the sister mystery (part five)

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I caught Ron in the hall, grabbing her wrist. She tried to pull away, not looking at me, and then she burst into tears.

Jan had stayed in the room, presumably tending to the girl, so I scooped Ron up and ducked into the stairwell. With the elevator working, I thought the stairs might be deserted, and I was right.

I had intended to talk to Ron there, or try to, but instead I quickly carried her down two flights, out into the corridor, around a corner, and into our room. I knew that part of the reason Ron was so upset was the chance that somebody other than me might see her crying.

I sat on the bed and stood her on her feet. She looked at me and started to cry even harder. I held her hand, and then, to my amazement, she came over and climbed into my lap. I put my arms around her and she said, "She's gonna fuck it all up."

"No, she's not," I replied, wishing I had some idea what we were talking about.

"You don't know her," she gasped, burying her face in my chest.

"No, I don't. But I know you, and I know us, and that's not going to get fucked up." I tilted her head up so I could see her face. "I promise."

Many years later, Ron told me that, while she always admired her mother's devotion to facts, she was more drawn to me at first because I was, when necessary, willing to say (and to really mean) things that were obviously not based on facts, but that she really needed to hear.

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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