I’m just getting ready to start my read through of In the Moonlight this week(have it sent to my kindle, but we ended up having a busy day yesterday, so didn’t actually get started yet). So, I decided to share another snippet from In the Moonlight. In this scene, Nola’s brother, Brody, has just called her.
“What is it, Bro?”
“You know I hate it when you call me that, No.”
He put just enough emphasis on the nickname for me to know he used it simply to irritate me. But, I didn’t get as upset over the shortened name as he did. And I was just doing what Teagen had taught me an older sister was supposed to. “What did you want? It’s kind of late to call and chat.” Not that my little brother had ever liked to chat. “I figured by now you’d have a bunch of friends to hang out with after work.”
Silence hung over the line for a long moment, and that worried me. He might not like to chat, but if he called, it meant he had something to say. “I’ve been sitting in the hospital with Mom most of the day. Had to call off of work.”
He’d called off on a job he’d been working for less than a week. That couldn’t have gone over well. “Why didn’t you call me? I would have come up.”
“Mom didn’t want me to. She said Adriane’s niece was supposed to be showing up today. Did she make it?”
“Yeah. What’s wrong, Brody? It can’t just be another flare. That wouldn’t have you spending all day with her. Or calling me.”
More silence, which was really starting to freak me out. “It’s getting worse, Nola. This new doctor said if they don’t find the right drug to counteract how her body’s attacking itself, she might not have much longer.”
My stomach cramped so hard, I thought I was going to throw up. This had just started as some achy joints and a poor immune system. But, it had gotten worse each year. She’d been on so many drugs, she probably could have started her own pharmacy. “Do you need me to come up there?” I asked him. “I can leave right now and—”
“No,” he said quickly. “Mom didn’t really even want me to call you. But, I…Teagen said she’d help us, but she doesn’t know. She hasn’t been there for the last several years when it was getting really bad. I’m not sure what to do, and she turned down the new drug he wanted to try.”
My throat closed up at that. If she refused the medication that kept her body functioning even on a minimal level, she’d die. I couldn’t let myself think about that. “She has to, Brody. We can’t…”
“I know, Nola. But, it’s experimental and her insurance won’t cover it. And you know how good our coverage is.”
Which had made me thankful Adriane had made sure we all kept it even if we left. Mom couldn’t have survived without it. I’m pretty sure Adriane had understood that. And how proud Mom was, so she wouldn’t want to take handouts.
“So, you need me to send more money,” I said, realizing the real reason behind the phone call. “What about Teagen? She said she’d help.”
“She also has rent to pay and ‘a lifestyle’ to keep up.”
I could almost see him make air quotes around those words. And it made me want to strangle my older sister. “I’ll talk to her, Brody. And I’ll put a check in the mail in the morning.” No matter how frustrated I was with my oldest sister, I wouldn’t let it interfere with mom’s health. “Did the doctor give any alternate options?”
“Only to continue what we’ve been doing, even though it doesn’t seem to be doing much good. The drugs that are destroying her immune system are about the only thing keeping her body from destroying itself.”
Because it couldn’t fight back against what it saw as an invader, even though it was only her own organs and cells. I rubbed a hand over my eyes. “All right. I’ll get that check in the mail in the morning. And I’ll try to come up to see you when I can. I have a day off coming up soon. If I can talk Ya-Miss Reisner into letting me off, I’ll be up sooner.” My face flushed again at almost using her first name.
“Is she still as hot as she used to be?”
I clenched my teeth then forced myself to relax my jaw. “Good night, Brody.”
I didn’t hang up fast enough to miss his laugh, though. Damn little brothers.