“You really should seek help you know.” I begin, being the responsible elder sister and all.
“Yeah… I know.” she drags, looking into her uneaten dinner plate, into a plate of pain.
“Suma. This is no joke ok? Look at you! Look at how much weight you have lost this last month. You don’t eat. You don’t even get a night’s worth of restful sleep. How long can you sustain like this?”
More staring at the plate with more melancholy writ on the face. Time to step up the game.
“Sigh… Look dear. You know I mean well… I have been through this myself. Trying to ignore it will not make the pain go away.”
“I KNOW Akka. But YOU don’t know what I am going through. What is it for you? You are brave. You could do it. I am not, ok? I can’t. I just can’t!”
Say something. Quick!
“It’s not like that at all! Courage is not something you are born with. It is what you acquire over time. Every time you face your fears you get more courageous.” Wow! Where did those words of wisdom come from? And at such an opportune moment. Certainly, this should change her mind?
Ok. Obviously, wisdom didn’t work. Try compassion?
“Suma, I understand you are scared… Will you feel better if I come with you? I can take time off from college you know. It’s ok by me.”
Some melting evident. Hey! Good job! But don’t look too happy just yet.
“Come on! I can only do so much. YOU have to do the rest. Believe me, it is not as bad as you think it is. Just imagine… You will be out of this misery you seem to have gotten yourself into and enjoy life as before. You will be yourself again. ”
Oh, some change! Ok. Look serious. Look like you mean it. Don’t lose it now!
“Ok, Akka… I guess I do have to do something about it…. Tomorrow is ok?”
She clutches my hand as sweat peeps out on her forehead. “I am so, SO scared,” she whispers, fear overpowering her.
“Don’t worry. It’ll be ok” I reassure her as I guide her into the dentist’s clinic.