Genevieve bounces around the living room of her cousin’s house while Rosalind talks to Barbara. She was excited to meet Lenora, Barbara’s daughter, and wishes she could be outside with her, but her mother wanted them to stay together. The house smells like cinnamon, and Genevieve hopes there will be cookies. Though she’s exploring, she can’t help but overhear the discussion between Rosalind and Barbara.
“Lenora has been diagnosed with leukemia,” Barbara says.
“I’m sorry to hear that, Barbara,” Rosalind says. “What’s the prognosis?”
“The doctor says it’s not aggressive at this point, whatever that means.”
“It means she’s not getting worse. That’s a good thing.”
“The doctors say she could get better, but she needs a bone marrow transplant.”
Rosalind glances at Genevieve who smiles and waves.
“Of course, when I heard that, the first thing I thought was that Genni might be a match.”
“That’s not certain by any means, Barbara.”
“She’ll need to be tested, of course.”
Genevieve bounces over. “You need me to take a test? I do well on tests.”
Rosalind pats her cheek. “Not now, Genevieve.”
“Obviously, you know the science better than I do,” Barbara says, “but the doctor said that the more closely related two people are, the more likely they’ll be a match.”
“Genevieve, why don’t you go out and play with Lenora. Barbara and I have some things we need to discuss.”
Genevieve skips down the hall and out onto the porch, where she finds Lenora sitting on the front steps, singing to herself.
“Lenora!” she says. “What are you doing?”
“Hey, Genni. Where’s Mom and Rosie?”
“They’re talking. Mother said I should come out and play with you.”
Lenora slides over to make room and Genevieve joins her. She removes two lollipops from her pocket. “Do you want one? There’s chewing gum inside.”
Lenora hands her one and they unwrap them.
“What were you singing when I came out?” Genevieve asks.
“A song I’m supposed to learn for church. I’ll teach it to you.”
“All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.”
She runs through the song once then starts over. Genevieve sings along, only missing a few words. They repeat, singing in unison.
Lenora says, “Hey, you’re good. Maybe you can come sing with me at the church.”
“You think so?”
“I’ll need to ask Mom, but I don’t see why not.”
They start singing together again.
Suddenly, the front door opens, and Rosalind exits onto the porch. “Genevieve, come along. We’re leaving.”
“But we just got here,” Genevieve says.
Barbara holds the door open and says, “Lenora, come on in, honey.”
“Mama, can Genni come sing with me at the church?”
“Get in the house, sweetie. They need to leave.”
Lenora gives Genevieve a hug then disappears into the house. Rosalind turns to face Barbara, who goes back in and slams the door behind her.
“Mom, what’s wrong? Why are we leaving?” Genevieve says.
“We can’t help them, Genevieve,” Rosalind says. “It’s going to be okay.”
As they drive away, Genevieve turns to look at the house and tells her mother that she hopes she’ll be able to visit Lenora again. Except for the times she brings it up afterward, though, her mother never mentions another visit.