Wiki: Susan Lachmann
Susan Lachmann is a kind and caring person who still feels love for her son despite losing him thirty years ago. She has a great deal of compassion for others who have suffered similar losses and wishes to have a positive impact in the wake of the horrible tragedy which deprived her of her son.
Susan Lachmann grew up in New York City, and eventually married her high school sweetheart, Jim. After college, they moved back to the city, buying a cheap home, due to the low property prices at the time. Jim worked as a math teacher, and Susan’s first job was as a librarian. Brandon was born into in the fall of 1975.
Susan and Jim raised Brandon as best they could, encouraging him to become an avid reader, even as a small child. Brandon grew up to be a shy boy, but an excellent student. Despite this, Susan could not explain why Brandon seemed so troubled in what turned out to be his last days. She tried to give him space, but he ultimately disappeared on October 29th, 1986. Although the police were called, they were of little help.
Susan spent all her time trying to find available information about his last day. She went to every book store, scoured the parks, and visited every library, desperate for leads. Then, in late January of ’87, she caught a break. A colleague had come across Brandon’s name in the record of a book Brandon had returned just three days before he went missing. It was a book about the forgotten landmarks of the city, and in it was a leather bookmark. It was saving his space in a chapter about the intact 1904 subway station, below City Hall. He’d filled the chapter with strange notes, confusing questions and thoughts. Susan believed he’d been unwell for some time, but she’d been unwilling to admit it. He wrote about a plan that would allow him to escape this reality; a plan that would end at the subway station.
The police found Brandon’s body in a service tunnel that led to the station. They told Susan and Jim he must have become trapped and drowned, though there were only a couple of inches of water at the bottom of the tunnel. He was found, along with his backpack and its contents, which Susan and Jim kept for years. However, the contents of the backpack were eventually stolen from the couple by The Devoted. Jim thought it was a good thing. He hoped it would help them move on. Over the years, Susan eventually came to terms with Brandon’s death, ultimately culminating in the creation of The Forest of Darkening Glass website.
When the Mountaineers learned that Sacha was a patient in a psychiatric hospital and was repeating the words “sorry” and “Lachmann,” they helped the attendant who had notified them of her, Jonah Dobner, facilitate a meeting with Susan Lachmann.
Using the original contact email for the Forest of Darkening Glass website, Jonah was able to make contact with Susan, and learn that though her husband, Jim, had passed a way a few years prior, she was doing well and writing a book about her son, Sacha, Brandon’s wild imagination, and their friendship back when they were kids. Wheelchair-bound and living alone, Jonah offered to pick her up himself and bring her to visit Sacha.
Of the visit, Jonah wrote:
“I brought her into the common room where Sacha was, and they both started crying. Sacha couldn’t look at Mrs. Lachmann, and she just kept saying sorry. Then Mrs. Lachmann put her arms around her and said that she forgave her, and then it stopped. It was like a peace washed over Sacha. Mrs. Lachmann brought some pages from the book she was writing about Brandon and Sacha to read to her, and Sacha recognized the bookmark Mrs. Lachmann was using, this green leather bookmark. It turns out it was Brandon’s.
I told Mrs. Lachmann to just let someone know when she was ready for me to come and get her, and gave them some privacy. When I left, Mrs. Lachmann was holding Sacha’s hands and telling her that she still talks to Brandon, still feels him sometimes, watching over her from a world he imagined.
When she’s ready, I’ll take her home. She didn’t talk much on the way up. She seemed nervous. But seeing Sacha, them seeing each other, seemed to put them both at ease.”
The visit resulted in the release of Part One of The Book of Briars.
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