Ian looks up from staring into his glass of water to
acknowledge a concerned Fiona. There’s
four pills lined up behind the glass. He
told himself maybe if he obscured them, they would somehow seem like less of a
hassle, but the water only magnifies them, makes them bigger than life.
He’s not surprised Fiona wears a worried crease between her brows. He was sitting at the kitchen table when she
left for the supermarket an hour ago, looking at the same glass of water, the
same pills – the same illness. He still
can’t take them, even after crying himself to.
He blinks, his eyes red-rimmed and spent.
He clears his throat.
“I broke up with Mickey earlier today,” he finally responds.
“What?” she answers shocked.
“You didn’t tell me that.”
“That’s cuz I was too busy letting him get shot at. Letting him get away.”
Fiona lowers herself slowly into the chair across from Ian,
runs her hands through her wavy hair.
“Jesus, are you ok? What
“I happened,” Ian responds as he stares back down into his
glass. “And what is okay for me
anymore? I decided I don’t wanna take
the meds. I can’t Fi. And because I can’t take the meds I told
myself I can’t be with Mickey.” He
pushes the glass of water to the side, exposing the pills. They’re small and unassuming again. “But when I went upstairs to my empty bed, I
realized what I did. I told myself that
maybe I could take them, work on making things right.”
“Taking your meds is the right thing Ian,” Fiona responds
wearing her guardian hat, “but if you take them, take them for you.”
Ian looks up slowly until his eyes are level with his
sister’s. He wants to laugh in her
face. Just a few days ago, her words
made him seem like he had to, and not for himself but for their own peace of
mind. His irises seem to shatter as a
sadness breaks the glimmer in his gaze.
“Thing is, I still don’t want to,” he says coolly, “so I’m thinking
maybe I made the right choice after all.”
Fiona looks away, focuses her eyes on something other than
her brother. For such a tall kid, he
seems wilted and small. “Maybe,” she
says lowly as she stands, “but I wonder how long you two will actually be able
to stay away from each other.” She looks
back at Ian and offers him a small smile before quietly unpacking the groceries
from their bags.
Ian remains at the kitchen table and moves his glass of
water back in front of the pills. He
still doesn’t take them.
He thinks of Mickey lying somewhere in the street,
broken-hearted and cold.