01 February 2018
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Who is Jake Callahan?

One sunny Sunday in Buenos Aires, my daughter and I were playing her favourite game on the swings. She was two at the time, and would happily spend the best part of an hour sailing backwards and forwards through the air, occasionally tilting her head to look up at the sky. I liked to push the swing from the front so I could watch the permanent smile on her face as she fully enjoyed the moment. Every few minutes, in my naive, adult way, I would suggest she have a go on the slide or the seesaw, assuming she must be getting bored. I couldn’t understand how she could spend so much time on it.

Obviously, I was using my timescale, not hers. Every now and then, I would stop pushing the swing to check my smartphone for emails, browse the newspaper online, or send a message. I did this strategically so that before the swing lost momentum and she had to ask me, I would resume pushing, and her curly locks would once more flutter against the back of the seat.

And what about Alice?

After several years living the life of a musician, Alice wanted to turn her life around. She was ready to get serious, get a real job, act like an adult. So she enrolled in law school.

It was during this transitional phase in her life, when Alice was slowly becoming someone else, that she met Jake. Jake was smart and kind, masculine without being macho. She felt safe with him. She never thought she would get married, but when he asked her, it just made sense. She could make a life with this man, she realized.

Alice loves the law. She enjoys working complex cases, fitting the puzzle pieces together. If, at times, work takes over her life, she rationalises that she isn’t alone in sometimes prioritising it over her marriage; Jake’s work is just as important to him. Although hers is more demanding, she expects him to understand. And he does, for the most part. As it turns out, The Pact is less forgiving.

Sometimes Alice thinks about that day—the day she invited Finnegan to their wedding. And she thinks about the gift that showed up at their door a few days later - the invitation to join The Pact. It seemed so surreal, to be offered entrance to such an exclusive organization, to be wooed by a legend in the music industry, who she has admired since she was a teenager.

Who knew a simple invitation could have such devastating consequences?

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