the whole story, pt. 2

When Nicole was ten and Eric was twelve, she was just beginning to concern her teachers with some of her morbid tendencies. Her mother had quit her job at the library and grown too tired to be concerned; her father seldom spoke to her directly anymore, and when he did it was shouting, angry. If Nicole was quiet as a child she was utterly withdrawn now, spending hours in her room making drawings she never intended to let anyone else ever see.

At twelve Eric was angry and unhappy, brilliant intellectually and creatively but with no drive to accomplish anything. His mother was killed in a car accident, leaving his father to spend more time at home, but there was distance there--as there was between him and his sister. He didn't understand why he was having problems, or even that he was having them. His teachers tried to correct him but he was resistant. He spent hours in his room writing confused, angry, and otherwise distraught journal entries that he never intended to let anyone else ever see.

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