I told him that I didn’t know what he was talking about.
Father Schaeffer replied that he knew my sister, that they were friends. “We spoke in this room often,” he said. “I know about your family.”
So that was it. Tina, my sister, was five years older than me and graduated from St. Patrick’s High School a year before I started there. Not only did she leave behind a trail of good behavior and grades for comparison to mine, but she must have cried on this priest’s shoulder about the drinking and fighting at home. I felt obligated to defend our family’s honor. “I’m sorry,” I said, “but I still don’t know what you’re talking about.”
He eyed me. He had snatched me out of the hallway between classes and taken me to the Guidance Department. “OK,” he said, “If you ever need me, you know where to find me.”
“Thank you,” I said.
He wrote out a late slip and handed it toward me. As I reached for it, he held onto it momentarily and repeated, “If you ever need me.”
I nodded toward him and again said, “Thank you.”
I felt a great relief after I left his office.
I never went back there or spoke to him again.
Oct. 19, 2011; 10 Pmish ©