December 11, 2014
Mary and Teresa took a seat at the bar. Mary ordered a firewhisky, while Teresa ordered a glass of merlot.
“We really haven’t talked in ages,” Mary commented. “How have you been?”
“Busy, but well,” Teresa replied. “How is your job at the hospital?”
“It’s really interesting! The other day I had three births, and I have more and more pregnant clients every week. I didn’t think January was a popular time to have kids, but what do I know? And my boss seems to have disappeared-”
As she rambled on, Teresa was very uneasy. The reason she had been avoiding her sister was because Mary could always tell when something was wrong-
“Are you okay?” Mary suddenly interjected. “Your mind is miles away.”
“How many times have you used that excuse?” Mary rolled her eyes, then looked at her with a serious expression. “You and Ferlen haven’t had a falling out, have you? No, that’s not it,” she answered before Teresa could reply. “What is it?” Her gaze bore into hers.
She took a sip of her drink. She knew she couldn’t tell Mary the truth. “I’m a bit stressed about this research I’m doing- more stressed than I’d admit to Ferlen,” she finally said.
“What is it about?” Mary asked.
“That’s just it- I can’t say.” She found a connection she could talk about. “I know that Ferlen can’t always talk about his work- so I usually don’t ask much. But it’s never been the other way around before. I don’t know how he does it.” She took a large gulp of her drink.
Mary nodded. “That’s rough. I can’t say too much about my work either- I mean, I can tell you what happened, but I can’t say too much about the patients, especially not their names or information. Healer-patient confidentiality, you know?”
Teresa simply nodded in reply, still drinking- at a normal pace for most people, but too fast for her.
Mary didn’t appear to notice. “Merlot, huh? I thought you were more of a white wine person, especially since-”
“I didn’t feel like it tonight.”
“I wonder why you have to be so careful when I can drink for a while before it’s too much,” she wondered, drinking her firewhisky.
“I don’t know.” She forced herself to stop with the short answers. “So, tell me about the births.”
“Oh, the first one was with a mother in her thirties. Her husband looked like he was going to pass out when-”
Teresa let her ramble on, only half-listening, just saying “mm-hm” and “nice” when necessary.
“Wow, it’s after midnight. I should let you go home,” Mary said.
She stopped staring at her glass- filled three times- and stared at her sister. “I suppose so. Ferlen will be wondering where I am.”
“I thought you told him to get some rest.”
“I bet he’s still awake.” She stood up, managing to keep her footing.
Mary stood up too, much steadier even though she had drank more. “I’ll see you later then. Keep in touch, okay?”
They walked out the door together, then parted, heading in opposite directions. Teresa wasn’t drunk, but she had definitely drank too much. She turned to Apparate.
She looked around, confused that she wasn’t at her house. Teresa had landed in Hyde Park- the first place she thought of. She sat down on a bench and stared at the Muggle ice skaters. Tonight wasn’t the night to try it, though.
Everything was whirling in her mind- the curses, the potions, her love for Ferlen. She had been taught that love was doing what was best for her beloved. He had given no sign that he suspected a secret so far. She had kept it from him because she didn’t want him involved- as she had kept Mary away. What would happen when she revealed it though? Was it really what was best for them? For both of them?
Her good intentions had led her down slippery slopes. She had kept her footing on the way down- to go back up would be much harder. Teresa had no idea what Ferlen would do if he found out. Would he be angry? Would he report her?
Her mind began whirling too fast from the alcohol. She stared sadly at the bench beside her, and on the patch of snow where Ferlen had kissed her so passionately. Even then, she had been keeping secrets from him.
Teresa stood up. She needed to get home. She was too close to being drunk to decide anything tonight; but she needed Ferlen’s arms around her. Teresa knew the main reason why she was holding back; she didn’t know what she would do if Ferlen didn’t love her. If this secret tore them apart. But Kinsel had been right too. She had to keep going now, and be strong enough to see this through.
With a sigh, she Apparated home.