I handed him his coffee and said, all casual like. ‘Oh, by the way, Jack called this afternoon.’
He snorted in disgust. ‘How many times do I have to say this? I don’t want to hear his name mentioned.’
‘I don’t think he is doing well, he’s going for an operation next week.’
He shrugged. ‘Whatever.’
‘It sounds serious.’
I took a deep breath, persevered. ‘He wants to see you..
He began tapping on his phone, ignoring me completely.
I wanted to stamp my foot I was so frustrated with him. ‘For God’s sake Bill, this has gone on long enough. I know you’ll never tell me what went wrong between the two of you.’ He glared at me and I held my hands up. ‘I don’t want to know, I don’t care any more. But he’s your brother, your only family.’ I paused, wondering if I should go on. ‘What if anything happens? What if he… dies?’
That made him think for a minute. Finally, with a deep sigh, he said, ‘I supposed I’d have to go to the funeral, can’t really see any way out of it. Maybe I could pretend to be sick…’