"You're probably too young to understand what I'm going through...that I lost everything. I don't have a clue why I keep thinking this has something to do with you. No one is pointing finger at you. But...one last time, and I'm begging you - If you did have something to do with this...tell me why?" She'd decided never to answer that question for as long as she lived. Joseph looked frail, sitting across from her. She's used to seeing him vibrant, energetic, and always with a hint of smile on his lips. The person sitting at that chair is not the person she would become obsessed with. The answer to his 'why' would never make things any better. It wouldn't help Valerie get any closer to Joseph. He doesn't even look at her the same way anymore.
Karla's death confused her. Maybe what it did to Uncle Joseph is what made her cry for a week. She'd never seen a grown man look so helpless and vulnerable, almost like a baby. But she'd hoped he'd come to her for comfort, after Karla. She'd have taken care of him. She'd have loved him like Karla did, maybe even more. She'd have taken a sip of his coffee first to make sure it was cold enough for him - just like Karla used to.
Valerie was 15, and just might have gotten away with everything.
But she never saw Joseph again.