Darryl had one week off from work per year that he dreaded. The week he took in Summer was always a nice trip to a beach somewhere. The week in spring he tried to pick an international destination. Fall, though, meant Thanksgiving, which meant the obligatory trip back to visit his family six hours away where he had to try and remember the names of his extended family and pretend to be closer to his parents and sister than he really way.
And to make matters worse this year his sister Becky, four years younger than him at 23, had gone and gotten engaged a few months ago while Darryl wasn’t even in any sort of relationship. He decided he really didn’t want to deal with 24 straight hours of that this year and decided to get a hotel. His parents hadn’t liked that idea at all but Darryl had insisted and so here he was, checked into a mid-range hotel a mile and a half from his childhood home.
Darryl made the visit he felt was mandatory to have dinner with his parents the night he got into town. Becky was off somewhere with her fiancee’s family and hardly anybody talked except to give him a hard time about not having anybody to bring home. He was extremely relieved to make his way back to his hotel.
Boredom, though, crept in immediately. He considered making a run out to the bars but there weren’t really any good ones around, and he wasn’t really in the mood for running into people he used to know and pretending to remanence. All his close friends had left town ages ago. For a brief moment he considered calling up a long-ago ex to see what she was up to, but a quick social media search told him that she was not only out of town but married and pregnant.
An ad on the side of the screen captured his interest, though. It was for some new anonymous hook-up app. Figuring he had nothing to lose Darryl downloaded it onto his phone, put the least amount of information possible on his profile along with a picture of his body without his face (as was the custom on the service) and waited. Darryl was in very good shape, and his profile had attracted a handful of views within the hour. He scrolled through the women on the site and realized he’d actually put more info in his profile than was the norm; almost nobody had anything besides a body shot and their age. He sent a connection request to some of the more attractive pictures and went to sleep.
The next morning he had two connection requests that had been accepted. The first was a very busty looking girl who had taken her picture in a white tank top with a black bra. The angle scared him a bit though; she could have been hiding an awful lot. The second was much more promising. He thought he could make out some blonde hair coming down over her shoulders and the way the picture was taken she didn’t seem to be hiding anything. She looked tall with above average breasts and a long, thin torso that melted down into some nice looking hips. Darryl fired off a quick message letting her know that he was in town for a week and was looking for something quick and hoped for the best.
He groaned as he got dressed and made his way out to his car. He had more family obligations today. His parents had always insisted on taking he and Becky out to pick their Christmas presents. As a child Darryl had found this weird since there were barely any surprises and now that they were adults it felt even more strange. But they were pretty liberal with their money and he needed some new dress shirts.
After parking his car at the mall his phone dinged and his heart raced a little when he saw that the girl he had messaged had messaged him back. She was looking for the same thing, a quick hook up, and was ‘somewhat attached’ so the fact that he’d be out of town in a week was actually a positive. He was a little taken aback when she asked for a picture of his dick but considered the nature of the app and decided to oblige her.
Of course that meant he had to get motivated so he could show himself in full glory, so he explained the situation to her and asked for some visual stimulation. They both considered that to be a pretty smooth move and after a delay of about a minute he received a picture of her, topless, which appeared to have been taken in sort of bathroom. Darryl called her dirty for taking the picture there and she called him a pervert for masturbating in a car. Darryl laughed and she wished him luck.
His car was in a back section of the parking lot but this was still the riskiest thing Darryl had done. He figured this was somehow illegal and kept an eye out as he rubbed himself through his jeans. He took off his jacket and put it in his lap so he could pull his cock out. His phone propped was on his steering wheel and the more excited he got the sexier he found the picture. It didn’t take long before he was ready to send his reply, and once he did he relieved himself into a napkin that was left over from some fast food he’d bought on the way to town.
The girl was impressed and asked when he was available. He hated to wait but couldn’t bail on his family so he asked if she could come over late that night. She agreed, and Darryl’s heart started pounding in his throat. He couldn’t believe this was really going to happen.
Darryl felt a little guilty as he walked into the mall. He was late due to his shenanigans in the parking lot and he felt dirty. He bumped into his family before he could find a bathroom to wash off in.
“Hey there!” Becky said, giving him a big hug. Darryl returned it gingerly, hoping all the swelling had gone down.
“Hey, long time no see,” he said, walking with her back toward their parents.
“Since last Christmas you ghost,” she said with a little giggle. “You don’t live that far away, you should come back more.”
“You’re right, I don’t live that far away. You all could visit any time you want,” he replied with a half smile.
“It’s been a very busy year,” his mother said. Apparently the last three had been too. That was ok though, Darryl had no need for houseguests.
“I’m going to come see you,” Becky said, determined. “Right now there’s just the wedding planning though, it takes so much time!”
“Have you picked a date yet?” Darryl asked.
“No,” their dad answered. “Or a venue. Or anything.”
“Daddy, shut up,” Becky said, hitting him lightly in the chest. “It takes time.”
“Didn’t take you two long to find an apartment.” She blushed.
“Well anyway,” Darryl said, changing the subject much to his sister’s delight, “let’s get started.”
The family went through a number of stores, the parents not really having any input. Becky and Darryl would pick what they wanted and their parents would buy it. They knew the budget and stuck to it. It felt sterile and cold. Becky made small talk with Darryl throughout the trip which was the highlight but once they’d spent the money their parents were eager to get going. They had dinner planned that evening but there were still a few hours to go before that. Becky invited Darryl to come hang out at her house and he couldn’t think of an excuse why not to.
Darryl had always felt a little awkward around Becky’s boyfriends. Something about knowing the guy was railing his sister he just found off-putting. He knew she was an adult and it wasn’t logical, but he couldn’t help it. Robert, her fiancée, seemed like a boring guy which helped a little. He was sprawled on the couch when they got home.
“Hi Robert!” Becky said, going over and giving him a peck on the forehead. “I think you’ve met Darryl once before, right?”
“Uh, yeah,” he said, not having expected visitors. “Hey man.”
“Hey.” Darryl nodded toward Robert and then looked toward Becky to try and figure out why the hell he was here.
“Grab a seat! Do you want a beer or something?” Darryl reluctantly sat down. It was early but he figured anything would help. He nodded and his sister opened a beer and gave it to him.
The next hour and a half was full of awkward silence, with the occasional bit of small talk. This just wasn’t Darryl’s scene. He could talk to people where he worked, or when he went out to clubs back where he lived, but this sort of interaction he’d never been trained for. Even though he knew dinner would be more of the same he was relieved when their parents called and suggested going out early. It was one step close to getting back to his hotel room and meeting up with his mystery girl.
Robert complained about a headache and was excused from the dinner which suited Darryl just fine. As he’d expected it was more of the same. Eating, silence, awkward looks around the table. Darryl excused himself to the restroom to send a message to the girl to find out what time she could be over, as well as to let her know where he was. He didn’t get anything back right away and tried not to panic. If she fell through the silver lining of the day’s cloud would be gone.
He went back to the table and saw that his parents were gone but his sister was still there. His phone dinged at him as he sat down but he decided to wait to open it. He didn’t think he could contain his reaction either way if it was from the girl and he didn’t want to explain any of it to his sister.
“They left. Don’t worry, they paid the bill.” She looked upset.
“Nice of them to say bye.”
“Yeah, well. You know them.” Becky sniffled a little. Darryl knew this look. She was about to cry.
“What wrong?” he asked, trying his best to sound sympathetic. Becky shook her head and was silent for moment but then blurted out.
“I hate our family.” Darryl’s eyes shot open. “Not you,” she said, a tear welling up in her eye. “Not mom or dad. Not any one person. Just the thing as a whole. You know we’re not normal, right?”
“I know what you mean,” Darryl said with a sigh, putting his arm around his sister’s back and patting it comfortingly. “They’ve always been very cold. I guess it rubbed off on us. Or me at least.”
“I try. I try to schedule stuff with them, to be really thoughtful, but they don’t give anything back.”
“I guess I haven’t been so good at that either.” Becky shrugged.
“We were closer than we were to them. That’s something.”
“Do you want to go grab a drink?” Darryl asked, praying that the message on his phone wasn’t the girl saying she was ready right now.
“Absolutely,” Becky said, standing up quickly and grabbing her purse. “You drive, I’ll take a cab back and get my car tomorrow.”
They drove to a nearby bar that would be open for a couple more hours. It was mostly empty since it was a week night and they grabbed a corner booth, far away from anybody else there. Darryl got a pitcher of beer and managed to sneak his phone out to see what he’d received. To his delight it was the girl, happy to come over at 10. It wasn’t even 8 yet so Darryl figured he had time to help his sister out and still make that appointment. He poured them each a glass.
“I just don’t get it,” she said, going straight back into her familial despair and putting her head on his shoulder. “People aren’t born that way, right? You have to try to be that ... clinical.”
“I don’t know if it’s nature or nurture,” Darryl said, “but there definitely is something loose in their head. Mine too.”
“No, you’re not like them,” Becky said. Darryl looked down at her glass. It was already almost empty. “You’re a little like them, but you’ve got some heart at least. You’re here now. Instead of whatever else you’d be doing.”
“Watching movies in a hotel room?” Darryl said with a laugh. “But yeah, I’m here. You’re my sister, I love you even if you have weird parents.”
Darryl changed the subject and tried to get caught up on the news of the town, if only to give his sister something else to talk about. At some point he refilled the pitcher. Becky was drinking more than half of the beer and seemed to be getting a little sloppy, while Darryl was trying to pace himself so he could function later. Finally they got to the subject of Robert and Becky got upset again.
“I don’t know what I’m thinking,” she said, nearly crying again. “He’s just like them. He’s cold like they are. I have no idea why I said yes to him.”
“Come on now, he can’t be that bad. I mean you dated him, there has to be something there.”
“He’s ok. There’s just no spark. There’s something missing.” Becky got quiet for a minute and then took a big breath. “I shouldn’t tell you this, but...” her voice trailed off.
“What is it?”
“Well, I, sort of am thinking about cheating on him.” Darryl was quiet for a moment.
“Thinking about it?”
“I haven’t done it yet,” she said. Her voice got low. “There’s this app.” Now Darryl’s face turned white. He leaned back and looked his sister up and down. He’d tried hard not to pay attention to her body before. She was his sister after all.
“And there’s this guy that I’m supposed to meet tonight,” Darryl felt like he was going to throw up. He started to shake a little. It was her. The body looked just like the one in the picture.
“Stop,” he said quietly.
“I know, I shouldn’t be telling you this,” she said.
“You shouldn’t go,” he said, biting his lip and looking forward.
“I’m going to. I need something different. Maybe it’ll be a one time thing, maybe I’ll leave Robert tomorrow. I have no idea.”
“And where are you meeting him?”
“His hotel. Over on Main.” Darryl finally looked over at her and stared directly at her. “Hey, isn’t that the one...” He watched the gears turn in her head. Suddenly her eyes shot open. “Oh my god!” she squealed, “it’s you!”
“Volume down, and let’s never, ever talk about this again.” Becky started rolling in the booth laughing. “This is funny?”
“This is hilarious! What are the odds? Oh my god!”
“You’re not embarrassed? By anything?” Becky was a little drunk but then she thought about their interactions.
“Oh, yeah...” She subconsciously crossed her arms over her body. “But not as much as you are!” She started laughing again, but a little more controlled. The bartender was giving them a dirty look for the noise.
“This is the most humiliating day of my life.”
“That can’t possibly be true,” Becky said with a smile. “Either way I can’t deal with Robert tonight. Does your room have two beds?”
“You seriously want to come back to my hotel room? After today?”
“Why not? You’ve got movies, right?” Darryl couldn’t quite articulate why he thought this was such a bad idea. “Let’s go.” The bartender looked relieved at those words.
“Well then I guess you get the floor. Or we make a pillow wall. I don’t know, let’s do it! We want to be closer, let’s start now.” Becky wanted to be closer. Darryl wanted to be as far from his sister, who he’d unknowingly masturbated to, as possible. She finally convinced him and he drove them back to the hotel.
“Nice place,” Becky said, walking in and looking around. It was a modern hotel with black furniture, white walls and lots of mirrors.
“I guess.” Darryl sat down on the bed and turned on the TV. “What are you in the mood for?”
“Something funny.” Becky was unusually bubbly. Or maybe just drunk. Darryl went through the pay per view movies and picked the first brainless comedy he saw.
“Are you really going to sleep here?” Darryl asked as Becky sat down next to him.
“Unless you don’t want me to.” He couldn’t bring himself to turn her out. She was having a crisis. And she was pouting a little.
“Yeah, stay, it’s fine.” Becky laid back onto the bed and propped herself up so she could see the TV and Darryl joined her.
“I can’t believe I...” Darryl said during a lull in the movie. It caused Becky to burst out laughing again.
“Liked what you saw huh?”
“I mean, before I knew it was you, yeah.” Becky blushed a little.
“I can’t believe you didn’t recognize me.”