Empathy No. 027
08/08/02, Levitt kitchen, 10:15 AM (approx)
LLOYD: Awfully quiet around here right now.
BROOKE: It's the big locker day. Everyone's down there.
LLOYD: Roderick didn't go? This is his backpack, isn't it?
ELEANOR: No, he left with Jason and Allison. I guess he just forgot it. Kids - he can remember a 10-digit library ID number from six years ago and still leave a textbook on his desk!
BROOKE: What's the big deal about a locker, anyway?
LLOYD: It's not just that. It's a new school for Jason and Roderick, they need to get their schedules and figure out where everything is.
BROOKE: Yeah, but Allie's been going on about the lockers forever, like it's the end of the world if she doesn't have one next to her friends. She's only there like a few minutes a day.
ELEANOR: It might make more sense to you someday.
LLOYD: Yeah, maybe so. Speaking of school, we're behind on our back-to-school shopping, huh?
BROOKE: God, I hate going clothes shopping with Allie, she takes forever.
LLOYD: Well, we all have to suffer sometimes. Why don't you go check your closet, see what you need?
BROOKE: All right. Later.
LLOYD: Back-to-school shopping the weekend before class starts. I guess we have a good excuse to be out of sorts, though. What's Roderick going to need?
ELEANOR: Oh, I've taken care of all of that.
LLOYD: Everything? What about clothes, because I noticed he doesn't have a lot-
ELEANOR: If he needs new clothes, I can certainly get them for him.
LLOYD: Okay. Well, then while we're in the area, I can get him some new frames. His glasses are a little bent, and maybe he'd like something a little more stylish.
ELEANOR: That's okay, his glasses aren't that old.
ELEANOR: I appreciate all of this-
LLOYD: Ellie, why is it that you object every time I want to spend money on Roderick?
ELEANOR: ...Maybe he could do with some new frames.
LLOYD: All right. Make you a deal: You try to keep Allie's spending under control, and I'll take Roderick to get the frames. Good?
ELEANOR: Yeah, sure.
LLOYD: You know, you've been acting funny this week. Ever since you talked to Azalea, actually - did something go wrong there?
ELEANOR: She wanted to know about Roderick's father.
LLOYD: Is that a sore spot? Because you've never told me much about him. Was he violent, or-
ELEANOR: It's not that, but...if she asked me, she probably asked Roderick, too.
LLOYD: That's a problem?
ELEANOR: ...I just feel that at this point, it's not good for him to...fixate, I guess. If he gets it in his head that he can find his father, he won't quit, and I'm afraid that it would just push him farther inward.
LLOYD: You're under no obligation to tell him anything.
ELEANOR: What am I supposed to say if he asks? Tell him that this is half of his life story that he doesn't get to know about? It's not right and...he wouldn't accept it anyway.
LLOYD: Well, Ellie, he's sixteen years old. If he's gone this long without asking, then maybe it's just not a priority for him.
LLOYD: Plus, he is going to be so busy this next couple of months that I bet he won't have time to think about that. Teenage boys...they have a lot going on in their lives.
ELEANOR: No need worrying about it. That's one of my problems, I worry too much. I'll deal with it if it comes up.
LLOYD: A wise attitude. And I think he'll be fine, Ellie. He's more durable than you think.
ELEANOR: Oh, I know how durable he is. I know it even if he doesn't.