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"Emmy's having a rough day." John filled his glass and handed it to Aaron.
"That's what I hear," Jean responded.
"I've got to get some work done, but I hate to leave her alone. Can you stay for awhile? At least until she gets calmed down?"
"Sure. I came to see how she was."
"Great, thank you." John went to the bathroom briefly, then kissed Aaron and left.
Emily emerged. "Hello, Jean. It's so good to see you, I'm glad you stopped." She gave her sister a big hug and forced a smile. "Sit down. Do you want something to drink?"
"No, I'm fine, but I hear you're not so good."
"I'm okay." Emily sat across the table from Jean and stared at her fingers. "I can't seem to get over this. What's the matter with me?" She looked into Jean's eyes.
"Everyone handles grief differently. It takes time."
"How much time? When will little things stop reminding me of her?" Aaron swallowed hard, remembering what had reminded her this day. "When will I stop feeling angry? Will I ever be happy again?"
Aaron slipped into the living room and stood once more in front of the bookcase. The women continued talking and he knew they were not paying attention to him. He reached for the angel, this time putting the thumb and pinky on the wings with his palm over its face. You didn't help us, he thought. Then he heard the all too familiar weeping of his mother again in the kitchen and decided he would never sing the song again either. He placed the figure face down on the shelf and covered it with his handkerchief. At the same time, his eyes exchanged their boyhood sparkle for an intense, serious glare. He walked slowly into the kitchen, straight to the spot where Emily laid her head down on the table crying.
"It's okay, Mama. I won't make you sad anymore." Aaron put one arm around her back, the other on her arm and whispered in her ear. "I'm a big boy now. I'll make sure God doesn't hurt you again."
Emily turned and clutched the boy's waist, burying her head in his small chest.
"You're a good boy, honey," she said between sobs.
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