"Serena, is that you?"
"Yeah…dad, it's me."
"I can't believe it. I've waited for this day for so long," my father exclaimed.
"Of course, I never wanted to be cut out of yours and your brother's lives but after everything I put your mother through, the least I could do was stay away and let her be happy. I wrote to you for years hoping that one day she'd give you my letters."
"Then why did it take you so long to write to us? I was seven when you wrote your first letter to me."
"Without your mother I was a complete and utter wreck. I didn't know how much I needed her to keep me in check until she was gone. I lost my way for a bit. I wasn't fit to be around anyone, let alone a child. Mina is proof enough of that."
"Yeah, I wasn't myself and I hurt her. And before you ask what happened, I suggest you ask her because that is a story that I refuse to share. After that incident, I finally decided it was time to get clean. I couldn't very well get my wife and children back if I didn't."
"But you never came back to get us?"
"On the contrary, I did but your mother wasn't ready to let go of the past and forgive me. Even now she stills holds a lot of pain and resentment towards me. It's understandable but it's hard to win someone back when they haven't forgiven you and isn't even trying to." I could hear the pain present in my father's voice and wondered exactly how much he still cared for my mother.
"Mina said you were coming here in a couple of weeks."
"Yes, that reminds me of the reason for my call. Plans have changed and I'll be there next Friday."
"Exactly one week from today," I whispered. I felt myself already growing nervous.
"I would like it very much if you and your brother would accompany Mina to my summer house."
"I'm not sure about my brother. Mom is telling him about you now. I don't know how he'll react. Even then he should be back at school, so I don't know if he'll be able to come," I answered.
"Your brother has seen me over the years. I expect he'll come if he can."
"I stayed out of your life for your mother's stake but I never said I wouldn't watch. You two are my children. I was there when your brother graduated from elementary to middle school and again when he graduated from middle to high school and so on. I was a regular at his football games. I was there that day when his teammates were injured and he ended up playing in the game. I was very proud."
I was starting to get jealous; he was saying all this shit pertaining to Josh but nothing for me. As if he could read my mind, he continued.
"I was there for you too, all of your graduations. I saw you win the state spelling bee. Your mother dressed you in that pretty little pink dress and did your hair like Shirley Temple. You were the prettiest little girl in the whole room. I saw your first and last attempt at playing field hockey," he laughed "You were truly horrible, sweetheart. You definitely have your mother's genes when it comes to sports but you have my temper, that's for sure. I couldn't have been prouder when you attacked the redhead with your stick taking her out of the game." I laughed with him this time. I remembered exactly what he was talking about. Some redhead from the other team kept tripping me. I thought it was by accident in the beginning but after the third time, I realized that she was doing it on purpose. When she tried to trip me for the fourth time, I took my stick and used all my strength and slammed it into her upper leg. I found out later that I fractured her femur and that she would be out for the rest of the season. I had no remorse.
"Why didn't I ever see you?" I cried.
"That sweetheart, I don't know. Your brother didn't start seeing me until he was a sophomore.
"And why didn't he ever say anything."
"Again sweetheart, I don't know. He saw me but we never spoke. He'd just nod and smile at me. I always assumed it was out of loyalty to your mother so I respected it and just watched from afar," he explained.
"Dad, I'll definitely come and if Josh is still here, I'll make sure he's there as well."
"That's great," I could hear the joy in his voice as he spoke through the phone.
"Let me talk to Mina, I'll see you Friday. I love you," I heard him whisper but I couldn't find it in myself to say it back. I handed the phone to Mina who was more than happy to take it.
"Yes, daddy, I'm ecstatic. You know I've always wanted a sister. Why didn't you ever tell me?" She was quiet as he answered her. They continued talking for a few more minutes. "Yes, I will. I love you daddy," she exclaimed, hanging up phone. "He's happy, you know. I haven't seen him like this in years." I looked at her for a second before I went back to looking out the window. We were already back at Mina's house.
We entered her room and once again I wanted to throw up. All of this pink was ridiculous. Just as I was about to lay on her bed, I noticed Sean. "He sleeps in my room. If you haven't noticed from the stories yet, my mother is a child, mentally at least. I've been taking care of him since they brought him home from the hospital. You mind as well say he's my son. My mother heard him calling me mom a couple of times and tried to become the parent she should have been but once she realized it was hard work, she gave up. He's been calling her Sophia ever since. I've always assumed that because my mother was given everything she's ever wanted that it caused her to never grow up. She like a 16 year old girl stuck in a 40 year old woman's body. I guess you can say I've taken care of her since I was little too. Making sure bills were paid, shit like that.
"That sucks, guess we both haven't had the best childhoods. What was life like with dad?"
"Terrible. My mother and daddy never got along. Ever since I can remember they've stayed in separate rooms. My mother needs men to cater to her every need and dad just wouldn't. They'd argue about everything and it always seemed like dad couldn't stand her. I found out when I was in middle school that somehow she tricked dad into having sex with her and got pregnant on purpose. She saved the condom he used and used it to impregnate herself, well for the doctor to impregnate her. She thought that it would get him to stay with her."
"Wow, does it bother you to know that."
"It used to when I was younger. I mean how could it not, I'm the reason my dad hates my mother. But when I let it slip to dad that I knew. He made it his mission to make me understand that it wasn't my fault and regardless of how I came about, that he loves me and he has never regretted me being born. Between dad and my psychiatrist I'm ok with it now."
"So dad said that he hurt you and that's what finally made him realize that he had to get his shit together. He told me to ask you what happened."
The look that came across her face made me feel bad for even bringing it up. "Dad is a recovering addict or a recovered addict, depending on how you want to look at it. I don't know exactly when dad started using but by the time I was five, he was hooked. And my mother only made it worse. They'd argue and he just disappear for days, it wasn't hard to figure out he was going on drug binges. Through all his issues, I was still a daddy's little girl. No matter when dad came home, whether it was dumb early in the morning or in the middle of the day, or even late at night, I would run to him. On this one particular day or should I say morning, dad came home and immediately started doing a lines of coke on the living room table. After his second line, he happened to look up and saw me. I think he was ashamed that I saw him doing drugs but in his high stupor the anger came out. He snatched me up from my hiding place and took off his belt and started to beat me with it. He was yelling non sense and with me screaming, my mom came rushing in. This was probably one of the only times she acted like my mother and not the other way around. She straight attacked him and he let me go. Unfortunately through all the fighting, the alcohol that he was drinking fell on the floor and when he let me go, I slipped on it as I tried to get away. I busted my head on the glass table and had to get stitches," she lifted up her bangs and showed me a scar at her hair line that was at least 2 inches long.
"The next day, I woke up to him brushing my hair away from my face. He told me that he was leaving for a while to get better. That he was sorry for being a bad dad but that when he came back everything would be ok. I begged him not to leave or to at least take me with him. He said that I had to stay to take care of my mom. He kissed my forehead and walked out my room. I didn't see or hear from him again for like a year. He came back and ever since then he's been clean. He got into real estate and through contacts he made when he first started messing with my mother created a lucrative real estate company. But you'll see what I mean next Friday. Dad's summer house is huge."
"Excuse me Miss Mina. My babysitter just called and said my son is sick, would it be ok if I left a little early today?"
"Sure Sara. Do me a favor before you leave? Tell Charlie to make a couple of sandwiches and some sweet tea and bring it down to the theater. Then he can go home early as well. Matter of fact tell everyone they can leave for the day."
"Yes, Miss Mina. Have a good day," her maid muttered before leaving us alone.
"Yeah, I think we should watch a couple movies to get our minds off our depressing lives."
"Oh, that's fine. I meant the fact that you have a movie theater in your house."
She shrugged like everyone has one. "My stepfather put it in along with the Olympic size swimming pool and bowling alley. When he started dating my mother, he asked me what I like to do. So I told him, swimming, watching movies and bowling. So when they got married he made sure to have them in his house, a way of buying me off, I guess. Funny thing is, he didn't have too. As long as he was making my mother happy, I was happy. And he gave me Sean so I have no complaints at all."
"Damn how the rich people live. Well lead the way."
"Hold on, I gotta get Sean. If he wakes up in empty room especially with all the help gone, he'll freak out." She picked him up and we quietly began to make our way to the movie theater.
I already knew Mina was rich but I was definitely reminded as we walked into their movie theater. The room was huge with a drop down projection screen. It sat at least 30 people and had its own concession stand stocked with all your favorite movie treats. She laid Sean across two chairs before she started to turn on the movie machine. Not too long after the lights dimmed as their personal chef brought down a tray full of sandwiches, glasses and a pitcher of sweet tea and left. The movie started and I saw that Mina choose to put in "The Hangover." Smart woman, we both needed to laugh after the day we had.
Some time later I woke up to the credits of the movie going by. I looked over to see Mina and her brother cuddled up together. It was the cutest sight and for a moment I wish I had a camera. Standing up and stretching, I remembered watching The Hangover before she decided to watch "She's the Man", which we apparently fell asleep on. Looking at the clock on the wall, I saw that it was a little after 2 in the morning. 'Shit, I was suppose to go see Darien tonight.' I quietly left the theater room and walked upstairs to use the house phone.
'RING RING RING'
"Hello," a half sleep Darien answered.
"Can you come pick me up?" I probably should have just stayed at Mina's house but I wanted to sleep in his arms. Yeah, I'm sappy and I know it.
"Yeah, you're at Mina's?"
"How'd you know?"
"Raye told me you were with her when I called around looking for you. I was worried when you didn't come over."
"I found out a lot of things today, we watched a couple of movies to lighten the mood and I fell asleep. I didn't mean to, I'm sorry."
"It's aight baby. You ok?"
"Yeah, it's just a lot of stuff to process. I'll tell you about it when you get here."
"Alright, I'll be there in 15."
"I'll be waiting outside." I exclaimed as I hung up the phone. I went to Mina's room and left a note for her and went outside to wait for Darien.
He pulled up 10 minutes later and I slipped into his truck. He greeted me with a smile and a yawn. Dressed in ball shorts, a t-shirt and a hoodie and he looked like a teenager. He leaned over and gave me a kiss before he started driving. He tasted like cinnamon?
"I brushed my teeth. Morning breath ain't sexy," he laughed. I guess he saw my confused facial expression.
I laughed, "And you're right, but I would've kissed you either way. Thank you for picking me up."
"No problem. I sleep better with you there anyway. You're brother and my sister are at my house too."
"Really? What are ya'll like best friends now?"
He chuckled, "No, he came over looking for you and seemed upset so I gave him a couple of beers to calm down. He got a little wasted and tried to leave. Raye ended up coming over to stop him from driving and they ended up in the guest room." He made a disgusted face and I had to laugh. I remembered hearing them in my house so I knew how he felt.
It wasn't until we were laying in bed that I told him about my day. "And he wants to see me next Friday," I explained.
"At least he wants to be in your life. Hell, he wanted to be in it the whole time. That says a lot."
"I guess," I didn't want to talk about it anymore. I wasn't even sure how I felt about it.
"Goodnight baby," he pulled me closer and kissed me on my forehead. I loved the fact that he understood me so well. I never had to tell him what I wanted, somehow he always knew.
The next morning, I was awakened by the sound of Sex Therapy by Robin Thicke.
Sitting up, I found the source, a cell phone ringing on his nightstand. It wasn't his phone that much I knew. Curiosity got the best of me and I picked it up. My boo was calling. 'Was he cheating on me?' I shook my head, even if he was he couldn't be this dumb. Pushing the talk button, I put the phone to my ear.
"Do you like it?" Darien asked.
"Baby, do you like it?
"You bought me a phone?" I asked.
I heard his laugh more from behind me than through the phone. Turning I saw him leaning on the door frame, putting his phone back in his pocket.
"Yeah, I got you one yesterday. I was gonna give it to you when you came over but you went to Mina's."
"But I can't affo-," he kissed me before I could finish.
"You think I'd give you a gift that you had to pay for. I wanted a new phone and thought you should have one. So I got one for you. If you don't like it, we can go get a different one."
"No It's nice, I'm just a little shocked you bought me a phone. I would say that I can't accept it but I don't think you'd take it back so thank you."
"And you'd be right and no problem. I couldn't resist, I played with it a little bit last night. I downloaded a couple a ringtones and of course my number is already programmed into it.
"Yeah, I saw, my boo. Cute." He was sitting on the bed now and I crawled into his lap. Just as I leaned forward, my brother walked into the room.
"EWWW got damnit, give me some warning," he turned around quickly.
"Warn you shit, you walked into my room," Darien slid his arms around my waist.
"Serena, can I talk to you." I knew immediately it was about yesterday. Darien understood this and placed me back on the bed before kissing my forehead and walking out the room.
"How could you not tell me, you saw Dad all these years?" I asked.
"What, how did you know that?" he sat down beside me.
"I talked to him last night. He said that you've been seeing him since you were in 10th grade. Why didn't u tell me?"
"I'm sorry, I didn't even know you knew about him. Wait…. you talked to him?"
"Yes, through our sister. You remember Mina? Mina Dumont, the girl that was at our house with me last night." There was no recognition in his eyes, he still didn't remember. The girl that came over the other morning to hang with Raye," this time I saw a flicker. "She's our half sister." All of a sudden my brother jerked away from me and started to gag.
"What's wrong? Are you okay?" I smacked his back.
He shook his head no, "I made out with her at a party."
"Are you sure, she didn't say anything about it?" I asked. They had been around each other more than once and Mina hadn't even batted an eyelash.
"We were both wasted. We were gonna go all the way but we both passed out. Thank god," he cried.
I couldn't hold it anymore, I bust out laughing.
"You think this is funny? I made out with my sister. INCEST," he cried.
"WOW, drama king," I laughed. "If you knew and then made out with her, then yeah, I'd agree with you but you didn't. You didn't even know she was your sister And you were drunk, both of you were. Honestly, I doubt she even remembers." I shrugged.
"Like that makes it alright."
"It doesn't make it alright, Josh but it makes it a little bit more understanding. I really could care less either way, I just wanna know why the hell you never told me about seeing our father."
"I thought you thought Drake was your father. I wasn't going to willing tell you something that would change your life."
"I've found my birth certificate when I was 11."
"And how was I suppose to know that Serena. Four years ago, we couldn't even stand each other, never talked to one another. Most people didn't even know you were my sister until I was about to graduate."
He did have a point. "Well tell me now," I exclaimed.