Pandora’s Box (part 5)

We’d come to the building. What came out of my mouth next was totally spontaneous. “By the way, that woman, whatshername? She does have a name. It’s Martha. She’s my sister.” I watched the blood drain from Isabelle’s face. I was in control. It was an interesting feeling.

“What’re you going to do?” she asked, eyeing my like a cat deciding whether or not you’re friendly.

There was a very pregnant pause. I imagined her brain was clicking down as many different paths of possibilities as mine was. With a story like this, surely I could do something with it? Sell the idea to a movie screenwriter, get on one of those trashy talk shows, or something… None of those ideas seemed right. It would be one thing if my sister was miserable, unemployed, resentful. She wasn’t. She had bounced back to an even higher place than she’d been before. I made a decision. “I’ll leave it here.”

“You’re not going to tell?” Her voice was whisper thin.

I shook my head.

“Why?”

“To use this weekend’s vernacular,” I smiled, “because I choose to.” I knew my decision was incomprehensible to her. And I knew for myself that it didn’t come from weakness. “Well, good luck with everything, Isabelle.”

She grinned shakily and clenched my extended hand. “Thank you, Becky,” she said. She sounded a little dazed.

“Sure.” As we parted, compassion, not despise, swelled inside me for Isabelle. Who knows, maybe I could even learn to forgive her. There was still a half day left of the seminar.

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