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A Thousand Cranes

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Heathen: C | 1 USERS: A+
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A Thousand Cranes

At home, Abby is making tea when Maggie calls. She's stuck in Tomah, Wisconsin, so she's calling to let Abby know, and to pull another whiny self-pitying routine. I'm thinking this has to be signaling a backslide, because Maggie was way more stable and calm than this earlier; now, Abby loves her and is nice to her, and Maggie's coming unglued. "I know I was in the way, and I'm sorry. I never want to be a burden," she sniffles. "Mom, you were not a burden," Abby says, not sure what triggered that. "I just wished Eric would come back," Maggie sighs. "And we all could've been together just for one little minute. I love you both so much, sometimes I don't know what to do with it." Her voice is high-pitched and tinny, so you can tell she's going to cry in a huge way. "I love you, too," Abby says. Maggie faux-cheerfully promises to call in a few days. Abby tells her to call tomorrow, and wishes her a safe trip. "Bye," Maggie shrills.

During the end of the conversation, Abby had picked up Carter's coat to fold it, and the ring box dropped onto the table. Now, with him in the other room, Abby grabs it and stares at it, eyes big as saucers. Then she opens it and momentarily loses her breath. It all clicks, and she realizes that somehow, Carter changed his mind about proposing that night. This is a sad harbinger of another self-pity binge, I fear, but hopefully they'll delay it until May sweeps so we can have a quick holiday from her mental issues. "Who was that?" Carter calls out. Guiltily, she jumps, but she can't take her eyes off the ring. "Maggie," she answers shakily. "She wanted to thank you for the ride." Suddenly, she slams the box shut and trembles. As the kettle whistles, she shoves it back in Carter's pocket, pale.

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