The idea of asking my sister the question fills me with ice.
Katie’s voice is cheerful, unaware of my distress. Her phone crackles a bit in my ear as she tells me about the trip she and her family are planning to the Dominican Republic. She’s ready to escape the Detroit winter.
“I’m gonna go all by myself to the beach and soak up the sun,” she says.
I am quiet, waiting. When can I ask? When is the right moment? I will have to change the subject painfully. I will have to hurt her. It will be awkward and awful and maybe she’ll hate me for even saying the question aloud.
I have been putting this off for—well, ever since I knew I wanted to be a writer. Decades, now? There is never a good time to ask someone if you can take their pain and press it into pages like dead flowers.
“Katie,” I said. I can hardly breathe. “Can I ask you something?”
Image credit: SheLoves Magazine