Jim carried the old trunk up the stairs and sat it down in front of the bathroom. He heard the sound of music blaring Eddie Fishers, ‘Oh My Papa,’ and rapped louder.
The door opened a crack and Trish stuck her head out. “Oh, it’s you, Dad.”
“I found that trunk you wanted. It’s old but I cleaned it up a bit. It even has a key,” he dangled it in front of her face.”
“Thanks,” she snatched it from his hand.
“I’m glad you like music,”
“Who wouldn’t like Eddie Fisher?”
“Do you listen to anything else?” He was trying to keep the rare conversation going.
“I saw this neat movie a while ago. ‘Frenchman’s Creek.’ The song they played was really dreamy. I wish I knew the name.”
“That was ‘Clair de Lune’. Your Mom and I saw the same picture. Haunting melody isn’t it? A classic.” He closed his eyes and was remembering the same scene.
“I didn’t know you like the classics,” she registered surprise.
“I guess there’s a lot we don’t know about each other.” He said huskily as he sat on the edge of the bed. The small room had little space for the big bed and a chest of drawers and a small vanity table with a flowered skirt. There was a little walking path between them.
“’Well, that’s movies for you. Not at all like real life,” Her voice had taken on a hard edge.
He decided to change the subject. “I know you will be cramped in here but she will be needing half the dresser to put a few things on it or in it.”
“I know Dad, I already planned what I would put in the trunk. Hope I can hide the key at a good place. I don’t want to take it along to school.”
“It will only be for a few weeks, Trish.”
“I can’t stand it already. She has this smell. I won’t be able to sleep.” She complained.
“Try to think of it as helping Mike. That’s what we will all need to do. Mom and I will be cramped, too.”
“At least Mom doesn’t stink……” she clapped her mouth closed and turned away.
“I wanted to talk to you about that, Trish. Have you seen Mom drinking lately? I keep checking for bottles but there is only one and the mark I put on it hasn’t changed lately.”
Trish shrugged, “I haven’t seen her drink since she has this fancy job. Maybe Grandma staying here will keep her sober, but sooner or later she’s going to go off the wagon again. I hate it, I hate it.” Trish twisted a skirt that had been laid neatly across the bed.
“I know, I do too,” he reached for her hand but she pulled away. “I talked to the doctor about her.”
“You had to go and involve other people,” she stood up accusingly. “Mom would have a fit if she knew that.”
“This won’t go away, Trish. We may need help to rescue her from herself. I can’t help being away so much right now, but it will change, I promise you. Everything is going to change,” he said soberly.