A LOT OF HOT AIR OVER THE FALLS
Margot Maurais decided to end her very ordinary life. All round it seemed like the only sensible thing to do. She simply couldn't bear to continue living in such a small community where everyone would regard her with pity and to move was too awful to consider. Poor Margot, they'd say behind her back. Even worse would be next season's Shaw Festival
when Niagara-on-the-lake would be filled with her contemporaries from Toronto and Montreal and her situation would be common knowledge. Margot picked up the cast iron kettle and poured hot water over shiny granules of Maxwell House instant coffee clustered like dead ants in the bottom of her mug. If Roland were still here she'd have to use the Nespresso machine, but since he wasn't, this hit the spot more than adequately. Margot sighed as she sat down at the cherry wood farmhouse table and looked out of the window at the late summer landscape. Already, leaves were starting to turn. She tried to remember what it was that ordered leaves to change colour. Something to do with the weather, or was it hours of daylight? Nursing her hot coffee, Margot's glance fell upon the fruit bowl in the centre of the table. And there it was, lying innocently alongside a dry cleaning ticket and a flyer from the local food bank; the ubiquitous raffle ticket that had prompted this particular way out to revolve through her mind. Now it no longer merely revolved but barrelled around every waking second.
The Journey Margot had been born on a large farm in Caledon, Ontario. Her father was politely known as a "gentleman farmer" when Margot was growing up though by the time her parents died, urban sprawl had made the land worth more as real estate than arable acreage. As an only child and a girl to boot, life had been gently bucolic for Margot. Upon maturity, she was merely expected to marry into a suitable Ontario family. But despite hot and heavy embraces in the back of horse trailers or at the local drive-in, Margot had failed miserably in this respect. Her mother finally packed her off to Toronto to work for her brother at his brokerage firm in a last ditch effort at finding a suitable husband. Instead, Margot met Roland Maurais, a run of the mill broker barely hanging in at her uncle’s office with a less than moderate success rate. Not exactly the catch of the season, but his family has been in Canada "simply forever", her mother had said by way of consolation. Margot was dangerously close to twenty-five, so Roland's lack of fortune had been overlooked and their short engagement capped by a stylish wedding on the farm. The newly-weds lived in Toronto after the honeymoon, settling on Forest Hill where they purchased a detached house on Parkwood with a more than generous deposit from Margot's father. Too close to busy St Clair Avenue, but close enough