“Summer,” I thought as I watched with anticipation the familiar house grow closer out of the taxi window, “is always such a great time for a college student; no classes, great weather, and more importantly, girls in tight bikinis.”
Like every summer I would be spending the vacation at my parent’s house. Not very glamorous, but they were always eager to see me and my sister, especially our mother; she relished being able to fret over us as if we were still her little darlings. God forbid we dare touch the laundry or cook something. I suspect she never got over me and more recently my sister leaving the house.
Seeing as I would be entirely free of my time, I was planning on spending my days showing off at the beach, flirting with and sexing up the cute girls, no strings attached, before I had to head back to school.
But not today, right now I was very much looking forward to seeing my sister again; we hadn’t seen each other since last summer when she finally decided her major and moved off to some distant, artsy College.
“Here we are,” the driver announced over his shoulder as the taxi slowed to a halt in front of the house. “Fifteen seventy-five.”
I took out my wallet, dug out a twenty and handed it over. “Keep the change,” I offered before getting out, suitcase in hand. I closed it again behind me.
“Thanks,” I heard from the open window as the taxi moved past me, but I had already dismissed it, looking instead at the house.
I had missed it; its well-groomed edges, airy yard, and its familiar contours bringing back childhood memories. Hell of a lot better than some cramped dorm room.
I saw the parent’s cars in the drive; good, looking like they were home. I was at the door in a couple of quick steps. I burst in, smiling expectantly. “Hi, I’m home!”
After a puzzled moment my smile melted in worry; no reactions, no one coming to check the door? This wasn’t like them.
I let my suitcase fall to the floor, forgotten, and hurried in to investigate. Had something bad happened? A nervous look in passing told me there was no one in the living room. I kept running and burst in the dining room, jerking to a halt in shock at the sight greeting me.
Here was my father, standing up and hugging my crying sister, while mother sat at the table, ashen.
“What’s going on,” I blurted out.
Mother turned her sad eyes on me, just now realizing my presence. She wiped her teary eyes with one hand, looked at my sister and then back at me.
“She came back to find that Darren Cypher with another woman,” she explained.
She opened her mouth to speak again but closed it with a snap and buried her face in her hands instead.
I felt anger rising in me. Darren; they’d been going out last summer before she left for college. I thought he was a friend, how could he do this to my sister?
“I knew he was bad news.” Father growled over my sister’s shoulder, patting her back. “I shouldn’t have let you get with him, honey.”
“Dad,” she whined, pushing herself away from his chest and out of his arms. “I love him!” without making eye contact with anyone she ran out the room, her steps soon echoing up the stairs.
“Cindy,” I called, “wait!” I sprang after her, but by the time I reached the stairs I heard a door clang above. I sprinted up and crossed the hallway in record time, stopping before her closed door. I tried the handle; locked.
“Open the door,” I pleaded. “I just want to talk.”
“No,” came her muffled reply. “I don’t want to talk.”
“Please,” I begged. “You don’t have to go through this alone”
She didn’t reply, her only response being her muffled sobs coming through the door. I persevered, but she was deaf to my pleas. Eventually I gave up and skulked away, depressed.