The Perfect Ruin - Shanora Williams Page 0,1

avoided the therapist’s eyes as she recalled dumping all the antidepressants down the kitchen sink and then turning on the trash disposal. “To hell with those,” Ivy had muttered as she watched the pills disappear. She didn’t like how they made her feel. Her head was often foggy while on them, and she became too sleepy, was losing too much weight. She was fine without them.

“Yes, I’ve taken them.” She held back a grin, glancing at Marriott’s degree tacked to the wall, just above her desk, which was stacked with papers, folders, and a cold cup of coffee sitting close to the edge.

Ivy always stared at the degree and couldn’t believe a woman like Marriott had one. She shouldn’t be a therapist for adults. Marriott was too cheerful and bright and colorful. It made Ivy sick. She’d suit kids much better.

“Good.” Marriott sighed. She was avoiding Ivy’s eyes. Still acting strange. “So, since we’re close to the anniversary, can you tell me how you’re feeling right now?”

“Oh, you want to know how I feel? Annoyed—actually, no. Pissed off.” Ivy gritted her teeth. “I’m going to the police station tomorrow. I’m old enough now—almost twenty-six. I deserve some answers about what really happened. I’m telling you, something is not right about what happened and no one is questioning it but me.”

Marriott gave Ivy a sympathetic nod and her eyes saddened. She stared at Ivy for a moment, her hands stacked on her lap, tapping her finger slowly.

She then stood up and walked to her desk in front of the floor-to-ceiling window. Ivy watched as Marriott collected a folded sheet of paper and brought it back with her to the recliner.

“Ivy, I have something to share with you. I don’t want to, because I’m not so sure I would consider it a great thing for you to know, but I need to,” Marriott murmured, and she had her serious voice on, which meant Marriott wasn’t fucking around. This voice was rare, and Ivy took notice.

“What is it?” asked Ivy.

Marriott drew in a breath. Her heart was beating harder. Her hands began to tremble. “I have the name of the person you’ve been looking for. I was instructed to give it to you.”

The room grew absolutely still—so quiet Ivy could hear the construction happening on Palm Green Avenue, which was three blocks away.

“What are you talking about?” Ivy sat up in the chaise, her brows dipping with confusion.

“The person you claim has ruined your life—I have their name.”

“What? How?”

“I have it written on this sheet of paper,” Marriott said, raising the paper in the air, “but I want you to realize if you read this name, it may not make you feel better. I only have this name because someone came to me and told me it was what the person wanted. Perhaps their conscience has caught up to them and now they want to own up to their demons. I don’t believe you deserve to live in the dark, but I also don’t think you are ready to know this name. Unfortunately, as your therapist and confidante, I don’t want to keep information like this from you. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

“How did you get it?” Ivy demanded, ignoring all Marriott’s therapist mumbo jumbo talk. “Are you sure it wasn’t a cop?”

Ivy remembered all the times she went to the police station and demanded answers. She remembered slamming her fists on the desk after the detective in charge of her case, Detective Jack Shaw, told her he couldn’t relay those facts, because the person wanted to remain anonymous and because it was considered an accident, they had the right to keep the name private.

Apparently, this person was powerful, and the cops in her city were crooks. They could easily be bought, she figured. Or maybe they weren’t telling her because, just like Marriott, they knew it would only lead to conflict. Ivy had no lawyer to back her up, nor did she have money for one, so she always walked out of the police station furious and in tears. All she wanted was an answer—a name.

“No. It was not a cop—at least, not that I’m aware of.”

As if Marriot had read Ivy’s mind, she went on with, “I spoke with Detective Shaw the day after receiving this name, just to confirm the information was correct. There is a reason he never told you the person’s name; it’s because he knew you didn’t need to know this so young—not when you had