Epilogue 48

The heart monitor flashed hypnotically, reminding them that their little girl, though comatose, was still alive. Tony held Liesel tightly as she wept. He closed his eyes, grieving quietly.

Outside the hospital room Jojo sat, waiting, thinking about the events of the past few months. Suddenly she got up and left.

After around half an hour she arrived at the cemetery and walked towards Elsbeth’s grave where the flowers she had left a few days before stood wilted in their vase. She stood quietly before the gravestone, waiting.

Then she felt it, a subtle change in the temperature, and the familiar sense she had felt before. The hair on the back of her neck stood on end but she stood firm, emptying her mind as Master Yeoh her Tai Chi teacher had taught her. The air around her grew suddenly quiet, apart from the gentle sigh of the breeze brushing softly against the trees. A dim, hazy shape appeared before her. She recognised the long, shaggy beard immediately, but Liesel was right, there was something else, something dreadful that was not her father.


Her father shimmered slightly and drew forward, his eyes dark and intense. Liesel shivered as the air suddenly grew icily cold.

“Jojo,” he said, his voice sounding dry and rasping.

She started at the sound of her name, spoken by this strange yet familiar apparition before her.

“Dad, are you doing something to Anne?”

“She is my granddaughter,” he replied. “We belong together.”

“No, Dad. You’re hurting her. She belongs with us.”

A wave of terrible rage wafted over her, threatening to overwhelm her.

“No!” he roared. “She is ours. We will keep her.”

“Dad, please”, she pleaded. “I don’t know who or what is there with you, but this is not you. You are hurting us.”

The anger dissipated and Jojo felt a deep sadness.

“Jojo, I am alone here. I was not a good father to you girls. I need to make things right.”

“Daddy,” Jojo replied, crying, “You were the best you could be, and we love you. Please don’t hurt us anymore. Let go.”

He reached for her and she felt the icy touch of his fingers on her cheek.

“I love you.”

She smiled. “Daddy, I love you too, and miss you terribly.”

Then he was gone and the birds resumed their singing beneath the bright, fragrant sun.