The Big C

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Salutation

Why can't Andrea eat them, if Jesus can? Because Cathy doesn't care about Sean, and he only eats people's trash anyway. Andrea stares at them both. "So do you just drive around town, commenting on random people's food, or what?" Sean finally introduces himself as Cathy's brother. "Her secret shame, the itch she can't scratch." Andrea is, of course, totally impressed by this: "Shut your face up! Jesus is your brother? That's awesome! I'm fat, and you've got a brother that eats trash!" (If you're wondering, this is the moment I fell in love with Andrea. That was awesome.) Cathy's just like, "Yeah, everybody's got something."

Cathy roams the hose, closing every cabinet door. There are lots of them, and it takes a while, and every one of them is more irritating, and that's down to Adam. She clears his hoodie off the counter and looks at the calendar and thinks about time and does the math. Six weeks is twelve percent of a year.

"You're just like your dad," Cathy says, as Adam waltzes in and slam-dunks a soccer ball and a hoodie right where she just cleaned up, then leaves a cabinet door open. He asks if she's going to throw him out too, but no, quite the opposite: Twelve percent is too high. Cathy smiles.

Adam's not going to soccer camp this summer. Too many things they still need to do. When you're a kid six weeks is a lifetime, but twelve percent of a year is a whopping fifty percent of the summer. "I have a very short window to work with. If that window hasn't shut already. But we'll do fun things too."

Summers in Minneapolis are short as it is.

Cathy, exultant, nearly giggling with joy, getting back six months of her life, apologizes for going back on her signature and says she'll talk to Paul. "He agrees with me about how nuts you are!" Adam yells, trying to think of the meanest things he can say. "You know what? I'm sick of you! You ruin everything. Jeez!" Still a little too young to really get in there and hurt her.

Paul complains to the therapist: Adam's a wreck, Paul's a mess, Cathy's getting unpredictable. Her face during this, as he wads the couch pillow in his lap angrily, is pretty hilarious. "The worst part of it is, somewhere deep down, I always knew she was gonna leave me. And it's like I'm watching my worst fear come true and there's nothing I can do to stop it."

Exactly, she thinks. That's as clear as I can make it. I am going to leave you. Your worst fear is coming true. There is nothing you can do to stop it.

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The Big C

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