We arrive at the hospital emergency room, and wait the required distance from the admissions desk until it is our turn, and I have to tell the nurse why we are here. My daughter made suicide threats, I whisper.
She nods and takes my insurance card and gestures toward the waiting area.
I sit on a sofa, facing the vast windows that let in what little light Seattle has to offer this time of year. The Child sits next to me.
I wonder if putting an arm around her will make her angry, or if not putting an arm around her set her off, so I do neither, and pat her arm lightly instead.
A nurse arrives and takes her behind the doors to the triage area, and then I am sitting alone, breathing disinfected air, staring past the corporate Christmas tree at the looming sky outside.