Gayle arrived at the door just as Drake and Missy walked in.
Drake, a younger version of Charles and Missy, a younger version of Gayle.
They greeted each other and embraced.
“How’s dad?” Drake said.
“He’s terribly afraid that this will not go well,” Gayle said.
“Still no memory?” Missy said.
“Nothing,” Gayle said. “It’s important he’s relaxed. Don’t try to make him remember. That’s what will push his memory further away.”
“I’ve talked to one of my professors,” Missy said. “He should see someone as soon as possible.”
“I’ve talked to Curt Blankenship,” Gayle said. “He’s a good friend of your Dad’s. He said to do things his way unless it causes harm.”
“Blankenship knows?” Drake said.
“Yes,” Gayle said. “I talked to him and Ted. Ted has talked with the missing person’s detective assigned to you father’s case and they agreed to keep it under wraps. Curt said he can line up one of the best psychiatrists in the business whenever he’s needed.”
“Where’s he at?” Drake said.
“He’s in the sunroom,” Gayle said. “I don’t think we should keep him waiting.”
Gayle took a step and turned around to Drake and Missy. “I never thought to ask, are you two ready for this?”
Drake and Missy looked at each other.
“It is something I never considered,” Drake said.
“Me neither,” Missy said.
“He won’t know you,” Gayle said, “and every part of you will be screaming out to hold him and love him and it won’t do any good. You will have no control. He will look at you as if he laid eyes on you for the first time. It will be painful for him.”
“I know dad,” Drake said. “It will be more painful for him, even though he doesn’t know why. He’s always felt others’ pain.”
Gayle walked into the sunroom with Drake and Missy behind her.
Charles stood. He smiled politely. “Which one of you is Drake?” Charles chuckled.
Gayle, Drake, and Missy looked at each other and began laughing.
“That’s you, Dad,” Missy said. “A sense of humor when things are worst.”
“I’m sorry,” Charles said, “but if we are too uptight…”
“You don’t know us do you, Dad?” Drake said.
“No,” Charles said, “but I can see the similarity. I know you’re my son.”
“What can we do for you?’ Missy said.
“Be patient with me,” Charles said.