-outside the lawyer's office-

    I thought I was the first person to step out of the office until I saw Paul standing by the window, a statue deep in thought. His unemotional face was marked a deep furrowing of the brow.

    "Hi," I said softly. He turned around, startled. "Hello," he replied, adjusting his spectacles.

    It was the first time I had ever seen him look disturbed. Most of the time, he was unflappable, cool and intellectual. He was the one in my family who was calm and in control - the ambitious and successful workaholic executive who cared for little else.

    "You okay?" I asked.

    "I'm fine," he said.

    There were times when we enjoyed each other's company immensely talking about our travels and the French language, which he was extremely fond of. We had Diane and Gillian between ourselves. But I could never understand my god brother. Even in apparent turmoil, his face remained a stoic impenetrable mask.

    "Did you know your father, Brendon?" Paul asked.

    "No, I can confidently tell you I didn't," I replied.

    "C'est triste."

    "Oui. Mais c'est la vie."

    Now we had one thing more in common - we were both fatherless.

    We stood side by side at the window. The scorching sun pounded the pavement. It was a blinding picture of unnatural white, forcing us to squint. We felt a breeze, but the air was hot and humid. We were uncomfortable.