Nobody says anything to my family or Frehley’s for hours upon hours.
They finally tell us she’s awake at 8:27 am.
Tell us that we’re allowed in her room.
Her parents don’t visit her. They have to go back to their jobs.
Instead my family does.
You could call my family her adoptive family, based on how much time she spends with us, how often my parents talk about her with a slightly adoring tone.
Yes. Frehley is practically my sister.
My depressed, suicidal sister….but sister nonetheless.
When we enter she looks up, I can tell she’s looking for her parents, but of course, they’re not here. She looks slightly hurt, but then smiles as my mom hugs her close, careful of the IVs.
“Oh Frehley, why did you do this again? You should have come to us instead of taking all those pills.” My mother fusses over her, making sure she’s warm and as comfortable as she can be in a hospital bed.
“Where’s my dad? My mom?” She asks, ignoring the question.
“At work. They couldn’t stay.”
“But they did wait until they got the news.”
“They’re going to be so pissed…” She looks down at her hands.
“They’re not going to be mad. They’re worried.” My mom tells her.
Frehley doesn’t say anything for a while. Eventually, my parents leave for a smoke, leaving me, Frehley, and my little sister in the room with her.
She glances up at me, and I don’t know whether it’s the lighting or the color of the bed and the walls, but Frehley looks almost translucent. You can see the veins under her skin.
“Well?” She sighs, “Aren’t you going to yell at me or something?”
“Not this time. I’m tired of shouting and expecting something to change.”
“So you’ve given up then, that’s good.”
“No. Not given up. Just going to go after a different method…”
“You should give up.” Frehley tells me softly. “Either I die or go into the military. Either way, we’ll be separated.”
“I prefer the military…” I tell her truthfully, “After you’re done you can visit me. And Tori.”
“What did it this time?”
“Nothing. Damn it.”
“So you’re going to shut me out? Shut everyone else out?”
“Why can’t you just accept our help?”
“Why can’t you just leave me alone?”
“Because we’re trying to help you.”
“Maybe I don’t want to be helped.”
“…was it the Catholics again?”
“It was, wasn’t it?”
“The electroshock therapy?”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Come on, please. Just tell me.”
Frehley sighs quietly. “Fine.” She buries her face in her hands and goes silent for a few minutes. “…I am so fucking tired of all of this. My own damn religion is giving me shit now. As if Jews don’t have enough fucking problems with the fucking Catholics we decide to give our own people shit.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Kids who have two parents that are Jewish are acting as if they’re ‘pureblooded’ or some shit. Then they give the converts and the half-and-half’s shit.”
“Yeah. Like me. One Jewish parent, one parent of another religion. They can’t just let us all be happy and Jewish together. No, they have to give us problems because we’re not ‘completely Jewish’. That’s such bullshit. I love my religion. I love Judaism. But this is so fucking tiring. So fucking exhausting. I have enough shit to worry about, I don’t want to have to worry about my Tishel being ripped in half, or my fucking Torah being dipped in fucking grape juice. I’m so, so tired of this. Of fucking everything. I can’t do anything right. My parents are fighting nonstop at home. I’m not doing good in school. I lost a friend because she thinks I’m being an attention seeking whore, my job is full of assholes who think they’re funny when they call me ‘kike’ and I’m losing my love for writing. I can’t fucking stand this. I can’t. I just fucking can’t.” She tells me, then buries her face in one of the pillows.
I don’t know what to say to that.
What do you say to that?