Bad news can wait.
"Honey, just tell her, you're at work."
"I can't do that." Frustrated Rob ignores the phone and stares at me. "I can't lie to my Mom."
"Uh huh," I swipe a cloth through the dust on the end table. "How many messages has she left?"
I get the stink eye, but after a minute, he scrolls through his messages and then glances up. I raise my brows.
"Seventeen." He says.
"And from your sister?" I ask.
"Honestly, Honey, she's probably calling about a light bulb, or she wants a ride to Walmart." I toss the rag aside and slide a hand across his shoulder. "Go in the back bedroom and call her. Tell her, you're in Dallas, find out what she wants and then decide what to do next."
"I can't," Rob collapses on the couch, "but you can."
His expression is so conflicted that after a serious eye roll, I relent. "Fine, hand me the phone."
After a minute, Betsy answers and I go into stealth mode. "Hi Betsy, I'm in the Dallas airport, how are you?"
"Why hello Dear, how's Dallas?"
We chit chat for a moment or two and then I ask what's she been up to. Turns out she wanted a picture hung. Before help could arrive from the ground floor, she'd left countless messages with her children and the front desk.
"And you like where they hung the picture?" I grin at Rob, but his expression is closed, intense. "So what else is happening?"
"Well," she say's on a breathless sigh, "I went to an epiphany in downtown Detroit."
Okie doke. We chatter a bit and then make plans for dinner. I hang up the phone.
"Well," I plop down beside Rob, "I think your mother went to the symphony at the college in Ft. Myers."
He doesn't respond, he plucks his lower lip and studies me. "What," I ask, "you want to know if I lie to you?"
"No honey," I start to laugh, "I tell you too much."