It had been at least two years since I'd seen my mother, and two years longer than that since I'd seen my sister. Not exactly a workaholic, I had been working overseas in Scotland for the past two years. I'd been gathering research on many of the medieval castles there, not for any real historical reasons, though that was part of it. But I had been working for a fairly eccentric billionaire who having nothing better to do with his money, wanted to build an exact replica of one of the more elaborate and infamous castles still standing. My work then, was seeing to all the detail required in replicating something of this magnitude. Not that I didn't mind, he was paying me a rather nice salary to do that. But it had meant a great deal of time away from friends and extended family.
And to make things worse, it was the rainy season. Everything was always cold and damp or so it seemed, and I was more than ready to jump at any excuse just to get some time away, feel the sunshine on my face let alone see it. When the call came from my sister Sharon, it gave me the reason and excuse I'd been looking for. Initially, I thought for sure it was something really serious. The fact it was Sharon calling me told me it had to have something to do with mom. And the fact Sharon was calling me in the first place, gave it a measure of some importance.
One of the reasons I hadn't seen my sister in so long, wasn't because I didn't want to, or even could have made a point of being there whenever she came for a visit to see mom. The reality was, Sharon and I had agreed it was best not to be around one another for a while, something we'd both reluctantly agreed to do some four years ago now.
"Sharon? What's wrong?" I'd asked worriedly, "How's mom?" I then asked figuring it had to be about her, or Sharon might not have called.
"Nothing serious David," she told me. "But you know mother, unless I called you, she wasn't about to. And like I said, not really serious, but she was involved in a car accident, had her leg broken in two places, so she'll be in a cast for a while. Had a few other abrasions and scrapes, but besides the broken leg, nothing life threatening or serious. Anyway, like I said, she wasn't about to call you. So I figured I'd better, at least let you know so you didn't hear it from somebody else and get all upset about it," she stated calmly.
"Tell mom I'm catching the next flight home," I told my sister, and then asked. "Or would you rather I not?"
There was a brief hesitation. "No, she'd like that David, and ... it has been a while since she's seen you, since I've seen you," she said pausing again. "It's been hard, on both of us I know, but admittedly, I've missed seeing you too."
I felt a great deal of relief in hearing that, it would be good seeing my sister again, though she put an almost immediate damper on my relief when she added. "As soon as you are here though, I'll be returning home myself. I think it would still be best that way."
It would be a long flight back to the States, and another long leg just to get back to Utah when I did. Sharon lived in California now, held a nice job at one of the Movie Studios and was in fact married to some sort of Studio Executive, though I had only met him once shortly before their wedding, and then of course again at the wedding and reception. I hadn't seen either of them ever since. As we had agreed so many years ago, feeling it best that we not, and always finding a reason or excuse to never show up around the holidays at the same time together. No one ever knew the real reason why, which was best for everyone involved or we knew, we'd both be ostracized under the circumstances.
As the plane lifted off for the long flight across the ocean, my mind drifted off back to that period in my life, in our lives really, nearly five years ago now. Five years of regret, but also a two week period of some of my fondest memories, especially during a time of stress not to mention a great deal of internal turmoil. Even as I sat there recalling it, I couldn't shake the memory of it from my mind, nor did I really want to.
Sharon had just turned twenty-one, it was a time of celebration and family togetherness. Little did any of us know at the time, just how dramatic things would be, how horribly and irrevocably they would all change in a single evening. Five years older than my sister, I for one should have known better, foreseen the ramifications of our eventual actions. But I wasn't thinking very clearly either, nor was anyone else for that matter during that time. What happened had affected us all in ways none of us could have ever imagined.
I had married my high school sweetheart just the year before. At the time, my entire life was laid out ahead of me with promises of a bright and exciting future. I had just graduated from the local university, landing a job in historical research which is where I eventually met, and eventually came to work for the man I was working for now. Sharon's twenty-first birthday was another reason for that celebration, a reason that all of us made a point of coming together and combining that with celebrating the fourth of July weekend, her birthday. At the time, mom and dad owned and lived in what to some could only be described as a small mansion. More rooms than anyone could shake a stick at for one thing, but for another, it made coming home to visit all the more enjoyable as there was plenty of space to spread out, and then some.
The party had been going on all day it seemed, with a hell of a lot more alcohol than normal, even for our family. Dad had gone out and hired a private fireworks show, something we were all looking forward to seeing as he'd spared no expense. Having the size of property we did, we were far enough and away so as not to endanger any of the neighbors, inviting many of them just to be sure, along with additional guests, family and friends. It was a hell of a turn out with well over two hundred in attendance.
As darkness neared, we were all expectantly waiting for the fireworks to begin, and they did, just not in the way any of us had ever expected or imagined they would.
"You seen dad?" Sharon had asked. I'd been looking for him myself for the last half an hour now.
"No, and I've been looking for him too," I told my sister. "He's nowhere on the grounds that's for sure."
"Then he's got to be inside." Sharon and I had gone back into the house looking for him, even stopping mom along the way, asking her if she'd seen him.
"That's funny," she said. "He and your wife came in here about a half hour ago looking for you," mom had told me, which only then made me realize I hadn't seen Gwen for quite some time myself either.
"Did you see where they went?" I asked curiously.
"Back outside," mom stated simply. "Though I thought I saw them heading over towards the garage, perhaps they thought that's where you'd be, especially as ... well, you know," she grinned now looking over towards my sister.
"Of course!" I thought stupidly to myself. "Sharon's present!"
Unbeknownst to her, until now anyway, dad had gone out and bought her a new car, something of a family tradition of sorts, as he had done the same thing for me on my twenty-first birthday. I had known he was planning on bringing it out just before the fireworks were to start, by way of surprise, so I figured that that's where he was at, preparing to do so. And in doing so, had decided to show it to Gwen beforehand.
I headed out the door with Sharon following. "Hey sis, maybe you should wait here, after all, you weren't supposed to know about it," I told her, though the look on her face told me otherwise.
"Are you kidding? No way am I going to wait to see it now, what if it's something hideous? The last thing I'd want to do is stand there in shock in front of everyone, if it was!"
I had to remind myself, Sharon wasn't a little girl any more either. Hadn't been for a very, very long time. Attractive almost to a fault, her long brown hair fell well beyond her shoulders. She was long legged, something she always enjoyed showing off either in short skirts, or almost too short of shorts whenever she could get away with it. And though I hated admitting it, she also had a great pair of tits, which she always seemed to have growing up, even at such a young age.
"Suit yourself," I told her, and then headed off towards the garage area with Sharon following.
Oddly, none of the lights were on in the big six-car garage as we rounded the corner by the side of the back entry. I had heard no engines, or cars being started up either, so I knew dad hadn't as yet driven down Sharon's new car to where everyone was now impatiently waiting for things to start.
"Strange," I said turning towards my sister, just as a faint light came on. Had we not been standing near the side window, we'd have missed it. But under the circumstances, it drew us closer to the window like a beacon. Looking back, I wish now that we'd have been late, or never even gone there at all. Not that that would have changed the eventual outcome, but perhaps it would have at least delayed it from having happened on Sharon's birthday.
.... There is more of this story ...