Oh, she was not looking forward to this. She stood in her parents’ house, anxiously dreading her sisters’ arrival. She sighed and regretting making this promise to her mother. She and her sisters did not get along as least when one sister was in the room. The butterflies in her stomach were so twisted that it felt like someone was beating a drum in her abdomen.
They were the three X sisters: Amy, Brynn and Carrie. Mom always laughed. Naming their daughters with letters in order, A B C. Very cute, Mom, NOT! From the very minute they were born, the competition began. Competition for Mom and Dad’s attention, attention of the teachers and especially the boys.
Amy sighed as she moved away from the window. She wished her husband could be here. He gave her strength when it gave to dealing with her sisters but she knew it would cause another argument that she didn’t have the strength to fight. A car door slammed as she looked out the window again and her sister, Brynn walks up to the door.
“Unbelievable” she mumbles. Brynn is dress to the nines. “She wears THAT to clean out house.” Brynn is wearing an outfit that she knows cost more than her car payment. Amy sadly looks down at her old t-shirt and jeans. Once again, the middle sister is going to shine brighter than the rest of them.
Amy plasters a smile on her face as Brynn enters the house.
“Amy, darling, how are you?” Brynn asks as she leans in to kiss her cheek. Amy awkwardly follows suit.
“Fine, fine. Just eager to get this done. We need to get the house on the market as soon as possible.”
“Yes, of course” Brynn looks around at the dingy house and winkled her nose. “Well, I certainly didn’t dress right, did I?” She laughed as if she didn’t know. Amy smiles weakly. She had a feeling that she would be doing most of the work…again.
“So, Maggie’s finally in school, huh” Brynn asked as she continued to look at the state of the house.
“Yes, she’s in kindergarten now and she loves it. She was so excited when…” Amy was cut off with the arrival of Carrie and Brynn’s squeal of delight as they hugged and began talking a mile a minute.
Carrie looked good. She had lost a lot of weight but there was something in her eyes that Amy did not like. Carrie reluctantly turned to Amy to say hello.
“Hi, Amy” she looked Amy up and down with a snide smirk. “How are you?” she asked dripping with venom.
“Good” Amy was able to squeak out as the butterflies got twisted tighter. She cleared her throat. “Shall we get started?”
“Shall we?” Carrie repeated.
“Yes, I thought we could start in our old bedrooms. You each can decide what you want to keep and what to give away, etc.” Amy said with her take charge voice. She felt somewhat stronger.
Brynn and Carrie both looked at each other and smiles. “Of course. Sounds like a plan” they chorused.
Amy nodded and hurried to her room in the back of the house and closed the door as she heard them laugh at whatever joke they made at her expense. She leaned against her bedroom door, looking at the mementos of her childhood. She closed her eyes against the tears that were already welling up. With a deep breath, she shook her head and got to work. She set up three boxes, labeled trash, donation and keep. She quickly cleaned out her closet, tossing the majority of the clothes in the donation box.
Before she knew a couple hours had gone by and her room was packed and ready to go. The only things that remained was her bed, which was trash and the dresser and nightstands which she was taking home with her. She carried the trash boxes to the dumpster she rented and piled the donation boxes in the garage. She looked around at her dad’s hideaway. His tools and various knickknacks still lined the cabinets.
“I guess I’ll do this next. Those two buddies certainly won’t do it.” Amy sighed and got to work. She began with her clean up routine. Deciding what she was to keep, donate and trash. She worked quickly, only pausing a few times to smile over a memento that her dad had kept. She missed him dearly. He was the only one who understood her, the only one who encouraged her and coached her though the difficult times in her life.
“Well, our bedrooms are done” Brynn’s voice broke Amy out of her daydream.
“Good. I guess you could start on the kitchen. I don’t know what is salvageable in there. Her pots and pans are so old, it’s probably trash.” Amy said.
Brynn looked at her strangely, looked as if she wanted to say something but nodded and walked back into the house. Amy finished what she could in the garage and made a mental note to call her husband to get help moving the heavier machinery.
Amy walked into the kitchen and looked around. “Where’s Carrie?” she asked.
“Oh, she went to get lunch.” Brynn said as she took items out of the pantry, grimacing as she touched something unpleasant.
“Lunch, huh?” She said as she looked at her watch. She guessed it was almost time for lunch. Just throw out all the food and seasoning.” Amy said as she set out to another room.
“Oh, yes, fearless leader” Brynn replied sarcastically as Amy entered her parents’ room.
Most of the items were gone already. Her parents’ beautiful four foster bed was at her house when they needed to move it to make room for her mom’s hospice bed. She opened her mom’s closet and breathed in her mom’s favorite powder. The scent surrounded her as she closed her eyes and thought of happier times. Amy’s eyes pooled with tears again when her thoughts turned to her mom’s final moments. She was the only one there as her mom took her last breaths. She held back tears as her mom struggled to talk. Amy remembers her final words, “Oh, my beautiful BB such the movie star! My little Care Bear, oh, my little care bear! And you, Amy, my little…” She never finished. Amy would sure she would have said “little helper” as the anger rose in her. First in birth but last in thought.
The front door slammed and Carrie’s voice rang out. “LUNCH IS HERE!” Amy sighed and left the room. She hoped she could hold it together. As she entered the kitchen, the scene that welcomed her had shocked her.“What the hell is this?”