Hardly anyone round these parts calls me by my daddy’s name. To them I’m Sophia Berengar, not Sophia Robillard, although, to be fair, that’s not incorrect; both names are mine. Legally, I’m Sophia Berengar Robillard, but to my family I’m “Sia.”
Oh, bother! I’m digressing once again. I’d offer my apologies, but you must understand this or nothing else will make sense. It’s important. Who I am today is bound up with who I was then — and all of it is tied to the secrets my family kept hidden.
Where was I? Oh, yes.
Uncle Peter was Mama’s brother. He was married to Aunt Lydia, who was what Mama called “delicate.” Whenever I pressed the issue, all Mama would say is that Aunt Lydia’s nerves were “shot all to pieces” and to let her alone. No one ever said why, though, and eventually we simply accepted it as a fact. Just as rain is wet and leaves fall in October, so Aunt Lydia was delicate.