Milo sits at his desk, checking his phone every 5 minutes. He’s stressed; hoping he didn’t ruin his friendship with Sophie. He keeps checking his phone; there are no messages from Sophie.
He looks at the composition notebook he had earlier today doing his project. He opens the book to see the Polaroids he took of Sophie at the stage in the park. He takes in a deep breath and closes the book.
When straightening out his desk, his phone lights up. Milo’s attention immediately goes towards the phone. He picks it up and sees a message from Sophie.
Milo swipes the screen and immediately responds to Sophie.
milolani: hi, scout.
leesophie: I'm not going to be around this weekend to work on the project.
Milo sighs; he’s anxious and doesn’t know how to respond.
leesophie: Lunar new Year is on Saturday, so my family and I will be celebrating.
Milo instantly feels relief, he finally writes Sophie back.
milolani: no worries. thank you for letting me know.
Before Milo gets the courage to talk things out with Sophie, he gets a message from Sophie.
leesophie: Have a good night, Milo.
Sophie signs off and Milo is back to feeling anxious. He rubs his eyes; he’s mentally exhausted.
Another moment passes, and Milo hears doors opening and closing in the hallway, followed by speed walking footsteps. Milo doesn’t pay no mind to it until a knock is heard. He turns to the door as its being opened. Milo rolls his eyes.
Milo: Can I at least give you permission to come in here, dad?
Milo Sr: We have to get going.
Milo looks at his father standing there with his little brother, Micah, in his dad’s hands. He doesn’t understand what’s going on.
Milo: Can’t I just stay home?
Milo Sr: *stern* Milo.
Milo scrunches his eyebrows, confused.
Milo: What’s going on? Where’s Jennifer?
Micah begins to cry in his dad’s arms; Milo Sr doesn’t answer back.
Milo Sr: We have to go, come on.
Milo grabs his phone and coat and leaves his bedroom door. They all walk down the stairs to the front landing, and Milo is still asking questions.
Milo: Is Jennifer alright? Where are we going?
His father opens the back door of the car and places Micah in the car seat. Milo stands there, now getting frustrated.
Milo: Dad? Dad??
Before Milo Sr opens the drivers front door, he stands in front of it, looking ahead at Milo on the opposite side of the car.
Milo Sr: What?
Milo: *annoyed* Can you at least tell me what’s going on? Where are we going? Where’s Jennifer?
Milo Sr: We’re meeting her at the hospital.
Milo: *shocked* Whoa, whoa; what? What the hell is going on?! Why are we–
Milo Sr: *softly* Milo…
Milo Sr looks down before he speaks.
Milo Sr: Pep’s at the hospital because Mollie is there.
Milo widens his eyes, he’s now panicked and worried.
Milo: Wait, what?! Mollie?! What the hell happened?
At first, Milo Sr is hesitant to tell his son, but he exhales loudly before saying further.
Milo Sr: Mollie tried to commit suicide.
Milo begins to breathe heavy, he’s on the verge of tears.
Milo: What?! When?! I– What?!
Milo Sr: We gotta go to the hospital, come on.
Milo immediately opens up the passenger’s door and gets into the car. Milo Sr goes into the driver’s side and starts the car to drive.
The boys enter the hospital lobby; Milo runs in ahead of Micah and Milo Sr.
Milo Sr: Milo! Milo!
Milo runs to the front desk and sees a woman sitting there.
Milo: Where’s Mollie? Mollie Castro?
Receptionist: *confused* I’m sorry, are you with an adult?
Milo: Just tell me where she is!
Milo Sr rushes up to the desk, still calling out for Milo.
Receptionist: Are you with an adult, son?
Milo: *furious* Where is she?!
Milo Sr: Milo! *to the woman* I’m so sorry, can you please tell us what room Mollie Sue Castro is. We’re family.
Receptionist: She’s with her mother and sisters on the second floor.
Milo Sr: Thank you, ma’am. *to Milo, embarrassed* Let’s go.
Milo runs towards the elevators, and Milo Sr follows with Micah in his arms.
They reach the second floor lobby where they see Jennifer sitting with another woman; her sister, Maryette.
Milo Sr: Hey, we got here as fast as we could.
Milo: Where is she? What the fuck happened?
Milo Sr: *stern* Milo.
Milo: What you mean she tired to commit suicide?! I– I–
Jennifer: Hey, Milo…
Jennifer reaches out her arms and Milo walks into them. He begins to cry buried in her chest.
Jennifer: Shh, shh; I know, Milo, I know…
Everyone else watches the interaction. Maryette gets up from her seat and takes Micah out of Milo Sr’s hands.
Maryette: Ima take Micah to the cafeteria with Dennis.
Maryette walks out of the waiting area. Milo pulls away from the hug and sits in between Jennifer and Milo Sr.
Jennifer: Mollie is fine, she’s in a room and our mom is in there with her.
Milo: What happened? I was literally–
Milo takes in a deep breath after realizing something.
Milo: Our last conversation was an argument. What if that was my last ever conversation I had with Mollie? What did I do, I–
Jennifer: Hey. You didn’t do anything wrong, Milo. Friends fight all the time, especially at your age. Don’t think you’re responsible for Mollie’s actions; Mollie is responsible for her own actions.
Milo doesn’t say anything, he faintly asks one more time before giving up entirely.
Milo: What happened?
Jennifer and Milo Sr look at each other; worried. Jennifer looks back down at Milo as Milo Sr rubs Jennifer’s arm for comfort.
Jennifer: Mollie cut her wrists in the bathroom. Mom found her.
Milo places his hands over his eyes and takes in the newfound information.
Milo: Why the fuck would she be so stupid to do something like that?! *looks up* Like, she’s going to therapy! Isn’t that enough?!
Jennifer: *disciplined* Hey. Mollie might be getting help from her therapist, but we don’t know what was going on in Mollie’s head when she made that decision.
Milo looks down on the hospital floor, he has nothing else to say, but has so many roaming thoughts.
Jennifer: The least we can do for her is support her and let her know that we love her. That’s all we can do as her family.
Jennifer gets up and walks out of the waiting room to get Micah from Maryette. Milo Sr looks at Milo, who still hasn’t said anything since.
Milo Sr: It’s not your fault.
Milo: I feel like it was my fault.
Milo Sr: And it’s going to feel that way until Mollie tells you that it isn’t. I know.
Milo: *looks up* You went through this before?
Milo Sr: *nods head* What Pep told you is true. You’re not responsible for Mollie actions, Mollie is.
Milo: *puts two-and-two together* Wait, was it…?
Milo Sr: I was about your age. Pep was in a really bad place and something bad happened to her and thought she didn’t want to be here anymore. Me and your Aunt Nicky and Uncle Danny were at the hospital, and I felt extremely guilty for not being there for Pep when she needed me. I was her best friend, and it felt like I let her down because I wasn’t there. But…
MIlo Sr takes a minute to ponder n the thought.
Milo Sr: The only thing I could do is let her know that I love her and care about her.
Milo: Is that why she seemed to be… kind calm?
Milo Sr: I think she was a lot more nervous when Mollie was first admitted into the hospital, but after hearing Mollie was okay, I think she just needed to be there for you and let you know before you allowed yourself to take the blame.
Milo’s phone vibrates in his pocket. He takes out his phone and looks at the screen.
leesophie: Can we please talk?
Milo puts his phone back in his pocket and takes a deep breath. He then looks at his father.
Milo: Are you sure Mollie is going to be okay?
Milo Sr: She’s getting all the help she can get. She made it, and that’s what matters.
Both father and son sit in the waiting room, waiting for the women to come back, or for a doctor to call them in so they can see Mollie. Nothing is said, and nobody moves, they just wait for something to happen.