“She quit the activities she used to enjoy,” Shar said.
“What do you do for fun these days?”
Jemma stared off for a long moment. “Watch TV, I guess?”
“Any fellas catch your attention?” Dr. Reed asked.
Jemma’s cheeks turned pink, and she looked at the floor.
“She had a boyfriend,” Shar said. “They broke up about, what was it,
four months ago?”
“And how long has she been this way?”
Shar thought about it. “Maybe about that long? I don’t know, though.
Her stepfather also died two years ago.”
The doctor made some notes. “I’m going to prescribe an antidepres-
sant,” he said.
Heat rushed to Shar’s head, and her heartbeat swished in her ears.
Jemma shot her a panicked look. No one in their family had ever taken
an antidepressant—not even Shar’s mother. She shook her head. “We are
not that sort of family.”
Dr. Reed blinked at her over his glasses. “Are you the sort of family
who likes their children to get better?”
Shar met his gaze, crossing her arms. “She isn’t crazy.”
He waved a hand. “Relax. It’s temporary, and it’s very safe for teen-
agers. She just needs something to get her over the hump of this little
heartbreak. It wouldn’t hurt for her to have someone to talk to about it,
“She has me,” Shar said.
The doctor looked at her as if he was looking at the wall behind her,
shrugged, and handed her the prescription.
Instead of using their local pharmacy, where the pharmacist knew
them by name, she drove all the way to the Walgreens in Carlyle. They
crossed the one-lane truss bridge that provided a slight shortcut, which
used to thrill Jemma when she was little—those tiny hands of hers would
be glued to the window as she marveled at the bridge’s structure and the
flowing river below. Now she sat stiffly with her arms crossed and didn’t
even look up until they were well past the bridge and all the way to the
edge of town.
“Are we going to Carlyle so no one at home will find out I’m taking
Shar shrugged. “I just figured we had the afternoon off—why not go
to your favorite ice-cream shop? Maybe we could hit the mall after, get
you some new shoes.”