"I was his wife, damn it, I loved him!" She turned and looked at Duffy, the grief threatening to overwhelm her. How could Duffy stand there and accuse her of not caring?
"You were never here, Baz. You didn't see him sitting alone in his office night after night not wanting to go home because he knew he'd be alone."
"It's not my fault that he refused to give up this bloody job and come live with us full time." Even as she said those words she knew that it wasn't entirely true. She'd known even when she suggested it that Charlie would never part from his beloved hospital.
"This heart attack was brought on by stress, Max said as much, and Charlie would have been far less stressed if you'd been there for him."
"I have always been there for him!"
Duffy laughed a loud strangled laugh that surprised both of them.
"You have always let him down; aborting his child, running away, buggering off to Birmingham two months after you got married. You treat him like dirt!" She spat the last words and could see immediately that they hit home with Baz.
The tears that Baz had tried to keep in check spilled down her cheeks, but she was still angry, furious that Duffy had the audacity to say such things.
"I suppose you treated him better, huh? I always thought there was something going on between you two, but then I realised that Charlie had more taste!"
Without thinking Duffy reached up and slapped Baz hard across her damp cheek. Baz recoiled in pain.
"Charlie was my friend, nothing more than that, but I did love him. Now he's gone and it's all your fault!" Duffy turned and left, determined not to let Baz rile her further.
Baz rubbed her throbbing cheek, her salt-water tears soothing it ever so slightly. They were tears of grief, tears of pain, but they were also tears because she knew that, in part at least, Duffy had been right, it was her fault.