“She took the money after much discussion. She didn’t want it, but I insisted.” Reverend Yang’s eyes tear up, and I can tell he’s not over Katie yet. He takes a deep breath and blurts out, “Can I trust you, Megan?” It’s clear there’s something burdening him, and I’ll say whatever he wants to hear in order to get him to reveal the information.
“Yes, Marcus. I’m a very good listener, and I know how to be discreet.” I squeeze Reverend Yang’s hand, and he squeezes it in return.
“She’s here. In St. Cloud. With our daughter.”
“What?!” I shriek, snatching my hand away. I stare at Reverend Yang as if he’s spoken Greek, though I’m fairly sure he hasn’t.
“I pay for her apartment, discreetly, and I go up once a month or so to see our daughter.” Reverend Yang continues. “She’s so smart and pretty and just the best thing I’ve ever done.” Reverend Yang’s eyes are shining, and it makes me sad that he’s living a double life because he doesn’t have the courage to be his own man.
“I take it Sharon doesn’t know,” I say, though I don’t need confirmation.
“No! She would kill me if she knew.”
“Do Katie’s sisters know?”
“No. They all think she’s living in Orange County.”
“Marcus. How have you been able to keep it a secret for so long?” I am flabbergasted. Whatever I was expecting, it wasn’t this.
“Sharon and I don’t really talk, and, well, none of my family are here, so it’s easy to keep them in the dark.” Reverend Yang runs his hand through his hair and slumps against the couch. Suddenly, he bursts into tears, and I pull him to my chest.
“There, there, Marcus,” I say, stroking his hair. “Let it all out.” That only encourages him to cry even harder, which he does for several minutes.
“I really can’t do this any longer,” Reverend Yang says. “It’s such a charade.”
“Marcus, I’m sorry about your situation. I know it’s rough on you, but we really need to talk about why I’m here.” I pull back and straighten my shirt. There’s snot on it, and I’m not sure it’ll come out.
“Sure. What do you want to know?” Marcus is a broken man, and I don’t feel comfortable grilling him, but I soldier on.
“I need to know what happened with you and Hayley Wu. The truth.” I squelch my misgivings, trying not to see his hangdog look.
“Lee,” Reverend Yang says, his voice coming alive. “She was the first woman to make me feel alive in a long time, but….”