Scene Title Windfall
Synopsis Peyton puts her affairs in order, cutting ties from her past.
Date February 18, 2011


"Just sign where I've put the tabs."

Her lawyer's voice cuts through Peyton's reverie as she stares down at the paperwork in front of her. She reaches for the heavy, expensive pen, its weight official, ceremonial in her fingertips as she looks up and nods.

Her signature has a fluid elegance and youthful exuberance — loopy in the P's and E's and O and W, the finally Y's curled tail spun with a flourish. It's artistic and almost optimistic in the energy of its scroll. It would feel more fitting if this were the beginning of something, rather than its end.

The forms are thick in triplicate, and her hand feels tired after signature upon signature of agreement to all of the terms, all saying the same thing in a dozen different ways.

She is signing away the one thing she's ever helped build.

The tears that come with the final scribble of her pen surprise her. A box of Kleenex is pushed across the mahogany desk, and Peyton nods her thanks, dabbing at her cheeks and then her nose. This law office has been witness to her tears many times over the years — over her adoptive parents' deaths, over her biological father's death, and now, over the death of her business.

But it's not dead. It's flourishing — it simply will no longer belong, even in part, to her.

The paperwork is put into a manila envelope, and in it goes a note written in the same baroque sort of script on lavender paper:

Dear Card,

I hope this letter finds you well. I want to say I am very sorry for leaving you without any explanation, and for not returning. This last year has been very difficult on me, and I didn't do well under the pressure of everything that happened in the fall. I didn't take the time I needed to in order to recuperate, and I'm not strong enough to keep pushing on. There were too many losses in too short of a time, and I overestimated my ability to deal with it all.

I'm sure you've found someone more capable than I am to handle Redbird. It's not like I have a mind for business, after all, and that is easy enough to find. In this economy, I'm sure there are 100,000 brilliant business people looking for jobs in New York City alone. And at least a few of those are probably discreet enough and sympathetic enough to your cause to serve your purposes. In that aspect, I'm sure I won't be missed, though I hope that some part of you misses some part of me. I know that I have missed you very much, and always will.

I'm signing over my share of Redbird to you, now that it's financially viable and standing on its own feet. I am very proud of what you and Liz and I have created together, and appreciate the opportunity to build something with you. In some ways, I feel like I am giving up a child — as silly as that sounds — and I know I'll be proud of you and of of Redbird when I see it in the news, knowing it was something I helped build. I simply don't feel like I am the right person to help take care of it, and that I've already failed it and you. But that doesn't mean part of my heart won't always be there, and with you.


Wiping her cheeks, she nods once, and moves toward the door. It's a long trip back to Massachusetts.

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