Even before she walked into my room, I knew by the weight of her footsteps, and the tone of her Sarah, that mom was bearing bad news.
“In here,” I called, not really looking up from my Algebra. After all how bad could it be? Dad and Molly were fooling around in the library. My thoughts of x and y were being amply disturbed by their squealing. I had just gotten a text from Melody. She was fine. Twenty minutes ago I'd walked home with Jeff, and we had all seen Martha the day before. All was good. Or so I thought.
Without being completely through the doorway into my room, she asked, “Did you hear the phone?”
Still without really looking up, “Yup.”
“It was Beverly.”
Puzzled, for the fact I couldn't recall knowing a Beverly, I turned and asked, “Who?”
It would've been totally funny if she weren't so upset. But my mom's face hit the floor as she exclaimed, "Beverly, Mrs. Marche, Carolyn's mother on Bainbridge Island."
How could I forget. Mom had remained in touch with her old friend, just like we lived a mere 3 house lots a part down the sandy shore road, but I hadn't really thought of Carolyn since she sent the letter canceling her plans to visit that first April break we were in Stockbridge. Still my heart fluttered. “Is Mrs. Marché okay?”
Tears welled up in my mom's eyes and split down over both cheeks. “It's cancer.”
“Cancer?” My face was about to join her's on the floor. “Where, what kind, how bad?”
“Breast cancer, but it's metastasized. Everywhere...”
As her voiced trailed off her tears flowed. Without really knowing how we got there, we were hugging in the middle of my room. Mrs. Marché, so sick, how did this happen? She ate right, exercised, never drank, and never smoked. Life was unfair.
When Mom's steady stream quieted to a weeping, she lifted her head and said, “She hasn't been feeling well, but she thought it was just a virus, her asthma acting up. She's asked me to go out there to help.”
The next day she was on a plane for Seattle. That was three weeks ago.