My cell phone sang and I noted the caller ID.
He was a no-show on Sunday at Dad’s celebration. Eva had communicated with me that Sam was having drinking problems. Mom wouldn’t allow anyone to talk about those issues. She gave us the evil eye throughout the party whenever I was found huddling with the sisters as friends and family mingled together. Now Sam was calling me–two days later.
“Sorry, stuff came up on Sunday.” Sam said.
“Why are you telling me?” I said. “You should apologize to Mom.”
When information is second-hand, you are never quite sure if what you are hearing is true. So, S.M. and I are sort of at a disadvantage. Secrets are terrible things.
“You are easier to tell.” Sam sounded off.
Should I speak up and accuse him? How do you handle rumors that he is drinking? Partying and being an alcoholic are two different things. How do you tell the difference?
Instead, I asked about his job. “So how’s ______?”
Sam cleared his throat. He said, “I was…let go.” Silence. Then, he spoke very quickly. “But I am sending out resumes, and have some interviews scheduled next week.” His words were running into each other.
This was lost job number 586 (hyperbole, obviously).
“I’ll pray for you.” I said instead of the hundred of other responses that would have had a damaging blow to my brother. Who was my brother anyway? We ended on a pleasant note, and after the phone call, I quickly sent his apologies via text to mom.
She texted back an unhappy face.
Family drama is no fun, especially when you have no idea what is going on.