“Doria texted me,” Dan says. “For my address.”
I put down my fork and fumble for my napkin.
“Yea, it’s awkward,” he says.
I pour water from the pitcher into our glasses and ice tumbles into Michael’s. Droplets splash across his face. We meet eyes as he wipes.
“Doria wrote that she’s getting married, in Toronto, and wants to invite me.”
“Oh….well…. it’s time. She’s almost 30.” I say. I focus on picking up my plate and piling on the serving dishes. At the sink, I scrap off mashed potatoes and pieces of chicken, and suds the tines of a fork.
“Hey, what are ya doin?” Michael’s at my back. He reaches around and grabs a chicken leg.
“I’m not sure what to do.” Dan says, but I’m at the sink scraping off the gunk in the fry pan.
“These things need to soak.” I say, and fill the sink with water and soap.
I turn back to Dan, “What do you mean you don’t know what to do.”
“She’s not inviting you guys.”
“Oh,” I turn away from the table. I get milk from the refrigerator.
“Do whatever you want Dan.
I open the refrigerator to get the milk, but I already got it. So I stand there with my back to Dan.
He says, “I don’t believe you.”
“I don’t believe you,”
I close the regenerator door slowly to show how calm I am.
“Daniel, it’s tragic how my sister acts, what she does, we’ve talked about this. She wants me out of her life. If you want to go to your cousin’s wedding, go. Do what you want.”
“I want to forget about all this.”
“Ok, then do that.”
Dan grabs his phone and leaves the kitchen.
Michael watches silently. And then resumes eating. In between bites he says,
“You’re lying to Dan.
I slam my hand on the table. “I can’t bear it if he goes! I changed Doria’s diaper and took her to Broadway plays and gave her presents. I guess I didn’t do enough!”
“Lauren, it’s not about you.”
“I wrote her poems and took her on trips.”