Sue: I don’t know if I really want to marry Walter. I know I accepted his proposal, but, Mother, you encouraged it. Maybe I was so used to trying to please you that I just went along—until, before I knew it—we were engaged. You and Dad were certainly pleased about it. I did not say I didn’t love Walter. I said I’m not sure now that I’m ready to marry him. Things just aren’t as clear now. You never really asked, did you? Neither of you. Mother, for all of my life, you have planned my every move. You have created a perfect daughter, and for the past two years—since Janie disappeared— you’ve buried your life in what I’ve been doing. I’ve become the living antidote for what Janie did to our family reputation. And you, Dad, you’ve always petted your daughters and bragged to others about how charming we were—that is, when you had time. We’ve never really talked, have we? We don’t really know each other very well. You’ve attended the important ceremonies of our lives, and you’ve paid our bills.
But what did this tell you about us as individuals? For the last two years, you’ve been involved with only two things—your job and finding Janie. This has been a silent household when the three of us have been here. Haven’t we always been interested mostly in achievements and in recognition, not in feelings or personalities? We’re in the same house but on different wave lengths. I want to be looked on as something more than a Blue Ribbon winner at the Child Show. I—I think Janie did, too. Yes, you showed me you loved me, and all you gave me you fave from love. I know that. Yes, you have given us a great deal. You’ve given us everything, and I do appreciate it. But you didn’t give us a chance to give. Maybe we had something to give you . . . if you’d just let us.