First Snowfall

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Heathen: B | Grade It Now!
First Snowfall

Maggie and Abby pace through the hospital. "He can't hide from you," Maggie is explaining. "You saw him manic, and he hasn't accepted it yet." Abby confirms that Eric's taking the medicine. "Not by choice," Maggie clarifies. "That could take time. He's emotionally exhausted, and he's scared. Try not to be confrontational." Abby shoots her a withering look. "I've got this down, thanks," She Who Shall Not Be Instructed snits. I want to slap her. Yeah, Maggie's not always this clear, but when she is, hello, I'd say she's the current expert on how a depressed person wants to be treated.

Maggie and Abby enter Eric's room. He's sitting placidly on the bed, clad in his uniform and looking absolutely adorable. "Hi," she says timidly. "Were you expecting a straitjacket?" he says without a smile. Abby tries to make conversation about his hearing, but he's not really into the small talk. "You wanted out anyway, right?" she asks lamely. "Yeah, it's all a ploy," he deadpans emotionlessly. Silence. "You know I love you, right?" Abby asks, with the desperate loneliness of a big sister clinging to her baby brother. "You know that," she repeats, shaky. "I was worried about you because I love you." Eric bitterly adds that she thinks he's crazy. "Truth is, I was having a pretty good time," he insists. Abby coughs uncomfortably. Maggie wisely watches in silence. "I want you to come back to Chicago with me," Abby begins gently. Eric's bitter laugh catches her off-guard. "That sounds like a lot of fun," he snarks. "Maybe you could call the MPs again." Abby gapes at him and lectures that he's seen this disease before and he knows how horrifying it will be if he doesn't stay vigilant with the medication. "Abby, she's right there," Eric scolds her, nodding at Maggie. "I know she is," Abby spits. "She'll tell you. Mom, tell him...Tell him, Mom!" Maggie simply gazes at her daughter. "Mom, tell him," Abby orders one last time. Maggie silently picks up her coat, pats Eric on the shoulder, and says, "I'll be in the waiting room." A disgusted Abby watches her go.

"What the hell, Abby?" Eric asks, annoyed. "Yeah, what the hell? You called her?" Abby rants, bruised. "It took me three days to find you called her, the most unreliable, undependable person in our lives?" Eric snorts at the notion that Abby thinks she's so dependable. "To you, I am," Abby chokes in anguish. Eric sets his jaw. "Sorry. I have to apologize to poor Abby," he snarls. "Poor, poor Abby. My career's over, and she doesn't get to be the savior again." I find myself agreeing with him here, even though I think he's in major denial. Abby feels way too entitled to other people's pain. "You need help, Eric, and Mom screwed up the first time you went to her," Abby wheedles. Eric insists that he is fine, and that he didn't go to Maggie at all; she thought she saw something and dragged him to a therapist. Ottenson interrupts before their fight can progress. Eric's due at his hearing.

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