Small Doses by planet p
Disclaimer I don't own Anna Pihl or any of its characters.
When Anna leaves her office, Eva thinks about what she'd told her; the reason she'd given for keeping her daughter's photograph in the cupboard. She'd said that she could only take her in small doses. Because she'd left her, because she hadn't felt she'd been able to reach out to her mother because she had been working too hard. And now, now she was the one not allowing herself to reach out, to take on the issue of her daughter's suicide fully. She was working through it slowly, she told herself, though, to her, it only sounded like an excuse. She was ignoring her daughter again. The thought made her angry at herself - taking notice of her now wasn't going to bring her back, was it? But her daughter would want her to be happy, she reasoned, and she was stilting her own happiness through her actions. She wasn't even allowing herself to recall the good times they'd shared because they might bring back the bad times, too, the times she'd let her down, the times they might have had had she not let her down. And she was working again, but working for the job and not at moving on, not at living. Just working. A part of her was furious at herself, and a part of her said that her daughter would be too.
But the work was important, she told herself; right now, it was more important than just her. It was important because it involved the possible harm, the possible deaths of many more people than just herself - and Anna, it involved Anna, too. Anna, who she worked with, whose boss she was, who she was, by chain of command, responsible for; and, who, in her heart, she also felt close to, in a way, that any woman who has had a child might feel close to a younger woman and think, She's somebody's child; she could have been my child.
Right now, she told herself, she needed to put aside the past and live in the now, in the present. She needed to be there for Anna when the time came that she needed her. She couldn't take this thing in small doses, she had to take it all at once and be prepared for more of it. That was the only way.
And that, that, she was prepared to do.