Carrie stared at Amy in shock. She knew! She thought it was an inside joke between her and Brynn and Amy knew.
“How could I not know?” Amy continued answering the unspoken question which hung in the air. “Mom always went out of her way to belittle anything we tried to do. When we got married, she didn’t like anything we planned for the ceremony or the reception. When we started to try to have a family and we had a little problem, she blamed Aaron because ‘How could it be Amy? I never had any problems?’ But it doesn’t matter. Aaron has been good to me and anything she said was out of dislike and not general concern for my safety.”
Amy turned away from her sisters. “Do you know that the secrets you told mom weren’t secrets for long?” she whispered. “I never let on that I knew because I knew it was supposed to be quiet. Even now, I don’t want to tell you what Mom has told me because it would only hurt you more and I don’t want to do that.”
Brynn and Carrie told in silence, unable to find the words to add to the conversation.
“You two are my sisters and I love you very much. I only hope and pray for the best for you. But we don’t have to be best friends. I’m quite content in my life as wife and mother. I have my PTA meetings now and classroom bake sales and such. Brynn, you have an amazing job that I could never do and you have amazing friends who fill your life with fun and adventures. And Carrie, I know you are trying your best. There will come a day when you look back and realize that the path your life has taken is because you took it. I pray every day that God helps you find whatever it is you are looking for.”
Brynn smiled and crossed the room to hug Amy. When she stepped back and turned to Carrie, she just turned and left the room. Carrie walked into the backyard where their childhood swing set still stood. The rusty chains creaked as she sat down in the middle. Carrie gently swung back and forth, back and forth. Amy’s words rolling in her head. She’s wrong, she thought. My path isn’t all my own. Dad picking Amy as his favorite and Mom, well Mom did dote on her. She was the baby after all and Mama always loves her baby. Something was missing. Mom only paid attention to her because Amy had Dad’s attention and Brynn couldn’t care less about getting their attention. She was always off doing something and rarely home.
“Carrie” Brynn called, breaking her train of thought. “Are you alright?”
“Sure, I’m alright. You think anything that prissy ass Amy said affected me” Carrie scoffed. “She shouldn’t flatter herself.”
Brynn gave her a look of skepticism but kept quiet. “How bout we finish in the house so we can put in whole day behind us?”
Carrie reluctantly agreed and walked back into the house. As she approached the front door, she noticed that her brother-in-law had arrived with the rental truck for the furniture that Amy wanted to keep. Why Amy wanted to keep some of this furniture was behind her but she supposed that Amy was a sentimental fool. Carrie walked into the living room where the mess of her belongings were still flung about the room. She sat down to go through every piece of paper, every piece of clothing. She worked quickly and when she was done, she realized that most of it was either trash or donations. There were no happy memories of her childhood in these boxes and filled bad memories that she fought hard to forget.
The house soon became a bustle of activity as the furniture was being moved to the truck. Soon, the donation truck arrived and boxes were being loaded up. Trash was thrown away and the last minute cleaning was being done. Carrie stood in the now empty kitchen as she watched Amy talk to the realtor who had arrived to take the keys. She felt a small ping of regret that this house soon would no longer be theirs. She just hoped that the new family would have happier memories than they did.
“Is your car loaded up?” asked Brynn.
“Yeah, I’m about ready to go. I don’t think Amy needs me any longer.”
Carrie followed Brynn outside where they both said goodbyes and walked to their cars. Carrie got behind the wheel and looked at the house one last time. She knew what her mom was trying to do when she asked them to work on the house together. She loved her sisters but they were three very different people and she doubted that they would ever see eye to eye. Carrie straighten up, turned the car over and sped away without giving the house another glance.