Sharon’s note: You know it’s okay to let people deal with thing in their own way, right? If someone needs longer to deal with something than you do, it’s okay. Also, if something would be hard for you, but someone else can deal with it, don’t hate on them either. Their journey isn’t about you any more than yours is about them. Let people deal with things their own way. Warning: Author thinks that people need a reminder that not everything is about them, and they need to give people a break.
“I didn’t mean to sound like I was judging.” Brian was quiet enough that I could hear the boys talking in the background.
“Are they playing ‘Go Fish’?” I laughed.
“Yeah, apparently one of them had cards and I figured it would keep them distracted. I don’t know how they aren’t freaked out about this.”
“Meh.” I shrugged, forgetting he couldn’t see it. “I’m sure they’ll need extensive therapy in the future. How’s Barbara?”
“She’s refereeing the card game. Apparently they both cheat if they can get away with it.”
“I do not!” The indignant cry of a pre-teen boy came distantly over the com. I chuckled.
Brian continued so quietly that I almost couldn’t hear him. “Honestly, I’m not sure how much longer she’s going to last. She seems really tired.”
“Just keep an eye on her. If she starts nodding, pass the circle to the younger boy.” I tried to keep my tone light, like it was no big deal, but I was worried. The kids wouldn’t last long. Just magically, they didn’t have the same energy as an adult. My knuckles turned white on the steering wheel. I was going to be in time and I was going to be enough when I did. I had to be.
“Can I ask you a personal question?” Just from the tone I could tell this wouldn’t be a fun question.
“Shoot.” I took my hands off the wheel one at a time to shake them loose.
“You don’t have to answer it if you don’t want to.”
“Just ask, Brian.” I rolled my eyes.
“How do you deal with all of this? I mean, I’m not sure how I’m going to get on with my normal life after all this.”
Oh, was that all? “Do you mean the existence of the supernatural or all the blood and death?”
“The supernatural part is easy.” I reconsidered that. “Or rather, it’s simple, not necessarily easy. You just have to make yourself realize that nothing’s changed. The world was always like this, you just didn’t know about it. Your next door neighbor might be a werewolf or a vampire. So what? They’ve always been one. It’s never been a problem before, so why should it be one now?”
“You can just do that? Pretend everything’s normal?” The frustration in his voice made me laugh.
“Second generation hunter, remember? I’ve known this my entire life, but I work with a lot of people who came into this later. You are always part who you were raised to be. It’s your baseline, but you can acclimatise to any situation, if you really want to and are willing to put in the effort.”
“I . . . I’m not sure I could do that.” His voice was quiet.
“Or you could pretend you didn’t learn a life-altering fact and hope burying something like that doesn’t cause a psychotic break.” I started to laugh, but made myself stop. It wasn’t kind. “Don’t worry about it right now. When this is over I’ll get you an appointment with one of our shrinks. They have a lot of experience with this sort of thing, and can help you work through it. If things are too much, well, I wouldn’t recommend it, but they can make you forget.”
“Why wouldn’t you recommend it?”
“There’s evidence that having your memory removed can cause problems. Paranoia, hallucinations, all sorts of things as your brain tries to either fill in the blank spot or refute the fake memory. It’s a hotly debated topic in the supernatural world.
“So, lets leave that for the doctors to discuss. Tell me about yourself. I’ve done enough taking. You said you were in retail. What do you do in retail. What about someone special? Are you dating anyone?”
“Ah.” I could hear the depression in his voice. “That is a really long story.”
I laughed. “Well, it’s a long drive, so you have a captive audience.”