"Did you hear about your sister?" my mother asked me.
Oh, good. A riddle. What was I supposed to have heard about my sister? That she had been promoted at work? Yeah, of course I knew that, she hasn't shut up about it. Or that she's been watching Aquila online? Of course I knew. She had to call me to ask me what the programme was called. I needed more information before I was to respond.
"What about her?" I settled on.
"She's not going to America."
Well, that's no surprise. Lots of people aren't going to America. I mean, I'm not going to America. Unless you are, you're probably not going to America either.
"Was she going to go to America?" I asked, completely nonplussed. The vague thought that she may have been going to visit my hairy friend and his new wife popped into my head. But no, that was ridiculous. Surely I'd be going too if that happened (and, you know, if America had an NHS? Because I'd have to take out health insurance otherwise.)? So why was she going to America? Or, as the case may be, not?
"She was going to go and visit whatshisname?"
"Oh, yeah..." I fished around in my head for the long line of men that have been into my sister over the years. "...Tom?"
"Yes, that's it. Only..."
"Did they break up?"
"She didn't want to talk about it."
I smiled ruefully to myself. She'd talk to me about it. I made a mental note to ask her about it at some point. After all, it's a regular occurrence that she breaks up with boyfriends, so I wasn't surprised. I didn't even know Tom at all. I'd seen him once, over Skype.
"She said it wasn't practical," my mother said as I made to walk out of the room.
Here I paused.
"That's a difference between her and I," I said carefully, balancing on my tiptoes to retain my posture.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, with her: long-distance relationship, it's not practical, end it. But with me, it's any relationship, anywhere, any time, no matter how difficult... love will find a way. Love always does." I placed a hand on my heart, to indicate what love was.
"She's a much more practical person than you are," replied my mother.
"I know," I said, shifting to balance on one foot.
"And you're much more romantic than she is."
"Oh, I know that too," I said.
As I walked off to do something mundane, I slowly came to the realisation that I hadn't initially known that my sister was going to America.
I should pay more attention.