“Your sister had one of her breakdowns again yesterday. It was worse this time,” she said as she scraped the last of her husband’s eggs into the garbage disposal. “Your mom called me last night while you were at work.”
“Oh. Why didn’t you tell me?” he replied, sounding unconcerned.
“I would have, but you were so tired when you got home from work last night. It was late. I didn’t want you to be worried.”
He shook his head. “I keep telling her that she needs to go see a doctor, it’s all psychological you know, this problem of hers.”
“I know, but she seems so convincing. It’s like she is in another world altogether. Sometimes I can almost believe that she really is seeing things the way she describes it. Your mom wanted to take her to the hospital, but Sophie kept saying that she couldn’t move, that it hurt too much.”
“Why didn’t she call an ambulance?” he asked. And why didn’t you call me? he thought.
“I guess she was afraid to. When she called me she sounded really scared. I could hear Sophie in the background. It didn’t sound good, but…I didn’t know what to do.” She wiped down the counter and then sat across from her husband at the kitchen table. “I should have called you.”
“It’s okay, Ginny. I couldn’t have done anything anyway. I’ll call her today, to see how she is doing. Maybe I can convince mom to take Sophie to see someone.” He folded up his newspaper and tucked it into his briefcase. He didn’t want to talk about this, not now.
“Okay.” Ginny stood up and wandered to the cupboards, looking for something to do with her hands. “I hope she will be okay,” she muttered. “She’s only seventeen.”
“I’m sure she’ll be fine, Ginny. Don’t worry about it. I’m sorry you had to hear my mom so upset.” Not now. Not now. Why do you always have to TALK about things like this? He wanted to yell at her to drop it, but he knew he couldn’t.
“No, I don’t mind that. It’s just, if you had heard her, Sam, it was like she was a different person. I don’t want to worry you, but I think that something might actually be wrong with her.”
He ignored the last comment. “She just needs to go to a counselor, a priest, anything, and she could get better. It’s the belief in a thing that heals you, not the thing itself. Her problem is that she doesn’t want to get better.” He was impatient now, and more than anything wanted to escape to his car, his job, somewhere to get out of this discussion.
“I suppose I agree,” she said with a reluctant nod. “It’s just that sometimes…sometimes it feel like there could be more to it than that.”
“Maybe. But don’t get too caught up in your feelings or you’ll end up just like my sister,” he chided. “I have to go, honey. I promise I’ll call my mom tonight. And let me know if she calls you again, okay?” He kissed her on the cheek as she stood at the counter, grabbed his briefcase, and walked out the back door.
Ginny opened the cupboard next to the refrigerator took out a coffee mug, and slammed the door shut. How can he be so cold and exacting toward his own sister? she asked herself. And to me? Just for suggesting that Sophie might need more than a good talking to? Where is his heart? She threw her coffee mug into the sink and sat down at the table again. She put her head in her hands and closed her eyes, trying to overcome the frustration. When she opened her eyes, for a split second, she saw nothing but a faint red gleam surrounding her. She blinked it away, shook her head, and went back to the sink to finish cleaning the dishes.