All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere
Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow
– Mad World, Gary Jules
December 27, 2005
Elizabeth sat on the bench staring out over the water, letting the stinging wind whip around her. She couldn’t really feel the cold. Not after what Robin had told her today.
Her best friend in the world was sick, could become even worse and die some day. She had lost her fiancé to this illness, a man that Elizabeth hadn’t known about. Hadn’t been able to gush about, to mourn, to love. Robin had had an entire life in Paris and no one had known.
She couldn’t turn to Patrick because he didn’t know and he deserved to hear this from Robin. She couldn’t talk to her father because in some ways, she blamed her father for all that had happened in her life since her mother had died. If Noah had just handled things a little bit better, maybe Patrick wouldn’t have torn himself apart and driven Robin away.
Anyway, she could never talk to her father in any real way that mattered. Not about anything.
And she couldn’t turn to Jason, which had been her first instinct. She had had her phone out and was pressing the speed dial before she remembered that today was the first day of his disappearance. No contact until he made the first move. It had seemed like such an easy promise last night, but she wasn’t so sure anymore. How could she lose her heart to someone who was turning out to be as inaccessible as her father and brother? Sure, Jason’s distance was physical, not emotional, but it was distance all the same.
She should have stuck with Lucky. Maybe they had already been drifting into “friends” territory towards the end of their relationship in high school. The passion and the sweetness had disappeared and they’d each known that there was more out there. But now they were both alone and he was the most normal guy she’d ever known. She should have stuck with him.
Elizabeth glanced up to find Sonny Corinthos staring at her, concerned. “Sonny?”
He gestured with a gloved hand. “You’re crying,” he stated. “Are you all right?”
Elizabeth brought her hand up to feel her freezing face and was surprised to find her hand bare and her cheeks wet. “Oh. I didn’t realize.”
Sonny lowered himself onto the bench next to her and took her freezing hands in his, rubbing them to warm them up. “If I let you turn into an icicle, Jason would never forgive me.” He turned to one of the men she hadn’t noticed before. “Could you find a pair of gloves for Miss Drake to wear?”
“Sure thing,” the man disappeared up the stairs and Sonny turned his attention back to her.
“Is there anything I can do?” he asked.
“No,” Elizabeth shook her head, embarrassed. “I was just feeling sorry for myself. You don’t need to do anything—-”
“Of course I do,” Sonny said easily. “Jason is my friend and you mean a lot to him. Is it him? Are you missing him already?”
“No,” Elizabeth said quickly. “Well, yes, of course, but that’s not why I’m upset.” She sighed. “A friend gave me some really awful news and I just…I was thinking about how I didn’t have anyone I could talk to about it. Jason’s…not available. My family is a mess and everyone else is dealing with the news anyway.”
Sonny nodded. “It’s rough to be in the same circle of friends when something bad happens,” he said. “Because you can’t really depend on someone else to be strong since they’re reeling from it as well.”
“Yeah,” Elizabeth bit her lip. “Robin Scorpio,” she said, “was my best friend growing up. We were more like sisters because she was basically dating my brother from the time we were fourteen until we graduated from college. My mom died and my brother made her so unhappy she went to Paris for medical school,” she explained. “She met someone there, planned to marry him and found out he had AIDS and shortly before he died, she was diagnosed with HIV.”
“I’m so sorry, Elizabeth,” Sonny murmured. “And you found this out today?”
“Every piece of it,” she said. “Robin left very abruptly about three months after my mom died. I didn’t really know why then; I assumed my brother had broken up with her and she needed to get away. But she only wrote me once or twice, she never returned my phone calls and she never visited. Since I never knew about this guy she was engaged to, there was a lot of ground for Robin to cover before she even got to the bad parts.”
She could feel the hysteria crawling up her throat. Her voice began to hitch. “She was my best friend in the world. Her life fell apart a year ago and she never once bothered to pick up the phone. I can’t understand why any of this happening, how I can be so devastated for her and so goddamn furious at the same time!”
Sonny shifted his arm and put it around her shoulders, drawing her in a warm embrace that reminded her a bit of the safety she’d once felt with her brother. Just the reminder of how far apart she and Patrick had grown drove her over the edge and the tears started to slip out. “How could she shut me out like that? Because I’m Patrick’s sister? Because she didn’t want to deal with it anymore? How could she ignore me?”
Her voice broke. “My life fell apart too, and I couldn’t talk to her anymore. And now I don’t have anyone because I was stupid enough to fall in love with someone like my father, who always manages to be unavailable when you really need someone—” she broke off abruptly as she realized who she had just said that to. The man that caused Jason to be unavailable. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that.”
“Sure you did,” Sonny said. He used his free hand to rub her shoulder. “But it’s okay, we can keep it between us.”
“No, really, I don’t have a problem with Jason working for you and we talked about him not being able to talk to me for a few days or even longer if necessary. I’m okay with it, or I was in theory. I just…” she drew in a deep breath. “I just wasn’t expecting this to happen today. I’m all over the place.”
“Hey, it’s okay,” Sonny assured her. “I’m sure it’s going to be a rough adjustment period, so don’t worry about it. You’re having a bad day and not having Jason to help you through it is going to make you resent things a bit. Don’t worry about it.”
“Jason’s always there when it counts,” Elizabeth said. “He’s nothing like my father, I didn’t mean…” she exhaled in a huff. “I don’t know what I mean anymore. I’m sorry to have lost it like that.”
“I’m going to tell you something that I’ve never told anyone,” Sonny said. “So maybe it will help you to trust me a little.” He patted her arm. “I didn’t ask Jason to do more for me because of his skills or his abilities. Or I should say, not just because he has them.” He hesitated. “I asked him because I think he’s a little like me. Searching for something to make his life matter, to prove something to himself. I went down a lot of dark roads trying to do that and I didn’t want that to happen to him, so I cut out the middle road and gave him more responsibility than I would have given to anyone else working for me for so little time.”
“My wife adores him,” Sonny continued. “She considers him part of her family and so do I. I’ve known for months that you were more than just the friendly nurse who took care of him in the hospital. Jason considers you part of his family, which makes you part of ours.”
“He thinks the world of you,” Elizabeth said softly. “He would never want to disappoint you because you gave him a chance when everyone else said he was worthless and would never amount to anything. That’s why I told him it’d be okay to take the job, that I would never hold him back. Because as much as he says he wouldn’t hold it against me, and we’d go on the way we were before, I knew what would happen. He’d resent me because he’d have to let you down and he would rather cut his arm off first.” She swiped at her eyes. “He’s important to me, Sonny, and I’ll find a way to deal with the rest of it because it’s worth it to me to try.”
“Good.” Sonny handed her a pair of leather gloves that his man had given him. “Put these on. And if you’re free, I’ll bring you home to Brenda. You can cry on her shoulder because she’s a woman and might be able to tell you why your Robin did what she did. Then maybe you can face Robin without the bitterness. That’s what you want to do, right?”
“It is,” Elizabeth admitted. “I guess I didn’t realize I had been holding that in for so long. But I have to be able to support her through what’s happening and I can’t do that if I’m angry.”
“Excellent.” Sonny stood and pulled Elizabeth to her feet. “I’ll cook you a nice dinner.”
Spencer House: Lulu’s Room
Lulu heard the front door close, which indicated that her father had left for the casino for the night. She reached under her bed and tugged out a bag of books.
“‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting’,” she read the title of the first. “Why doesn’t anyone write a book called ‘What To Expect What You’re Not Sure You
Want to Be Expecting’?” she muttered.
“Because it would never fit on the cover.”
Lulu whirled around to find her older brother leaning against the doorjamb.
“Lucky…what’re you doing here?”
“Mom called me. She thought you might need some advice from someone a bit younger and less biased.” Lucky turned her desk chair around and sat in it. “So, Lu, I guess you’ve got yourself in a bit of a pickle.”
“A pickle,” Lulu murmured. “That’s interesting.” She leaned against her bed and closed her eyes. “So where’s the advice you promised Mom?”
“When Elizabeth and I were seniors,” Lucky said slowly, “she was late.”
Lulu jerked her head up and stared at him. “What?”
“Really late,” Lucky said. “And we were scared shitless. We were barely seventeen, and already we knew that we were just marking time. We were together because we had been for three years and neither one of us wanted to find out what high school would be like without the other. So to think that we had made a kid together when we didn’t want forever…that was terrifying.”
“She wasn’t pregnant though, right?”
“No,” Lucky replied. “But we had about three weeks of thinking she might be. She didn’t want to take the test and I didn’t want her to either. Because if it came out positive, what the hell would we do? I mean, we were just kids. We still had college to go through; we had the rest of our lives ahead of us. How could we raise a kid?”
“So what happened?” Lulu asked.
“Well, eventually we decided that if she was pregnant, we wouldn’t get married,” Lucky said. “At least not because she was knocked up. That’s no way to start a marriage and it would be bad enough to saddle a kid with teenage parents, you don’t want to add an unhappy relationship to it, you know? We decided we’d do joint custody, maybe even get an apartment so we could raise the baby, but we wouldn’t promise to spend our lives together. That would just be a trap for us.”
He scratched his forehead. “Anyway, Elizabeth wasn’t pregnant and we decided to break up. Like I said, it was over anyway and we didn’t want to chance making another mistake.”
“So that’s why you guys broke up,” Lulu said. “Everyone always wondered, but you guys never really said.” She picked at her carpet. “So you decided to keep the baby, if there was one?”
“We talked about everything else,” Lucky said. “We discussed abortion and adoption, but Elizabeth wasn’t really into either. She knew she wanted to be a mother one day and figured if it was meant to happen, it would happen.”
“Did that scare you?” Lulu asked. “I mean, that she basically made the decision for you?”
“Well, I figured it was her body, she had the final decision anyway, but my heart was never in the other options either. But that was us, Lu. We didn’t have the stuff to deal with that you do. Elizabeth wasn’t dating someone who had a lot of problems and we’d been together forever. We already knew we were going to end up friends. You and Will are different. He’s got a lot of problems, Lu, and no one would blame you if you didn’t want to bring a life into this world with him.”
“I tried to tell him today,” she said softly. “I was kind of hoping he’d take it out of my hands, you know? But I wasn’t saying it right and he thought I was asking to get back together. He’s sober, he has been since Christmas Eve and I know it’s only three days—”
“Three days, three hours, it doesn’t matter,” Lucky said. “Patrick told me he’s trying.”
“Yeah, and I guess he’s trying to get his life back in order. He could still get his grades under control and go to a really good college,” Lulu sighed. “I guess a baby could mess that up.”
“Lu…” Lucky left his seat to slide down next to her. “He needs to make that decision for himself. I’m glad he’s trying to find his way out from under the mess his parents left him in. I know he’s had a rough year, and you have in your own way, too. I’m not saying that you have to tell him, because ultimately, that’s up to you. But speaking from experience…even though Ellie and I were on the way out, I still cared about her and I’m glad I was able to be there for her while she was scared. I know Will cares about you; that’s pretty easy to see. Is it healthy? Maybe, maybe not. You guys are young; it’s hard to tell if it’s something that can last. Lu, I can’t tell you what to do. I can only tell you that I love you, that I will support whatever it is you choose to do.
“And by the way, squirt…” he grasped her chin. “You are my kid sister and no one had better tell you that you’re not Spencer enough. You’ve got enough Spencer in you to scare the crap out of our old man. And that’s saying something.”
Lulu laughed and then found herself starting to cry. She threw herself into her older brother’s arms. “Thank you for saying that. You’re the best brother a girl could have.”
General Hospital: Locker Room
“I thought you were done a few hours ago.”
Emily glanced up to find Robin studying her closely. “Oh. Yeah. I’m picking up another shift. I needed to get out of the house.” She opened her locker and tugged out her scrubs top. “Um, did you tell Patrick?”
“I tried,” Robin sighed, “but I didn’t get very far. He didn’t take the news about Stone well.”
“Well, if you got the mention of Stone out, he’ll probably figure out the rest—” Emily started.
“No, I mean the fact that I moved on and found someone else.” Robin sank onto the bench and huffed. “I didn’t…I knew that since I came home, he’d hinted that maybe we could date again but I didn’t realize…it’s like he thinks time stopped. That we didn’t have lives in the last three years.”
“He didn’t,” Emily said softly. “Not in the way you did. After you left, his father’s drinking started to get worse. He started to argue with Ellie and Jay had his car accident. That first year, I wasn’t sure that he was even going to stick around Port Charles. Especially after Jay woke up and wasn’t, you know, Jay anymore. That was the last straw for him. For a lot of us, Robin. I can appreciate that you did not have a magical fairy tale in Paris and my heart breaks for what you’ve been through but our lives didn’t exactly stop either and we’re all still picking up the pieces.”
“I get that but hasn’t Patrick dated?” Robin asked, bewildered. “I got the impression from the nursing staff that he’s dated half of them and asked out the rest—”
“Dated,” Emily repeated. She took off her sweater and hung it in her locker. “There’s been no one for him since you left. No one that was anything more than a distraction. Robin, he fell in love with you when he was fourteen and he’s never fallen back out. The last time his life made any sense, it was with you. I don’t blame him for thinking that if he had you back, things would be okay.”
“I thought they were now,” Robin frowned. “His dad stopped drinking, he and Ellie are all right. I mean, he still lost his mom and Jay, but—”
“The thing about Noah is…he’s only been sober for about a year and…” Emily paused. “The thing is, only Ellie really thinks he’s sober. I mean, he gives the impression that he is but I don’t think anyone believes him.”
“My dad said something like that but I didn’t really pay attention to that. Emily, I can’t date Patrick to make his life easier—”
“No, I get that. But he doesn’t know the rest of the story. He thinks that his life exploded. In the span of six months, his mother died, the love of his life disappeared, his family disintegrated, his best friend basically died and as far as he knows, you were in Paris…falling in love with someone else. Honestly, Robin, I’m not sure he can handle the rest of it now. Because now he’s hating you for being happy at all and when he finds out what really happened, he’s going to turn that hatred on himself.” She fastened her scrub bottoms and sat next to Robin.
“The truth is,” Emily continued, “that Patrick has been walking a very fine line for the last year, since Noah’s accident, but he’s starting to fray at the edges. Watching Ellie with Jason and knowing it should be Jay is eating at him. Wondering if his father is going to sink back into a bottle and knowing that it runs in the family…he’s terrified he’s going to end up just like his father and I think…if he finds out that you’re sick…he might just fall off the edge altogether.”
“I can’t not tell him,” Robin chewed her lip. “I’m telling my mother when she flies in for New Year’s. Ellie knows. My father knows, you know. Lucky knew anyway. If I don’t tell him, if I wait too long, it’ll be worse because he’ll know everyone else knew. And he’ll think I lied to him. You know he hates when someone tries to protect him.”
“All very valid points,” Emily agreed. “But you also need to tell him for you. You want to tell him. And you can’t be selfish, Robin. It’s not fair to him.”
“No, I get what you’re saying. I just wanted this over with, but I can’t do at risk of hurting him more,” Robin replied. “What do you suggest I do?”
“Wait a few days, at least until your mom gets here on the thirtieth. Give him some time to calm down, to accept that you did move on in Paris, and then see where you are. If you have to tell him in stages, then tell him in stages. No one says you have to do all at once.”
“Thanks.” Robin was silent for a moment. “I know you and Ellie are angry with me. Ellie, in particular, for the way I left. I wish I could say sorry and have it be enough…”
“Robin…” Emily hesitated. “Yeah, I was angry. I still am, a little. But it’s because I’m your friend and I should have been there for you. I wish I could have been there, at the funeral. With Ellie, she’s had the exact same time of it as Patrick, except she’s walking away from it with Jason, which isn’t exactly a prize. I loved my brother so much and I love the one I have now, but he is working for Sonny and I don’t care what she tells him, I know she’s not doing well with it. You and Ellie were always closer than you and me. Maybe you needed to get away from Patrick, but she could have used you a time or two. ”
“I know. I felt awful when I realized all that had happened. She never told me about it in her letters, but that’s no excuse. I didn’t handle any of it right.”
“All that aside,” Emily stood and shut her locker, “I am here for you, no matter. Whatever you need. I’m sick inside about what’s happened to you and I hope you’ll let me know if there’s anything you need from me.”
Robin reached forward and hugged her friend. “You’re wrong about something, you know.” She said, pulling back. “Even though you were two years behind us, you and I were still friends and I shouldn’t have abandoned you either.”
“Well, it’s over now. You’re home now and we have to pick up new pieces.” Emily smiled faintly. “And throw out others.”
Patrick & Elizabeth’s Apartment: Living Room
Elizabeth pushed open her front door and found Will on the couch, watching television and eating a slice of pizza. “Hey.” She closed the door and removed her coat. “Don’t tell me that’s what you ate for dinner.”
“Not much else in there except frozen pizza.” Will gestured towards the uneaten pieces on the plate in front of him. “You can have some.”
“No, thanks.” She dropped on the couch next to him. “Didn’t Patrick come home?”
“Not yet.” Will dropped the half eaten slice back on his plate. “So Lu stopped by.” He scratched his head. “She wanted to talk but I thought she wanted to get back together so I told her that wasn’t going to happen. She looked kind of upset.”
“Did she actually say that?” Elizabeth pointedly.
“Um.” Will paused. “Well, no.”
“Then you should probably have heard her out.” Elizabeth tapped her fingers restlessly against the arm of the couch. “It’s pretty late. Patrick didn’t call?”
“I don’t think so, but I figured he was out wooing the lovely Dr. Scorpio.” Will shrugged. “He was talking about trying to get her back on Christmas Eve.”
“He wants to get back together with Robin?” Elizabeth asked. “Oh, no.”
“That’s what I said,” her cousin replied. “I told him Drake men don’t get to keep the girl but I guess he thinks he can break the cycle.” He eyed her. “Do Drake women get the guys? I always wondered.”
“Will…” Elizabeth sighed. Before she could say anything else, the apartment phone rang. She leaned back and grabbed the cordless from the table behind the couch. “Hello?”
“Yes?” Elizabeth replied.
“It’s Coleman down here at Jake’s. I, ah, called you a few times to pick up your dad.”
Elizabeth’s stomach clutched terribly. “My…dad isn’t there right?”
“No, no, darlin’. Your brother is. Patrick, right? He’s been here for the past three hours.”
“Oh, no,” she sighed. “How bad is he?”
“Well, that’s the thing. He’s been staring at the same shot of whiskey the entire time. I don’t think he’s even sipped it. Normally I don’t chase off the sober ones but I gotta say, Ellie, I’m a bit worried.”
“I’ll be down to pick him up. Thanks, Coleman,” she sighed again, “you do have a way of bailing out the men in my family.” She hung up and rubbed her eyes. “I have to pick up Patrick at Jake’s. Do me a favor, Will?”
“I want you to call Lu tomorrow and ask her to tell you what she wanted to tell you today. She deserves to be heard out, even if it is just to break your heart again.” Elizabeth stood and reached for her coat. “You never make anything better by running away from it. It’s usually worse that way.”
Port Charles Grille
“Are you tired?” Nikolas asked. “I knew I should have taken you home.”
Emily shook her head. “No, I was hungry and we don’t get to see each other much.” She set her fork down and sipped her wine. “I don’t really want to be anywhere else.”
He eyed her, concerned. “I wish I could say that I believed that because you want to be with me, but I get the feeling that I’m not much more than a distraction right now.”
“Oh…no,” Emily shook her head. “No, Nikolas. You’re never a distraction, I’m sorry—”
“Em…” He reached across the table and squeezed her hand. “I love you. I know I’m not the center of your life and I can tell something’s on your mind. Why don’t you just tell me what’s wrong?”
Emily pursed her lips. “Well…I guess Robin wouldn’t mind.” She haltingly related the information she’d received today. Nikolas took it in slowly and sighed.
“How awful,” he murmured. “I remember this Stone Cates. Lucky went to his funeral last year but he never said anything about Robin.”
“She didn’t tell anyone but Lucky and I guess she made him keep it a secret.” Emily leaned back in her chair. “She’s starting to tell everyone, it’s the reason she moved home. She told her father and then me and Ellie today. She wanted to tell Patrick but…” she shook her head. “He couldn’t accept the fact that she’d loved someone else enough to marry him so she wasn’t able to tell him about the illness.”
“He’s always loved her,” Nikolas said. “I can imagine the idea of her finding that with someone else must have shaken him a great deal.”
Emily nodded and they were silent for a long moment. “Nikolas, your uncle still plans to move to Greece after the wedding, doesn’t he?” she asked softly.
Nikolas didn’t answer her right away. He wiped his mouth with the linen napkin and signaled for the waiter to remove their entrée plates. Once that was finished, “He hasn’t mentioned it in a while but I imagine that’s still his plan.”
“Does it bother you?”
“Does it bother me that my uncle refuses to let the past go?” Nikolas clarified. “That the legacy of a Cassadine woman neither one of us knew is enough for him to cause us both unhappiness? Yes, it bothers me. Emily, you are not the reason he will go to Greece and I am not the reason your grandfather is threatening to disown you.”
“No, I know that,” Emily replied. “I know that my grandfather has never forgiven Sofia Cassadine for breaking his brother’s heart and Grandfather believes that led him to commit suicide. Logically, I know that his reaction to our engagement has nothing to do with either of us. But I guess…our families are both so important to us, Nikolas. How do we know that one day, years from now, we won’t look at each other and think it wasn’t worth it?”
“Are you having second thoughts?” Nikolas inquired, forcing his voice to be light.
“Not about you,” Emily assured him. “I love you. I do.” She paused. “But my family…they took me in and loved me even when I didn’t give them a reason to. I don’t know if I can willingly cause them this kind of pain.”
“You aren’t causing them anything,” he argued. “They’re doing it to themselves and they’ll come to their senses soon enough. They’re bluffing, Emily. I wish you had the spine to recognize that.”
She sat straight in her chair and stared at him. “You wish I had the spine to recognize that,” she repeated. She set her glass of wine down. “I didn’t realize you thought so little of me.”
“I didn’t mean that the way…” he cursed under his breath. “Emily, I’m just frustrated by the situation. We’ve been engaged for months and you refuse to set a date because your grandfather is jerking you around. I want to start our lives together and I’m tired of waiting for you to realize that your family is just using your love for them a weapon to hurt us both.”
“It may be easy for you to turn your back on your family,” Emily said. “But your impatience with your uncle is not the same as mine for my grandfather. You and he never knew your great-aunt. For my grandfather, every time he sees a member of your family, he is reminded of why he believes his brother is dead. I am asking him to go through that again, so forgive me if I want to have a bit more patience with someone who has never asked a single thing of me.” She stood and reached for her purse. “I love you, Nikolas, but I love my family, too. I just don’t find it as easy as you do to choose between the two.”
She walked away and Nikolas found himself just a little panicked when she didn’t turn back.
Elizabeth stowed her cell phone into her purse as she crossed the threshold into the dive near the docks. She’d been here many times. Despite its seedy appearance, she’d celebrated her twenty-first birthday here with Jay, Patrick, Robin, Lucky and Nikolas.
And of course, she’d dragged her father out of here quite a few times.
She found her brother sitting at a corner table, a bottle of vodka in front of him, nearly full. A shot of the alcohol beside the bottle. Thanks to her conversation with Robin on her way here, she knew that her brother did not have the full story.
If he knew the full extent of Robin’s life in Paris, Elizabeth didn’t doubt that he would have done more than stare at a glass. He’d be almost through the bottle.
She pulled out the chair across from him and sat in. “Hey.”
He glanced up at her. “What are you doing here?”
“Coleman must have me on speed dial,” Elizabeth said dryly, tipping her head towards the gray-haired bartender dressed in one of his usual wildly printed shirts. “We’re on a first name basis. Well, he calls me Ellie anyway.”
“I’m sorry. About this morning,” he clarified when he saw her questioning look. “I’m just trying to look out for you but I guess I’m kind of rusty at it.”
“I just want you to respect me enough to trust my choices,” she said softly. “I love you, Patrick. You’ve always been more than my brother; you’ve been my best friend. I don’t want to lose that.”
“Well, you’re about all I got left,” he said roughly. “I don’t know what to do about Dad. It’s like I tried to put all that anger and resentment away while he was getting better and now it’s out again. I don’t know what to do with it all. Robin’s…well, she’s just not the person I thought she was or wanted her to be. I don’t have anything else.”
“Patrick, Robin’s still your friend…” Elizabeth sighed. “Why are you here anyway?” she asked, changing the subject.
“I don’t know,” he answered. “Either trying to prove I’m nothing like the rest of our family or I’m exactly like them. I forget.”
“Patrick, you are nothing like Dad. Or Uncle Liam. Or our grandfather.” Elizabeth pushed the vodka bottle to the side. “In the last three and a half years, you lost your mother, your girlfriend and your best friend. Did you start to drink then?”
“No,” he answered.
“No,” Elizabeth repeated. “Instead, you graduated with honors from medical school in two years and you’re on the fast track to being an incredible surgeon. Yeah, maybe your patience for other people has taken a bit of a nosedive and you became a little distant, a little hard to confide in, but I am proud of you. You easily could have disappeared into the bottle like all the men we’ve grown up with. You didn’t.”
“It’s different now,” Patrick said. “For three years, Robin was out there. I figured she would get over whatever was annoying her and she’d come home. And everything would be the way it was supposed to be. But I guess she didn’t love me as much I loved her.”
“That’s not fair,” Elizabeth protested.
“She moved on.” Patrick stood and grabbed his coat from the back of the chair. “I guess it’s my turn to do the same.”
He stalked out of the bar and she put her head in her hands. She wished she could tell him the truth about Robin, but it wasn’t her place. Instead, she was afraid her brother was only going to make everything worse.