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Rated: E · Assignment · Family · #2227037
A little story about sisterhood.

The Guest

The table was set for four, but there were only three. The sisters sat in the backyard of their childhood home, surrounded by well manicured shrubs, lush daylily gardens and their swimming pool in view. The evening sun and a whisper of wind disrupted the water just a little, to make the water shimmer. Rebecca, the oldest, sat across from her younger sister Raven, while Renee, sat in between them at the head of the table. Rebecca looked over at the empty place setting at the other end, next to her. The untouched silverware, dry wineglass, and bodiless chair served as a reminder of who was about to join them for dinner.

Their lunch was placed before them; baked chicken, olive oil drizzled green beans, and garlic roasted potatoes. The aromas settled over the table as the sisters ate in silence. Rebecca noticed a bird pecking at something on the empty place setting. Raven shooed it away. Rebecca put her fork down, rested her head on her hand and let out a long sigh.

"I can tell you're worried about something Rebecca. Do you want to talk about it?" Renee asked.

"I just wish that I wasn't so nervous."

"We are nervous too, believe me," said Renee.

"So...how's work going?" Raven asked. Both Rebecca and Renee were caught off guard by her question.

"Work is fine."

"It's good."

Then there was silence again.

"Well, you look great," Renee said.


"Yeah really pretty," said Raven.

"I didn't want to do too much you know?"

"Oh of course not, of course not," said Renee.

The forks clinked and the glasses clanked. Would be words were swallowed with the delicious mixture and stuffed down with each sip of water. Thoughts that wanted to come out as heartfelt concerns were sucked out with every bite.

"Remember when we had that one neighbor who tried to run us over with her car?" Raven said, as she looked down at her empty plate.

"Yes!" said Rebecca, a smile spread across her face that was mixed with part relief and part confusion.

"Oh she was the worst. I wonder if she's still alive?" Renee asked.

"She was crazy," said Raven.

"Do you remember when we use to make those bug hotels with mom's shoe boxes?"

"Of course!" both of the ladies exclaimed.

"Nothing was better than that water balloon fight we got into with the Ramos twins though," Renee said.

"Didn't they have a cousin named Lewis?" Rebecca asked.

"I think his name was Luther," Raven said.

"How do you know? You were still in diapers," Renee said.

"You guys talked about him all the time because Rebecca had a crush on him," The sisters laughed and Rebecca's two sisters made kissy faces with their lips. She hid behind the untouched napkin that was next to her. When she realized, she refolded it and put it back at its place.

"He was so fine though. He had brown skin but had red hair. I mean, that combo is hard to resist!" Rebecca said. All of the sisters laughed. Rebecca looked at them as they did. They looked happy. Almost the same as they looked when they were all young and carefree. When their world wasn't tainted with adult things like careers, what to prepare for dinner or boyfriends.

The doorbell rang. All of the girls looked at each other. Rebecca swallowed and then, in an almost mechanical way, she stood up. "He's here", she said.

"Yeah, I guess he is," said Renee. Raven didn't say anything else, she just looked at her plate. The laughter from seconds ago had gone.

Rebecca and Renee looked at each other. Renee nodded.

"Everything will be fine," said Renee as she motioned for her sister to get moving. Rebecca swallowed again and walked away from the table. Her sisters watched as she walked away from them.

Rebecca opened the door slowly to reveal the man of her dreams standing before her. He was as handsome as ever and had the nerve to be holding a small bouquet of red roses, which were her favorite.

"Come on in baby," she said after they kissed.

"I brought this for you. And these two for your sisters," he said with a smile that revealed his perfectly pearly teeth. He held out two single yellow roses. Rebecca smiled.

"That is so sweet of you. They are going to love them. I'm the first one of us to bring a man home so they are a little nervous."

"Well, I hope they like me and if not, I hope they at least like the roses," he said. Rebecca held out her hand.

"So, are you ready to meet them?"

"Ready as I can be. I can't wait to hear what they said when you told them we are engaged," he said grabbing her hand.

Rebecca felt the beginnings of that top lip sweat form. She let out a nervous laugh.

"I hope you're hungry. My sister Renee cooked for us," she said as she led him out to the backyard.

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