40+ Best The Last Thing He Told Me Quotes by Laura Dave

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Part 1

“Mrs. Michaels. she says. I hesitate before answering–the way I often do when someone asks me if that is who I am. I am and I’m not. I haven’t changed my name. “

“He also gave us twenty bucks, she adds. His phone was broken or something and he couldn’t reach you. I don’t know. He barely slowed down. So… he said his phone was broken. How else would I know. she says. “

“I come by the profession naturally. My grandfather was a woodturner—an excellent one, at that–and his work was at the center of my life for as far back as I can remember. “

“I never expected to be successful at woodturning—or at my foray from there into making furniture. I realized I was staring and started to turn away just as Owen stopped in front of my favorite piece—a farm table that I used as a desk. “

“I’ll make sure she gets it, he said. He took it from me, avoiding my eyes. “

“What’s that smell. Bailey asks. I’m pulled from my memory to find Bailey standing in the kitchen doorway. “

“It comes down to an afternoon shortly after I moved to Sausalito. I was supposed to pick her up at school, but I got stuck on a call with a client—and I arrived five minutes late. Not ten minutes. Five. 5:05 P. M. “

“Sure, Bailey says. Thanks. She walks toward the door. She wants out of the conversation and into the Sausalito air. She would say anything to get there, but I take it as a date. “

“At 8 P. M. , Owen still hasn’t called. I take a left into the parking lot at Bailey’s school and pull into a spot by the front exit. I turn down the radio and try him again. “

“Bailey. I say. I don’t know, she says. I don’t know what’s going on…What is that. “

“I’m going to take that. I started counting it. . each roll has ten thousand dollars in it. Six hundred thousand dollars. Six hundred thousand dollars and counting. “

“What do I do now, Hannah. she says. My name hangs there like an accusation. “

“My first thought is: Owen. Please be Owen. But my second thought feels more precise and I prepare myself. It’s the police. It has to be the police. “

“I still can’t believe this is happening, Jules says. We were sixteen once too, you know, Jules says. Not like that, I say. We only wish, she says. “

“She circles the rim of her mug with her fingers. And I take her in—her long eyelashes and high cheekbones, the one wrinkle between her eyes in overdrive today. And when she threw her soda in Nash’s face, the manager told her we were permanently banned. “

“Half a billion dollars. I try to wrap my head around that. It’s the least of it, but we are large shareholders. Owen wanted to put his faith in the place he worked, in the software he was working on. “

“I know that look, I say. She shakes her head. It’s nothing, she says. Tell me, Jules. “

“I actually think I have a pretty cool idea for a little treat for Bailey, I said. I’m going to re-create the brown butter pasta for dinner tomorrow night. You know, the one we had on her birthday at Poggio. “

“Follow the money. I ask because they’re probably going to freeze all his assets, Jules said. That’s the first thing they’ll do while they’re trying to figure out where he went. “

“The sunlight streams through the undraped living room windows, soft and yellow, against the harbor. I stare outside. I don’t turn on the television or flip open my laptop to check the newsfeed. I know the most important thing. Owen is still gone. “

“I’m going to drop you off, I say. I don’t want you walking to school alone this morning. Whatever, she says. She’s apparently too tired to argue. One break. “

“I put my stamp on Owen’s and my bedroom, but the only other room I redecorated wasn’t a room at all. It was our porch, lovingly hugging the front of the house. “

“Sunny side of the street. he says. Only if it doesn’t work, otherwise it’s a cup of coffee. “

“I’m not sure what you mean, I say. I made Bailey dinner, which she hated, and she went to play practice. I heard about The Shop on NPR while I was waiting for her in the school parking lot. We came home. “

“Owen hasn’t used a credit card, not a check, nothing for twenty-four hours. And he won’t. He’s too smart, so you can stop calling his phone because I’m sure he dumped it. “

“I knock on the front door, but no one answers. Not Carl, not Patty. Carl swings the door open. He is holding a beer; his hair is neatly combed. Those are the first indicators that something strange is going on. “

“I’m not kidding. You’re not welcome here. I understand why you’re upset with Owen. I do. But Carl may be able to help me find him and that is the fastest way to get this sorted out. “

“Unless you’re here to pay for our kids’ college, we have nothing to say to you. Your husband aided in a half-a-billion-dollar fraud, so I’m not so sure I believe you. “

“I don’t find a lot of photographs of them from when Bailey was very little, back when they were still living in Seattle, at least not in the main folder. Olivia Michaels née Olivia Nelson: high school biology teacher, synchronized swimmer, Owen’s fellow Princeton alum. “

“I’m Special Agent Jeremy O’Mackey from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and my colleague here is Special Agent Naomi Wu, he says. Call me Naomi. We were hoping we could talk with you. “

“That mirrors what she said to us. As long as you’re sure, she says. Someone has to think of Owen’s daughter. I am. Good, she says. “

“It also takes a lot to let anyone new in. Like me. They’re still not sure about letting me in. They didn’t seem to understand about me what Owen understood from the beginning. “

“Sausalito. I pause, dreading the words I don’t want to say. I could use your help, Jake. I think I need a lawyer. . So. you’re getting divorced. Jake, my husband’s the reason I’m calling you, I say. “

“I’m not going to sugarcoat this. If Owen isn’t running from The Shop, he is probably running from what The Shop might reveal about him. The question is what that might be…I have a private investigator, a good one. “

“We should take a vacation, Owen said. We’re overdue. Austin. he said. I have the woodturners symposium I told you about. We could turn it into a getaway. “

“I’m sitting on the bench, drinking a glass of red wine, a blanket covering my legs. I try to go back over the day—a day that began and will end without Owen, as impossible as that feels. As angry and sad and stressed and alone as that makes me feel. “

“Bailey, did you and your father ever spend any time in Austin. Austin, as in Texas. No. Think about it for a second. Did you ever pass through Austin on the way to somewhere else. Maybe before you guys moved to Sausalito. “

“Can we talk about something else. she says. Then she puts her hand up. You know what. I take that back. Can we talk about nothing. What I want is to talk about nothing at all. Bailey. . I say. No, she says. “

“I can tell you it’s not called that, he says. Do you know anything about their football team. The Longhorns. What do you want to know. Their colors. Why. “

“The first step to creating something beautiful. The first step to making something out of nothing. “

“I’ll call you back, I say. Tomorrow! he says. Call me back tomorrow. I hang up, and I go back outside. “

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Part 2

“What can I get you ladies. I look up to see the flight attendant standing by our aisle, her silver drink cart in front of her. “

“Regular Coke, she says. Lots of ice. I shrug, a peace offering for Bailey’s shortness. Diet, please, I say. The flight attendant just laughs, unoffended. Sixteen. “

“I grew up here. You can ask me anything about this city and I can tell you even more than you wanted to know. Good to know. I can see that Bailey is totally tuned out so I try to engage him in case any of it will turn out to be useful later. “

“That guy was so annoying, she says. I start to say he was just trying to be friendly, but she isn’t interested in friendly. And since I have to pick my battles, I decide this isn’t going to be the one I choose. “

“I’m pretty sure that my father has a John Lee Hooker record from there, she says. I know she’s correct as soon as she says it. I can picture the album cover: Antone’s logo on the front of it–the sleek lettering in script. “

“There are things your father hasn’t told us beyond what’s going on at The Shop, I say. I’m trying to figure out what they are. That sounds pretty general, she says. It’ll get less general the more you remember, I say. So. . “

“I do think that’s what it was. It wasn’t about football, in general. He loved this team. I don’t know what to say, she said. Any stadium I might feel this way. “

“Belle, I’ve been trying to reach you, I say. I know, I know, you must be beside yourself. I’m beside myself. I’m holed up in St. Helena like some kind of common criminal. “

“I mean this whole thing is just ridiculous, she says. Avett is an entrepreneur, not a criminal. And Owen’s a genius, though I don’t need to tell you that. “

“Why even pretend. she says. She’s furious and she’s scared. And, apparently, I’m making that worse as opposed to better. I’m just trying to protect you from some of this, Bailey, I say. “

“Thinking of breaking it open, he said. In case we need the money. “

“When she was a little girl, when we first got to Sausalito, she was scared to walk down the docks. I think it was because the day after we moved in, Mrs. Hahn slipped and fell and Bailey saw her almost go down, almost land in the water. “

“So let me get this straight, she says. You want to know what. We are sitting in Elenor’s office at an Episcopal church. “

“Elenor looks back and forth between us, like she is torn between helping us and kicking us out. But it looks like she is leaning toward kicking us out. I can’t let that happen, not when it’s possible we are onto something. “

“I’d rather not get into details, but I thought you should know that. . CarlI’d rather not get into details, but I thought you should know that. “

“So, even with what’s going on, you’re letting your wife think that Owen took the money from you. That he convinced you to invest your savings in a fraudulent company. I realize it’s messed up, he says. “

“2008, yes!We were closed that fall for construction, she says. It was a major renovation. There had been a fire. Doors shut on September first and we didn’t open again for services, no ceremonies of any kind, until March. No weddings. “

“I’ll keep that in mind, I say, my tone matching Bailey’s. “

“I’m not saying you don’t know what you’re talking about, Jake, but I can assure you, he exists. His daughter is sleeping fifteen feet from me. What are you talking about. “

“No Owen Michaels purchased or owned a home in Seattle, Washington, in 2006 or enrolled his daughter, Bailey, in preschool that year or had a registered income tax return anytime before 2009…That was the year he and Bailey moved to Sausalito. “

“I don’t know. Maybe he’s in witness protection, I say. That would explain Grady Bradford. I thought of that. But do you remember my buddy Alex. He has a friend who is pretty high up in the U. “

“That’s as helpful as I know how to be. That’s helpful. “

“I didn’t agree to this, Bailey said. You did agree, Owen said. When you agreed to come to San Francisco. So how about sucking it up. I agreed to get dim sum, she said. “

“So his daughter doesn’t feel like she is going to disappear completely too. No. She never felt like she was going to disappear completely too. “

“Magnolia Cafe is an Austin institution, famous for all-night eats, which might explain why it is still busy—music playing, every booth taken—at 12:45 AM. Bailey seems to love the sweet, spice-filled pancakes dripping in butter and coconut sugar. “

“She looks at me with such vulnerability, it’s hard for me to speak. It’s hard for me to even hold her gaze without breaking down. And what I’m going to do for her now is what my grandfather did for me. “

“I start to stand up, but Bailey stops me. Wait… she says. She pauses. What’s he so scared of. she says. “

“I wait until the morning to call him. I wait until I feel calm and I’m sure I can do what I need to do. I gather up all of my notes and throw on a sundress. I close the door to the hotel room quietly, careful not to wake Bailey. “

“Maybe he was testing out his software, he says. I don’t know. “

“I’m not sure, I say. But we don’t have to be in Sausalito, do we. I mean, we don’t have to stay there for any legal reason, correct. “

“What are you doing home so early. I asked. Is everything okay. That depends, he said. He lifted my face shield to give me a kiss hello. “

“There are things, that without meaning to, Owen has told only me. “

“I’m sleeping, she says. Not anymore, I say. What is it. Do you remember the name of your father’s professor. I have no idea what you’re talking about, she says. You know this story, Bailey, I say. “

“We take a cab this time. Bailey stares down at her hands, not blinking, looking more than a little stunned. I’m spinning too, working to hold my center. “

“When you walk in, you’ll be at the front of the class, she says. Don’t stop. Don’t look at Professor Cookman. Head up the stairs and go directly to the back of the lecture hall. Got it. “

“Do you make it a habit to interrupt lectures. Or should I count myself as special. Do you think that makes it better or worse. Who are you exactly. I’m Hannah Hall. And this is Bailey Michaels,I’m sorry about that. “

“I’m just saying, what are we going to ask them. If they have a student on file who now goes by Owen Michaels but used to go by something else. she says. This person who has apparently evaporated into thin air. “

“The exams you have in here only go back to 2001. These are from 2001–2002. Then why are you handing them to me. What am I supposed to do with these. Go and check the filing cabinets in the archives, he says. “

“It basically means, we don’t know shit about anything, he says. It was a long time ago, I say. Still. It’d be far more helpful if I could recall that much, but these names aren’t adding up to anything for me. “

“Was she like… his girlfriend. Bailey says. Can’t speak to that. I only even remember her, at all, because he made the case that she was why his work was suffering. That he was in love. “

“It feels pretty great being a married man, Owen said. Though I have no idea how we’re getting home tonight. “

“We are on the Es when my phone rings. HOME comes up on the caller ID. For a second, I imagine that it’s Owen. Owen is back at the house, and calling to tell us that he has worked everything out, and we need to come home immediately. “

“I hadn’t imagined it. The small note on the bottom of the last page of Owen’s will, listing the conservator, L. Paul. “

“It’s Elenor McGovern, she says. From the Episcopal church. And I think I may have found an answer for you about the wedding your stepdaughter attended. “

“I didn’t say anything, but last night when we were at Magnolia Cafe, and you were asking me all those questions, I remembered being at a bar for the wedding, she says. Or, more like, some sort of small restaurant. “

“I don’t want you in there, I say. They’ll be more likely to answer my questions if you’re not in there too. That’s not good enough, Hannah, she says. Well, how’s this. I say. “

“No one is standing behind the bar. The only indication that anyone is even there is the lit tea candles on the cocktail tables, Billie Holiday playing on an old record player. “

“I’m not a good actress, so trying to look casual while telling this lie is a stretch. It pays off though. He’s interested suddenly, just like I hoped he would be. I took some classes at the School of Architecture, once upon a time. “

“It’s certainly possible… the festival isn’t held too far from here. He turns and pulls a bottle of Shonky Sauce Co. Purple Hot Sauce off his shelf. This was one of 2019’s winners. “

“I should probably get going, but maybe I’ll head back if I get done early enough. Definitely, he says. Come back, we’ll celebrate. Or commiserate. He smiles. Or that. “

“And, as though it is something we know how to do, we run down the stairs, together, then outside into Austin’s streets and away from Charlie Smith. “

“What if I told you I remembered him. Do you. I remember being called by that name, Kristin. Hearing him say it, all of a sudden I remembered. How do you forget something like that. How is that even possible. “

“We forget all sorts of things that no one helps us remember, I say. Bailey gets quiet. Silent, actually. Then she says it, the words both of us have avoided saying out loud. You think that woman Kate is my mother, don’t you. “

“I’m asking you what you left out. About you. While you can still get off the plane. We haven’t started taxiing yet. “

“I wasn’t used to being a part of a family, not since I lost my grandfather. And that didn’t exactly feel like a family. That felt like a twosome, plowing our way through the world, just me and him. “

“I start looking around the room, our belongings strewn on the floor, our suitcases open. I put the phone under my foot and get ready to smash it. “

“It is unclear how Nicholas went from there to becoming the bad lawyer. It is unclear how he became the most trusted adviser to one of the largest crime syndicates in North America. “

“I drop my phone to the ground and smash it. I smash it in one quick motion, kicking it hard with my foot, as hard as I’ve ever kicked anything. And I open the bathroom door. “

“I race back into the elevator, race back down the hall. I am enraged at myself that my phone is broken on the bathroom floor, that I don’t have it to text her. That I don’t have it to turn on locations and track her. “

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Part 3

“Let’s walk through this again, Grady says. How’s this helping to find Bailey. I say. Unless you arrest me, I’m going out there to look for her. We have eight deputies looking for her, he says. “

“What do you mean a small leak. Someone in the New York office compromised the identities we had secured for Owen and Bailey, he says. Owen didn’t want any part of government involvement after that. “

“He knew he would have been brought in, he says. And when he was, he would’ve been fingerprinted, just like Jordan Maverick was this afternoon. And that would reveal who he actually was, game over. So they think Owen’s guilty. “

“I try to find comfort in that. Except there is something else gnawing at me—something Grady is skirting around that isn’t sitting right—something that I can’t hold in my hands just yet. “

“And where does Owen come in. Owen helped Nicholas set up an encryption system that Nicholas ultimately used to send these messages, to record these messages when they needed to be recorded, he says. “

“Yeah, well, Jake is Jake, he’s just trying to help. In his incredibly unhelpful way. What’s going on with Owen. He didn’t turn himself in, did he. Not exactly. What exactly. she said. But she says it softly. “

“I need to go. Be careful. I love you. I’m about to walk into the hall and demand a status update, when I see Grady walking down the hall. They have her. They have Bailey. She’s safe. “

“Because we need to be a united front when Bailey gets here, he says. About WITSEC, about the best way for you guys to move forward. And I know it doesn’t feel like it, but you won’t be starting over, not completely. “

“I head down the hall, and in the direction of the restroom, turning back to make sure Grady isn’t watching. He isn’t. His back is to me, his phone to his ear. “

“Here’s what I know. When Owen lost his wife, it all changed. Every single thing changed. Here’s what else I know. “

“I need to talk to your father, I say. And I’m asking my husband’s friend to help make that happen. I’m not his friend, Charlie says. I don’t think that’s true, I say. “

“Charlie drives. We head northwest of the city past Mount Bonnell and into Texas Hill Country. Suddenly I’m surrounded by rolling hills, trees and foliage everywhere, the lake muted outside the car windows, tepid. Unmoving. “

“Take a seat anywhere, Charlie says. I’m fine, I say. He could be a little while, Charlie says. I lean against one of the pillars. I’m okay standing, I say. “

“Raise your arms, please, Ned says. What are you doing. I say. He’s just going to make sure you’re not wearing a wire, Nicholas says. “

“Shall we. Nicholas says. I can still leave here. I can still leave him. Owen’s face is in my mind. He wouldn’t want me here. Grady’s face. Go. “

“Bailey, I love your dress, I said. We were in Los Angeles, having dinner at Felix, in Venice. I was working with a client on her house in the Venice Canals and Owen thought it would be a perfect opportunity for Bailey and me to spend some time together. “

“Sharing is caring, he said, his mouth full. Wanna hear something cool. Sure, she said. And she smiled at him. “

“Make yourself comfortable, he says. “

“I put my drink down. And my eyes travel back to the photographs of baby Bailey. I notice one of her in a party dress, a bow wrapped around her head. It provides me some comfort, which Nicholas seems to notice. He picks it up and hands it to me. “

“I won’t ask if you want one. Disgusting habit, I know. But I started smoking when I was a teenager, there wasn’t much else to do in the town I came from. And I started smoking again in prison, same issue, he says. “

“Well, we don’t all have the luxury of your strict moral code, he says. What about the harm you do when you rip a child from her family right after she loses her mother. “

“I don’t know enough, I say. Well, Ethan decided he knew enough. He couldn’t be reasoned with that the men I had spent two decades protecting wouldn’t do that to my daughter. “

“Regardless of that, I say, I think you know how much my husband loves your granddaughter. What’s your point. he says. I want to make you a deal. He starts to laugh. “

“And I assume you would like to have a relationship with your granddaughter. I think you want a relationship with her more than almost anything. That you’d be willing to make arrangements with your former colleagues to allow that to happen. “

“It’s what Ethan wants, I say. To live his life without her. he says. I don’t believe that. I shrug. It doesn’t make it any less true, I say. “

“I think you’re wrong about that. And I think my husband knows who he married, I say. Grady laughs. “

“I should have stayed in the room. I shouldn’t have gone anywhere. “

“Signal. Why does that sound familiar. It comes back to me: the three of us eating dumplings at the Ferry Building a few months back, Owen taking Bailey’s phone and telling her he was putting an app on it. An encryption app called Signal. “

“Bailey, I don’t think I’m going to give you an answer right now that will satisfy you, he says. What I can do is tell you that you should let me help you anyway. That’s the best way to keep you safe. That’s the only way to keep you safe. “

“What defines you. I asked you first. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my daughter. “

“The strangest thing will stop it from leveling me. I’ll have an answer to the question that I’m only now starting to consider: If I had known, would I be here. “

“It isn’t everything, of course. It isn’t even close. But she takes her sweater, putting it on, warming her elbows with her palms. She sits back in her seat, relieved to be on the way. “

“The could-have-been boys still love you, Owen says. He isn’t looking at me when he says it, his voice low. “

“Mom, she says. “

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