Empathy No. 031
08/15/02, Levitt kitchen, 4:10 PM (approx)
ELEANOR: Kids? I'm home.
ALLISON: We're in the kitchen, Ellie.
ELEANOR: Great. Uh, where are Jason and Brooke?
ALLISON: Jason got sidetracked by some of his idiot friends and Brooke is...I don't know, doing Brooke things. So you want to talk about the big first day of school?
ELEANOR: Well, certainly. Oh Roderick, the principal was going to talk to you about a few things-
RODERICK: Yeah, I talked with him.
ELEANOR: Good. I'm sorry, it completely slipped my mind this morning.
ALLISON: Never looks good when you're in the principal's office the first day.
ELEANOR: So give me some details. How was it?
ALLISON: How's it ever? The first day's just a lot of boring introductions.
ELEANOR: Maybe I want to hear about those boring introductions! Roderick, which one seems like it's going to be the most interesting?
RODERICK: I don't know, psychology maybe.
ALLISON: With Mrs. Massey? No way. She's a total crank, that class is going to be a mess.
RODERICK: I guess it's just an interesting topic to me. Uh, Mom? Can I go to my room? There are some things I need to work on.
ELEANOR: Um, okay. But I want to know about your whole schedule later, okay?
RODERICK: Of course. Lloyd's going to want to ask at dinner, anyway.
ELEANOR: Talk to you later, dear.
ALLISON: I got things to take care of, too.
ELEANOR: I see.
ALLISON: Is there something else you wanted?
ELEANOR: Yes, what we talked about...you know, in private.
ALLISON: I mean, I don't know what you're expecting. I only have two classes with him.
ELEANOR: I know.
ALLISON: And I'm not going to spy on him.
ELEANOR: That's not what I was asking, I just...You can keep an eye on him when you have the chance.
ALLISON: He doesn't need a babysitter.
ELEANOR: I mean, more like if you hear something, you'll tell me, right?
ALLISON: Look, I know he was bullied before or whatever, but I really don't think it's going to happen now. He doesn't need my help, the principal's got his back and the teachers here are gonna love him. I know that Mr. Greene and Mrs. Massey do.
ELEANOR: Well, he had some problems with teachers, too.
ELEANOR: Just the one teacher...I don't want to go into too much detail-
ALLISON: Why is everyone being so secretive?
ELEANOR: We're not trying to being secretive, it's just not a topic for friendly conversation. And I want him to look forward, and it doesn't help if people bring up old problems, he'll get stuck. Do you understand?
ALLISON: Well, can't you tell me anything? I mean, I'll tell you if I hear anything but I don't know what you're thinking you're gonna hear. I hear he hurt his face last year, had to go to the hospital. Did someone do that to him?
ELEANOR: It's not so...Roderick! Is there something you wanted?
RODERICK: I forgot my bag. Can I get it?
ELEANOR: Of course.
RODERICK: Thanks. Is something wrong?
ALLISON: No, we're just plotting against you and can't talk about it with you here. Of course nothing's wrong.
ELEANOR: We were just talking about where we used to live. If you want to sit in, I can get you a drink or-
RODERICK: That's all right, I understand. I'll be out a little later.