Fiction | September 01, 1984
from Taking Leave
As much from compassion as from love, Will Brenner has married a desperately neurotic woman, Laura. After the suicide of Laura’s father, Will and Laura parented Laura’s much younger sister, Jo. In this excerpt Will plays squash with his medical partner, Jerry, and is forced to acknowledge both his anger at Laura for her self-destructive acts and his passionate and (for him) unthinkable love for the eighteen-year-old Jo.
Jerry slammed shut the heavy door and adjusted the elastic that held his glasses. Will pulled his sweatband down to his eyebrows and swung his arms tentatively. His body ached, his head ached, and he hadn’t been able to eat any breakfast. After a dram of Jo, followed by nightmare of falling, he hadn’t gone back to sleep.
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