You've already met Brandy's best friend, Angelica Cruz. As a reminder, Brandy works as a psychotherapist at the VA hospital. She and Angelica have been friends since college, where they shared some of the same classes. Angelica has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a master's degree in counseling. She works as a middle school guidance counselor.
Nathan and Hilary Clarke were introduced a while back. You can see their family photo on the Characters page. Here’s a bit of background. Aided by IVF, Hilary gave birth to twins twice. The couple had twin sons, Justin and Jason and twin daughters, Mary Kate and Margaret. About a year ago, tragedy struck the Clarke family when Margaret died in a house fire. Every family member dealt with their grief differently. While Nathan poured himself into work, Hilary became emotionally withdrawn. The boys were inspired to write songs about the heart break of losing a loved one, and Mary Kate who is now a twinless twin, fell into grief-related depression.
The receptionist informs Angelica that the Clarkes are waiting in her office.
Thank you for coming in on such short notice. Please come have a seat at my desk. (Angelica)
Sure. I’m Angelica Cruz, a guidance counselor here and a member of the school's crisis team. (Angelica)
Crisis team?! (Hilary)
You can relax, Mr. and Mrs. Clarke. Mary Kate is okay for now, but there was an incident earlier today. I’ve asked you here to talk about some things she wrote in her writing journal. Her language arts teacher read some entries today in which she wrote about wanting to die and even contemplated the best way to end her own life. We take these things very seriously. Our crisis response protocol is not to send students home on the bus if we think they may be in danger. (Angelica)
Oh my… (Hilary, beginning to cry)
Nathan winces at the mention of Margaret’s name.
Were you conscious of the fact that Mary Kate was struggling so much with her sister’s death? (Angelica)
Nathan swallows hard, but doesn’t answer.
So what now? (Nathan)
She can go home with you. We do request that you sign some paperwork acknowledging that we’ve made you aware of the situation. I suggest keeping a very close watch over her and also scheduling an appointment with a child psychiatrist as soon as possible. If you don’t have a family mental health practitioner, then we can give you a list of local doctors. (Angelica)
You haven't even touched your dinner, sweetheart. I thought roast beef was your favorite. (Nathan)
I'm not hungry. (Mary Kate)
Go ahead then. (Nathan)
Moments later, Hilary walks into the dining room.
She did. She wasn't hungry. (Nathan)
This makes the third night this week she hasn't eaten her dinner. (Hilary sighs)
I got a text from the boys. Their rehearsal is over at 6:30. Can you pick them up? (Hilary)
And I just got off the phone with the therapist’s office. They can see us next Thursday afternoon at 1:00. (Hilary)
Us? What do you mean us? (Nathan)
So you expect me to miss an entire afternoon of work for this? (Nathan)
Then you’ll have to reschedule. I’ve got to work. (Nathan)
Well, it’s going to have to. I can’t afford to get behind at work. (Nathan)
You’re unbelievable. Are you even listening to yourself? Work will be there, but the only daughter you have left might not be if we don't do something to help her. Mary Kate can’t wait any longer. She needs help now. She needed help a year ago, but you wouldn’t listen to me… (Hilary)