Scene 3: Sandra Raised Her Eyebrows
Sandra raised her eyebrows before adding, “Oh, and Karen, would you forgive me if I changed the subject for a moment and asked you to do me a favor?”
“Sure, Sandy. What?”
“I’m expecting a phone call from my friend the Judith. If the Judith calls, don’t let her know I’m taking care of my sister. Tammy can’t hold the phone, so you’ll have to answer or hold it up for her. If you answer, it will be better. Tammy’s hard for regular people to understand. At least you’re a little better. I have to study now. I’ll be in my bedroom.”
Karen reflexively nodded, but then caught herself. Sandy was asking her to lie. “I’m sorry, Sandy, but why can’t you answer the phone yourself? Don’t you have an extension in your room?”
Sandy laughed over her shoulder as she swaggered away. “Oh, naïve child, of course I have an extension. I made Mommy buy me a brand new pink princess phone with the lighted push buttons, and I made Daddy give me his brand new Cadillac Coupe DeVille Biarritz convertible. But I don’t want the Judith to know I’m studying at home. I want her to think I’m out having fun with our friends. And she wasn’t invited. That’s the point. She needs to learn she can’t criticize me for wearing bows in my hair like Audrey Hepburn. Can you please help? It will help Tammy. Besides, I have some calls to make, so the line will be busy most of the time. It is highly unlikely that the Judith will even be able to get through.”
Karen watched Sandy disappear down the long hallway. Feeling indignation rising, she paused and looked within her heart. Sandy called her friend “the Judith,” as if her friend were an object and not a human being. And over her hair-do? But then, how had Judith made Sandy feel? Karen knew how much pain teasing and excluding caused. She had gone through them. Sandy needed help, not fury.
After clearing her mind, she focused on Tammy. She was here to be with Tammy, however unfortunate Sandy’s state of mind.
She smiled. “Maybe we won’t answer the phone. I don’t want to lie or hurt her friend’s feelings.”
Tammy rolled her eyes. “And you don’t want to let Sandy turn you into her weapon.”
As she and Tammy laughed about the challenges of using a power wheelchair, Karen’s stomach knotted. She wished Pegasus were with her. Something terrible would happen soon. Something to do with Tammy. How could she protect her friend, who had no defenses of her own?
Karen’s stomach clenched. She needed to excuse herself.
Tammy said, “It’s at the end of the hall, Kitten. Just past Sandy’s bedroom.”
Original text ©2022 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.
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