Alice and I brought Chris to the library near my house last Wednesday. When we got there, Chris asked, "Why are we at the library?"
Alice and I exchanged a glance and she said gently, "There's something we want to show you." We went in and asked a librarian where the medical books were.
"Angieee," Chris whined, "I don't want to look at medical books, they have icky pictures."
I gave my brother a you've-got-to-be-kidding-me look and the librarian told us where the books were.
Alice smiled politely and said, "Thank you."
We found the books and I scanned the shelves for books on bulimia or anorexia. When I found one, I gave Alice a you-don't-have-to-watch look and she looked away.
Chris looked a little nervous and said slowly, "What kind of book is this?"
I set a book on the table in front of Chris and said, "It's a book about bulimia."
Chris's face paled slightly and he stuttered, "Oh, no, Angie, y-you don't need to do that...."
I opened the book to reveal pictures of pale-skinned girls who were blood-chillingly underweight. I flipped through the book and read a few pages to Chris. Alice wandered over to the other medical books and was looking through them.
Chris stared in terror at the bulimia book as I closed it. I studied him and said gently, "See, Chris? Bulimia is very serious and it's dangerous."
When he didn't answer, I patted his back and said softly, "I didn't mean to scare you, Sweetie, but I wanted to explain to you why I reacted the way I did when..."
My voice trailed off and Chris nodded, whispering with his eyes wide, "I understand, Angie."
I bent down and said, "You okay?"
Chris nodded again and stood up. We walked through the aisles to find Alice, when we came to the end of the medical section. Alice was standing in front of one shelf, sucked into a book.
Chris and I looked at each other and went up to her. The book Alice was looking through was about mental conditions. Chris and I looked at each other again; Now we understood.
Alice's book was open to a page titled, Psychoneurosis. Psychoneurosis; That was the mental condition Alice had.
Alice stared at the book, taking a deep breath and shuddering. Chris put his hand on her shoulder and she said, "I'm fine, I'm fine...."
She blinked back tears and Chris put his arm around her. He said, "Hey, it's okay, Alice."
Alice put the book back and we left the library.
So, Chris was most likely done with bulimia now, which took a weight off my chest and undoubtably his too. I was still having trouble getting it through my head that he had even tried it.
I guess I underestimated Chris's stupidity.