Through the Heart

Through the Heart by Kate Morgenroth Read Free Book Online

Book: Through the Heart by Kate Morgenroth Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kate Morgenroth
told her.
    “You’re not supposed to put coffee in the freezer.” My sister shook her head at me, as if I should have known better. “You’re supposed to keep it in the fridge. The freezer destroys the oils or something. You work in a coffee store, and you don’t know that?”
    In fact, I knew more than that. I knew that everyone agreed on what was bad for the coffee (air, moisture, heat, and light), but no one seemed to be able to agree on whether the freezer or the fridge was better. But I didn’t say that. I tended not to say what I thought to my sister. Things went more smoothly that way.
    “This is regular coffee, right? If it isn’t, it will be your fault if I fall asleep at the wheel and we all die,” Deirdre said as she dumped three, then four, then five scoops into the filter.
    Not for the first time, I thought that Deirdre and my mother had more in common than just their appearance.
    “So why don’t you stay here tonight?” I suggested. “You didn’t even get to see Mom.”
    Deirdre shot me a look over her shoulder as she carried the glass carafe to the sink to fill it with water. “You’re saying that like it’s a bad thing?”
    My sister had a point; whenever they spent more than an hour together they always ended up getting in a screaming match. It made a kind of sense—they were too much the same. Even while screaming they both had a vein right in the center of their foreheads that branched above the eyes like a wishbone and stood out and throbbed.
    “You didn’t even ask how she was,” I said.
    “No, I didn’t,” Deirdre said, and ran the water full blast so that I couldn’t easily talk over it. When she shut it off, she said, “I don’t want to talk about it, okay? We always fight when we talk about it. And I don’t want to fight.”
    “Okay. We don’t have to talk about it.”
    Deirdre didn’t say anything else right away. She fiddled with the coffee scoop. The fine grains of coffee that clung to it drifted down to the counter like a mini brown snow flurry. She pushed them together with the side of her palm, and then left them there in a little pile.
    “Do you want some food?” I asked, wondering what made her so quiet. “There are some leftovers in the fridge.”
    “No, thanks. I ate dinner.”
    Another thing she’d done while she was out. I have to admit, it hurt a little. I knew Deirdre was probably just avoiding our mother, but it felt like she was avoiding me too.
    “But you can do something else for me,” Deirdre went on.
    “What’s that?”
    As I watched, she pushed her finger into the pile of grounds she’d made. She swirled her finger as if making a pattern. Then, almost abruptly, she said, “I need to borrow some money.”
    “How much?”
    “Not a fortune or anything. Just enough to cover me for a few months. Rent and groceries and diapers.”
    This wasn’t going to go well, I thought.
    “Well?” Deirdre demanded, when I didn’t answer right away. “Don’t tell me you’re going to give me a hard time about this. It’s not like you’ve got a whole lot of expenses. Seems to me like you’ve got it pretty easy living rent free. Bet Mom pays for the food too, right? What do you even need any money for?”
    We had never talked about the details of my staying here.
    “Actually, Mom doesn’t pay for anything,” I told her.
    She looked at me as if I had started speaking in a foreign language. “What do you mean, Mom doesn’t pay for anything?”
    “I mean I pay for the food and the mortgage and the bills. I pay for everything.”
    “Bullshit.”
    I shrugged.
    “Bullshit,” Deirdre said again with even more feeling. “How long has this been going on?”
    “For three years. Since right after I moved home. You know when she got sick she had to leave her job at the bank. And she told me she didn’t have the money, so I paid.”
    “That’s such crap,” Deirdre said. “She’s got to have something. I mean, I know she was just a secretary, but

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