“I take it you have had your toy lion, Lionel, for a while?” Charlie asked.
“Jay gave him to me when I was four,” I replied.
“And Jay is?”
“You call your dad by his Christian name?” Charlie sounded surprised.
I tried to think about how Jay had become Jay instead of Dad, but I couldn’t remember.
“And this?” he asked.
“Blankie,” I said, taking her too.
“Given to you?”
“Mom being Mom?” he asked.
I watched his eyes sweep the room. I was not ready for him to see so much. I hadn’t planned that we would end up here. Charlie’s eyes stopped on the picture of Susie and me hugging inside a crystal frame. “Your sister?” Charlie asked.
“My best friend,” I replied. Our matching turquoise bracelets were visible from where our arms were thrown over each other’s shoulders.
“She’s back next week. She wants to meet you,” I told him.
“She knows about me,” I asked.
“All about me?”
I was embarrassed.
“Hmmm…” he said, picking up the photo to examine Susie more closely.
[Excerpt Landslide, Pages 65-66]