Piama didn't know what was going on with the kid, but it obviously had something to do with Francis. After hours of waiting alone in Dewey's hospital room and keeping everyone away Francis had walked out looking defeated. Lois, Hal, Reese, Malcolm and Piama all approached when they saw him, and displayed various levels of emotion. Lois insisted she be allowed to see her son, and Francis said that was the last thing he needed. He seemed to be mulling over that statement when Lois came back, apparently gearing up for a fight. When Francis barely reacted she let off. If Francis was too weary to argue with his mother, it was bad. She asked what was going on; if he'd said anything. Francis said he thought Dewey should be left alone until they came back for him tomorrow. Piama almost said something then but instead just nodded once, a gesture no one noticed. She embraced her husband, patting his back and whispering soothing things in his ear.
Lois and Hal talked on and on in their bedroom with the door closed. Reese offered wilder and wilder explanations to Malcolm, Francis and Piama in the living room, and Malcolm gently rebuffed each one, devoid of his customary sardonicism. Piama would consider something and always decide against speaking. Francis sighed a lot, too pensive to notice his wife's quiet. The house seemed quieter than usual and somehow empty without Dewey and his eccentric behavior. Even his brothers missed him a little.
When it was finally the two of them Francis found it in him to talk to Piama about what was going on even if he didn't understand it very well himself.
He told Piama about how happy Dewey seemed when they went to the circus. He said he couldn't have seen this coming. What he didn't talk about was the look he remembered seeing in Dewey's eyes when they said goodbye that day.
He told Piama that Dewey had seemed to want him here but didn't want to talk to him at the hospital. What he couldn't bring himself to say was that he thought Dewey seemed to just be waiting for another chance to kill himself.
Piama wasn't saying anything and had almost a blank face. She was either deep in thought or in shock or something. The hours of waiting for Dewey to wake up came back to Francis, and he responded with more alarm than was normal when he asked why she was so quiet.
Piama asked a question Francis hadn't been expecting. He looked at her with something dawning on his face. She said, "What do you think?"