The lights were low in the office, just a single lamp on the side table next to the leather couch. The amber liquid in the glass was doing nothing to numb the ache in his chest. The only sound in the room was the ticking of the grandfather clock in the corner. He hated that clock, but Bitsy had insisted that they buy it. She was Bitsy to him, but Elizabeth Evans to everyone else, the love of his life. His wife, the woman he wanted to be the mother of his children, the woman who would be his confidant and partner as he maneuvered through this ridiculous life. He just didn’t realize that when his vows said ‘till death do us part,’ that it would come so quickly.
They wanted children but conceiving had been difficult, a doctor’s visit to figure out why had led to the cancer diagnosis. By the time of the diagnosis it was too advanced, nothing that could be done. It was aggressive cancer, already Stage 4. While the doctors indicated nothing could be done, it didn’t mean he didn’t try to save her. She was his wife and he wasn’t going to just let her die. He had resources and he would use them. The treatments didn’t work and the loss of Bitsy was inevitable. Comfort measures were put into place and he never left her side. They had kept her fight quiet, electing not to publicize it even when the campaign argued it would be good for his numbers. He wanted privacy and Bitsy deserved her dignity.
A knock on the heavy wooden door broke him from his memories. “Senator, the car is here.”
Chris turned to see his Chief of Staff standing in the entryway, “Thanks, Patrick, I’ll be right there.” As Patrick backed out of the room, Chris swallowed the remnants of his glass and stood. He grabbed his suit jacket from the back of the chair and sat his glass on the coffee table. He knew the housekeeper, Ruby, would come in and take care of it for him. Bitsy would have yelled at him for not handling it himself, but he had to get back to Washington.
He had buried his wife two days ago, he needed to get back to work. When you’re the rising Senator from the State of Massachusetts, replacing your father who stepped down after a stellar career, you aren’t allowed to mourn like regular people.
When you’re a highly-decorated Marine who stepped into public service, who speaks so eloquently everyone, on both sides of the aisle takes notice, you can’t take time away for any reason.
When you are an outspoken member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and it’s known that you have first-hand knowledge of CIA protocols, well you’re groomed to be the next Presidential candidate.