…and I hesitate for a moment. Should I interrupt?
I mull over whether or not I should ask her if there’s anything that I can do for her when she looks up and sees me gaping at her.
“So, I guess you know, huh?” She sniffs, rubs a mashed tissue under her eyes.
Um, no, I have no idea what she’s talking about. I’m just the writer here, stumbling my way through her sister’s apartment in the dark, trying to figure out what comes next. Shouldn’t I be invisible, like something from a completely different dimension that can’t be perceived in this one? There has got to be a story physics principle about characters not interacting with their storytellers.
“Well, anyway, thanks.” She pulls a tissue out of the box jammed between her hip and the arm of the chair and blows her nose hard. “When you let our mother go — she really didn’t belong in this story — you gave me so much more room to….well, everything.” She tousles her flip and her hair falls perfectly into place. Her hair always falls perfectly into place.
“My sister doesn’t know yet, does she?” She stares at me hard. “I mean, you can do whatever you want to do, being the writer and everything, but I kinda think this is my news to share with her, don’t you?”
“I do,” I tell her and her face relaxes a little.
“Good. Now I just have to figure out how to tell her.”
“You could always just come out and tell her right away.” I say. “She’ll be happy for you — really happy that you went for what you really wanted and got it.”
Her sister is not going to be happy. In fact, this news is going to blow up her perfect version of how life works. She’ll say all the right things, congratulate and fuss over her sister’s success, but the protagonist is headed for a dark, terrible passage.
Somehow crying has not ruined a perfect make-up job. The character is talking again. I stop staring at her exquisite eye liner and listen. “She’s not going to be happy. Everything always has to work the way that she plans it. My success is going to kill her. I didn’t do anything right. I did what felt right for me — and it worked and it is going to kill her.”
I have no ideas to share, but manage to stammer “Well, you could help her.” This would be a first for them. It will be fascinating to see what they make of it.
“Me? Help Miss Perfect?” She smirks and then settles back into the chair. “Here, come sit by me and tell me how this is going to work.”