The following Monday brought a return to the usual crazy at the White House. Still, Sharon was uneasy. June had left the Tanaka homestead in Los Angeles pretty early in the celebration and was supposedly in New York tending to her fashion clothing design business. Sharon hadn’t wanted to say anything during the celebration. So, that Monday, in between emails concerning new tariffs being considered by the European Union and the latest efforts to stem the ivory trade in Africa and China, Sharon fretted and finally decided to swing by Karen’s office.
“Hey,” Karen said, looking up from her glass desk. Karen’s office was modern minimalist with a decided nod to Japanese style. “Looks like our court decision on Friday barely raised a blip.” Karen nodded at the black shelf with four television sets stacked one on top of the other. “They were more excited about a 15-year-old giving a press conference.”
Sharon rolled her eyes. “Does Kira know what kind of stir she raised?”
“Don’t know,” Karen said. “Fortunately, she’s grounded, which includes a full media blackout. That doesn’t mean Allie hasn’t told her. I also told Kira that I expect her to talk to me first before alerting the media. She agreed. So why are you here? EU tariffs?”
“We should probably look at that from your perspective,” Sharon sighed. “Actually, I’m here about June.”
“She was eating,” said Karen. “Until we won.”
“And then she disappeared again.” Sharon made a face. “Which means that while she was helping you, she was putting her own issues on the back burner, but as soon as that was resolved, she’s back in relapse.”
“Are you sure it’s anorexia?” Karen asked.
Sharon shrugged. “As sure as I can be. Heaven knows, I saw enough of it in secondary school.”
“Secondary? Is that, like, high school?”
“Basically. It was a boarding school in Switzerland for really rich girls. My dad had called in a few favors while he and his firm were rebuilding some government building and the infrastructure in Prague.”
“Oh, that’s right. Your dad’s a civil engineer specializing in historic buildings.”
“That’s it. So instead of high school, my sister Susan and I went to a boarding school for very high profile young women in Berne. And with all those very spoiled, very image-conscious teen girls, anorexia was epidemic. And after that, at UCLA,” Sharon shuddered. “I was so hoping I wouldn’t have to do another intervention. You want to talk about something that is seriously not fun.”
“Hm.” Karen tapped her desk with a pen. “That means you could get June-”
“I’ve never led one,” Sharon said quickly. “And it’s always different depending on the person’s triggers and how open they are to recovery, all those things. You really have to know what you’re doing.”
“You know what? I know a shrink in Los Angeles who might be able to help. We’ve worked together before on a couple academic papers on culture and body image.”
“And we should probably talk to Boss Jugs,” Sharon added. “He might know what her triggers are.”
“Oh boy, that’s going to be fun.”
“Yeah, especially if he’s prone to keeping it under wraps. It’s one of those things families try to pretend isn’t happening.”
Karen shook her head. “That’s not generally the boss’s style. I mean, it could be.”
Sharon thought it over. “He is pretty open, but he can hold back, too. You want to call Kent and set up an appointment or shall I?”
“Do you mind?” Karen looked at her desk sadly. “I’m way backed up.”
“No problem. And I can cover any fees your shrink friend needs, too.”
“We’ll see what we can work out,” Karen said.