“God! You'll do anything to avoid it.'Avoid what?' my mother said.The past,' Caroline said. 'Our past. I'm tired of acting like nothing ever happened, of pretending he was never here, of not seeing his pictures in the house, or his things Just because you're not able to let yourself grieve.'Don't,' my mother said, her voice low, 'talk to me about grief. You have no idea.'I do, though.' Caroline's voice caught, and she swallowed. 'I'm not trying to hide that I'm sad. I'm not trying to forget. You hide here behind all these plans for houses and townhouses because they're new and perfect and don't remind you of anything.'Stop it,' my mother said.And look at Macy,' Caroline continued, ignoring this.' Do you even know what you're doing to her?' My mother looked at me, and I shrank back, trying to stay out of this. 'Macy is fine,' my mother said.No, she's not. God you always say that, but she's not.' Caroline looked at me, as if she wanted me to jump in, but I just sat there. 'Have you even been paying the least bit of attention to what's going on with her? She's been miserable since Dad died, pushing herself so hard to please you. And then, this summer, she finally finds some friends and something she likes to do. But then one tiny slipup, and you take it all away from her.' That has nothing to do with what we're talking about,' my mother said.It has everything to do with it,' Caroline shot back. 'She was finally getting over what happened. Couldn't you see the change in her? I could, and I was berely here. She was different.'Exactly,' my mother said. 'She was-'Happy,' Caroline finished for her. 'She was starting to live her life again, and it scared you. Just like me redoing the beach house scares you. You think you're so strong becasue you never talk about Dad. Anyone can hide. Facing up to things, working through them, that's what makes you strong.”

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