Wednesday, November 21st 2012 – Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
"I want you to be very careful what you say to your sister Katrina when she gets home," mom instructed. Dad looked up from his paper.
"Careful in exactly what way?" I asked back.
"She's broken up with Philip," mom answered.
"Yes!" my little sister Anna shouted as she threw her left arm up into the air.
"Finally!" I said happily as I looked over at dad. A small grin had appeared on his lips.
"Not one word! From any of you. And that includes you Charles Williams," mom ordered.
"I didn't say a word," dad protested. No one in the family had ever really liked Katrina's beau. And that included mom.
"When did she dump the jerk anyway?" Anna asked. At fifteen sis wasn't worried about the niceties.
"She didn't really say. There might have been another girl involved," mom said tentatively as she glanced over at her younger daughter, clearly unsure what she should tell her fifteen year old.
"I told you he was an idiot! That just proves everything I ever said about that--" I left off the 'asshole' but everyone in the room was able to complete the sentence.
But it was Anna who delivered the best line. "It couldn't have been for another girl, I don't think that weirdo even likes girls," she said. An opinion I'd held since the first time I'd seen the wimpy looking, beret wearing Philip Danson.
"She was crying when I talked to her on the phone so I don't want any of you to say one word," mom ordered.
That prick had made my big sister cry? I was boiling inside. If Philip had been in the room at that instant he just might never have left it.
Katrina Astrid Williams, twenty-one years old and a junior at Carleton College in Minneapolis, a blond who put lie to every dumb blond joke ever written, a lovely girl who was as nice as she was beautiful, was due home the next day for Thanksgiving weekend with the family.
And I, her eighteen year old brother, had been eagerly awaiting her return from school for weeks. I was in love with her! Always have been. And I'm pretty sure I always will be. In every possible way! In ways I shouldn't be. And Katrina didn't have a clue about my real feelings.
I was just the little brother. Cute maybe but also a pest!
Thanksgiving Day - Dinner
It was just after four in the afternoon when Katrina arrived home the next day – she'd caught a drive from a friend at school who also lived in Chicago. After a more than four hundred mile trip, sis looked pretty bedraggled as she trooped through the front door.
"Honey," dad said happily as he engulfed his eldest daughter in his arms. The hug seemed to last minutes and when dad finally released her we could all see the tears running down Katrina's cheeks. For seconds none of us knew what to say. I think all four of us were stunned; Katrina had always been the strong one in the family.
"So," I finally ventured as I held out my arms, "you don't have a hug for your favorite brother?" Then, without giving her a chance to say a word, I wrapped my arms around her. A second later mom and Anna and dad had joined us in a family hug.
I knew my sister was crying as I held her, heck I could feel her chest heaving. But even as I held her in my arms I couldn't help but think of her breasts, even though covered with a bra, a shirt and a sweater, that were pressing into my chest. My nose, buried in her blond curls, inhaled the intoxicating scent that was Katrina. She was home! My big sister was crying but I was happy!
Thanksgiving dinner at the Williams, even with one member clearly hurting, was always a loud, happy, raucous family affair. Jokes and laughter and an endless repeating of old family stories as we all waded through the mountains of food. Looking at us, all relatively trim, would have made anyone wonder where all the food was going to.
And Kat, although mostly quiet during the meal, a spectator more than a participant, still graced us throughout with shy smiles and grins. Sad grins that near broke my heart. And although sis had tried to valiantly hold up her end during the dinner, as soon as the desert dishes had been cleared just after seven, Katrina fled to her room.
"Should I go up?" dad asked.
"I'll go," Anna offered.
"She's tired," mom cautioned, "maybe it's best to let her rest for a while."
So dad and I settled down on the couch in the den – then watched a bit of the College football game before switching to the NFL at just after eight. Mind you I couldn't keep my mind on the Jets-Patriots matchup, instead I was thinking about my sister upstairs.
I hated to see Katrina sad but at the same time I'd immediately recognized the opportunity. And I knew that if I didn't act soon I'd never act. I'd never have the courage to let her know the real feelings I had for her. The incestuous feelings!
Anna split almost as soon as she and mom had finished cleaning up the kitchen – she was spending the night at one of her friends. A Thanksgiving night sleepover for five or six fifteen year olds! I pitied her hosts; dad and I had suffered a similar fate a couple of months earlier. And worse still was the fact that the fifteen year olds were planning on waking up by three in the morning and then trouping out on a Black Friday buying spree.
Mom didn't reappear in the den til just before ten. She'd been up to see Kat. "She had a nap. She's feeling better now. We talked a bit," she told dad and I as soon as she'd settled herself down on the couch between us.
"I'll go up later," I offered casually. "Maybe she'll want to watch a flic or something."
"Would you?" mom asked hopefully. I nodded. "Just make sure you don't mention Philip," mom cautioned some minutes later when I lifted myself up off the couch and told her I might as well go up.
"I'll look in later," she answered as she snuggled up against dad. Perfect I thought to myself as I slowly climbed the stairs. My mind was racing. Planning. Plotting. Thinking. Wondering. Was this the 'now or never' moment?
I knocked again. I was standing in front of Katrina's bedroom door. I'd just showered and shaved. Slapped on deodorant and after shave. All I had on was a tee shirt and sweat pants. It was ten-thirty. Dad and mom were still downstairs in the den.
"Who is it?" A barked out demand. I simply waited without replying. I knew my sister's curiosity would eventually get the better of her. I knew her weaknesses.
"Anna?" she finally asked. No answer. "Mom?" again sis received no answer. A second later the door was pulled open. "Oh it's you. What do you want?" she demanded when she saw me.
"Forget it, you probably wouldn't be able to help me anyway," I answered and then started to turn away.
I'd taken only three steps before her peremptory command rang out. "Robert, you come back here!" So I did. "What do you want anyway?" she then asked as I slipped past her into her bedroom and sat down on her bed.
I was still trying to figure out my best course of action when she added, "And I don't want to hear one question about Philip. Not one! Do you understand?" Her words had given me my opening.
"Hah! It's always about you isn't it? Always about Katrina! Even though you're the smart, beautiful one. The favorite," I accused angrily. Perhaps the least fair thing I'd ever said to sis. I hated starting that way but I knew that I had to get her out of her funk and fast. "If Anna was just a little older I'd ask her. She'd help."
"Me! I'm the favorite? Since when? And ask Anna about what?"
"I can't tell mom. She'd have a fit. I was hoping that maybe you'd help me but I should have known better." I knew Katrina wouldn't be able to refuse the bait.
"I've always been there for you," sis answered, a hurt look on her face. "Is something wrong? Why can't you tell mom? What is it?"
"You've got your own problems ... I shouldn't have bothered you ... sorry," I answered as I started to stand up.
"You're not going anywhere. Now talk," she ordered as she pushed me back down. A second later she'd grabbed her computer chair and had plopped herself down on it facing me.
"What do you think of Sarah?" I asked once she'd settled herself. "I mean really think of her." Sarah was my current girlfriend.
"Why?" I said nothing. "Are you two having problems?" I could see that Katrina had totally forgotten Philip. I still didn't answer. "She's not pregnant is she?"
Jesus! Pregnant? That was better than I'd hoped for! I shook my head no in answer. "Of course not! It's something else."
"You can't tell anyone ... not mom, not dad, not--"
"Tell them what?"
"Okay, okay, okay, I promise," sis finally conceded.
"Cross your heart," I demanded. Glaring, she quickly crossed her heart.
"It's sorta weird," I started.
"What is?" Katrina demanded when I didn't immediately go on.
"You might get mad at me ... maybe I shouldn't--"
"WHAT ... IS ... IT!" Katrina, although she could be as kind as anyone, and had been to me the whole time I'd been growing up, also could be impatient with someone who didn't get to the point. Which of course I knew.
"Well, do you like Sarah?" I asked again.
I could see for just a second Katrina wasn't one hundred percent sure how to answer. She clearly didn't want to commit herself before she knew where I was going. "She's not a blond," she finally offered with a smile, restating an old running family joke.
.... There is more of this story ...