April: Week 3

April calls Paul, asking to come to his office immediately. She was on her way to school to turn in a project — the architectural model for a World Trade Center memorial — and has been having trouble sleeping. "Between my anxiety and my lymphoma," she says, "it's just never a good time." She describes her exhaustion as the feeling of poison in her veins, like she wants to slit her wrists to get it out. Paul says the poison sounds like cancer, but April imagines it more as chemo. Fatigued, she asks to go to sleep for one minute — from 7:59 to 8:00 — and when she wakes, she smashes her project, saying that it's officially late. April explains that she yearns to go home, but she realizes her home is "so long ago, and so far away." As she ruminates on it, she tells Paul that she associates the idea of home with a vacation to Miami that she took with her parents when she was 10 — the only time her family went away without Daniel. On that trip, she fell out a window while her parents were dancing in her hotel room, and though miraculously unharmed, she ran back up to the room to find that they never noticed she was gone. April says she didn't even cry because her mother looked so happy that she didn't want to ruin the moment. Paul warns her that empathy can be draining and says that she might associate that feeling of "home" as being free from Daniel. It's alright to be angry, as well as empathetic, he adds. But when he goes so far as to suggest that she feels abandoned by her mother, April becomes defensive.