, she went upstairs to his room. She pulled out one of his shirts and held it to her chest. As she lay down on his bed, her gentle cry turned into an audible wail. She missed him already and the emptiness inside her was there once again.
She loved him. Not in the intense, steamy, passionate way she had always wanted to love but in a deeply respectful way. She had lost her protector, her knight in shining armor. This exquisite man who had shown her grace and dignity was gone.
A few hours later she was interrupted by the maid, announcing that Mr. Carringtons’ attorney was downstairs. Still in a daze, she walked into the room where this larger than life man stood with tears in his eyes. He introduced himself as Frederick Eugene Zabinsky, better known to his friends and colleagues as “Fez.”
He looked to be in his late sixties, had what could be described as a powerful build and was imposing, to say the least.
After the initial condolences, he began explaining the distribution of Mr. Carringtons’ assets. He was the executor of the estate and it fell to him to see that his last wishes were carried out to the letter.
He took her hand and held it as he clarified the events that would take place over the next several weeks. He told her that Mr. Carrington had provided for her but that she might be disappointed with his bequest.
At that point, Emberlyn didn’t care about bequests or inheritances. “What about his funeral, Mr. Zabinsky?” she asked, “and where will he be buried?”
“Please, call me Fez” he said. “He has requested that he be cremated and his ashes are to be scattered on the grounds here.”
Emberlyn looked at him and asked if she could be the one who did it. “If you want, yes,” answered Fez. “I think he would like that.”
He went on to say “you can stay in the house until everything is executed and recorded. Should you choose to challenge his will, you can certainly do that but I will tell you that you will not be successful and you would be hard-pressed to find an attorney to take your case.”
He was professional and made it clear that he was determined to carry out Mr. Carringtons’ last wishes but he seemed to have an unexpected empathy for Emberlyn.
“I will take care of you any and every way I can,” he said. “That’s what Otis instructed me to do. He said that you were strong-willed and capable.” He looked at her and smiled. “He said you were a survivor.”
She started to cry and he put his arms around her, softly saying “go ahead and cry little one. Go ahead and cry.”
Emberlyn didn’t know it at the time but she had just met her next husband.
To be continued____________________