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Long story, I know, but it’s a good one. Be patient, as almost all of the sexy stuff is in the second half. Enjoy!
My mama was six months pregnant with my sister when she first found out about my existence.
Yeah, you read that right.
Let me start over. I was born in a small town in North Carolina, definitely one of the more rural and poor parts of the state. The woman who gave birth to me, so I’ve been told, was about as fit to be a mother as a schizophrenic yak. While it would’ve been nice to have been born to someone who, you know, wanted me, I guess I’m thankful that she decided to hand me over to the man who got her pregnant (my daddy, of course).
Now my daddy, I’m sure, probably wasn’t expecting a knock on his door in the late hours of that fateful night. I’m also certain that he wasn’t expecting to open his door and have a newborn baby shoved into his arms either. And if he wasn’t expecting that, imagine the look of surprise on the face of his pregnant wife!
He would tell me all about it years later.
“Hey Phil,” the lady had said on the dark porch of my parent’s house.
“Jessie Leigh?” my daddy had replied. “The fuck you doin’ knockin’ on my damn door at one o’clock in the morning?”
“Brought you somethin’, Phil,” she said as she handed me over to my daddy. “This is yours.”
My daddy told me that he looked down at my sleeping face, not more than just a few hours old, and knew immediately that she was telling the truth.
Still, he wasn’t going to give in that easy.
“Jessie Leigh, you’re full of shit. Take this baby and get the hell off my property.”
“No can do, Phil. I mean, yes, I will get off your property. But that baby’s stayin’ with you. He’s your son. Look at his face and tell me I’m lyin’.”
He looked down at me once again, reality still not quite kicking in.
“But…but how can this be?”
“Well, Phil, remember about nine and a half months ago when you stuck your baloney pony in my snatch over and over and over again until you finally-“
“Okay, okay, yeah I remember!” Phil replied, panic creeping in slowly. “Keep your voice down, my wife’s asleep!”
“Psh. You don’t need to be worrying about me keeping my voice down. That little devil right there is gonna get all worked up any second now, and he can get pretty damn loud. Now look, I’ve done you a favor and brought you a bottle and some formula, a few diapers too. But I’ve gotta get goin’-“
“Now wait just a damn second, Jessie Leigh!” Phil whispered. “Why are you bringin’ him to me? You’re his mother, ain’t you? You tellin’ me you don’t plan on helpin’ out at all?”
Jessie Leigh just shrugged.
“Naw, sorry. Look, lemme be honest with you Phil. Remember how I told you that my tubes had been tied and you didn’t have nothin’ to worry about when we hooked up?”
“Well…heck, thing is, that was kind of a lie. You see, I actually meant for you to get me pregnant that night. Figured if you did, I could get monthly child support payments out of you, seein’ as how you have a steady job and all, which is more than I can say for most men in this godforsaken town. Honestly, it was kind of a spur of the moment decision, and then you went and got all shitfaced that night at the bar…well, you were ripe for the pickin’. But a month later when I saw that pregnancy test, I knew I’d made a huge mistake. I can’t be no mother. Gettin’ rid of it wasn’t an option neither, since, you know, I ain’t tryin’ to burn in hell or nothin’. Least, that’s what they tell me would happen, but who knows. So here I stand, Phil. That IS your baby, and I know you’ll take care of it, ’cause you’re a good man.”
“You are a fuckin’ bitch, Jessie Leigh.”
“Yeah…I get that a lot. Must be true then, right?”
My daddy just shook his head and looked down at me again.
“So…I’m gonna head out then,” Jessie Leigh said. “I don’t feel great about this Phil, really I don’t. Maybe y’all can lie to him and tell him that your wife is the mother. That’d probably be best. He don’t need to know about me, I ain’t really worth knowin’ about. Anyway, take care, and good luck.”
My daddy watched as Jessie Leigh walked to her car, started it up, and took off down the path.
“Phil?” my mama said as she approached my daddy, hand covering her protruding belly where my sister resided.
My daddy turned around quickly, unaware that his wife had entered the room, brand new baby cradled in his arms.
As you’d expect, my mama wasn’t too happy. My daddy told me that they fought all night, the next day, and the next night. Of course, she couldn’t be too mad at him. They had had one of those on again, off again relationships for years. It just so happened that during their very last “off again”, my daddy had hooked up with Jessie Leigh and, well, I already kind of told you the rest of that. Then my parents got “on again”, and very soon after that conceived my sister. Guess my dad just had a span of a few overly fertile months, casino şirketleri or something like that. When they found out my mama was pregnant, they knew they had to try and make it work for good, so they got married immediately.
When I came into the picture, things got real shaky between them, of course. But, seeing as how they were expecting a child of their own, and my daddy didn’t exactly “cheat” on her, they were able to overcome the bitterness and awkwardness, and stay together as a family.
You would’ve figured out by now, I hope, that the woman I keep referring to as my “mama” isn’t my biological mother. And even though that’s what I call her, it didn’t take me long to figure out that she really didn’t have any interest in being anything of the sort to me. She never really liked me much, and she sure as hell never loved me. The nicest thing I can say that she did for me was tolerate my presence and allow me to live in her house without much complaint. It’s not like I was neglected or anything, my daddy cared a great deal for me, treated me just the same as my sister.
My sister…that’s what this story is really about. Her name is Rhiannon, and she’s my favorite person in the whole world, a true model of perfection. Sincerely, she is. Think of a positive word you’d use to describe someone, anything. Kind? She’s that and more. Smart? Extremely. Funny? Well, she’s always made me laugh. Beautiful? One in a million…
More importantly, she was my best friend growing up. I was only a few months older than her, so we were naturally extremely close. We lived on about 50 acres of land, and much of it was covered in forest, so we’d always be outside exploring and playing. One time, when we were nine, I fell out of a tree and sprained my ankle really bad. It hurt like hell, of course, but with Rhiannon there with me, I knew I could get through it.
“Put your arms around my neck, Ben,” she had said to me that day as she knelt down to pick me up. I looked at her like she was crazy.
“There ain’t no way you’ll be able to pick me up, Rhiannon! Just run and get Daddy!”
“Nope. Even if I run as fast as I can, which we both know is pretty fast, it’ll still take me ten minutes, at least, to get home, then another ten minutes to get back out here with Daddy. And that’s assuming I can find my way back to this exact spot again. I ain’t leaving you here, Ben. What if a bear were to eat you or something?”
I rolled my eyes. I knew she wasn’t worried about bears or anything, she just didn’t want to leave me alone and in pain. She was just sweet like that.
“But…but I don’t think you can pick me-“
She had lifted me up and had already started walking before I could finish my sentence.
“See,” she said, panting, “I knew I could do it. You’d do it for me, wouldn’t you?”
“Of course I would!” I replied, my voice shaking at the pain.
“You and me, Benji, we’ll always be there for each other, won’t we, brother?”
“You mean half-brother?”
“Forget that ‘half’ mess…we’re tighter than any brother and sister, or heck, any two people I’ve ever known. You are my BROTHER, and that’s that.”
I looked at her with such admiration as she continued to carry me, her long black hair sticking to her face from the sweat from carrying me.
“Yeah, well Mama don’t think so.”
“Don’t worry ’bout what she thinks. She will NEVER be able to take our bond away from us, no matter how hard she tries. Remember how she tried to make us sleep in separate bedrooms last year? And remember what I did?”
“You sang the theme song to the show ‘The Jeffersons’ over and over as loud as you could until she relented.”
“And how long did I keep that up?”
“Eighteen of the longest, most horrible hours our house has ever experienced.”
“That’s right. And so, I still get the pleasure of hearing your snores up close and personal every night, don’t I?”
She continued to carry me, getting more winded with each step, but never stopping.
“We really gonna be best friends like this forever, you think?”
She looked sideways at me and cocked one side of her mouth up into a smile, then briefly laid her sweaty forehead against mine, never breaking her gate.
“Without a doubt,” she said.
It was late at night, about two years later, when Rhiannon and I sat on our bedroom floor playing a card game. We had been playing a marathon game of War for about 5 days (off and on, of course). It was epic, the longest game we had ever played by far. I had finally gotten her down to her final four cards, but one of them was an Ace, so I was having trouble finishing her off.
“Will you just give up, Rhiannon? I can’t take another night of not finishing this game.”
“Ha! No way, Jose’, s’long as I got my Ace, I’ve still got a chance.”
“Ugh, fine. Let’s just-“
I was interrupted by what sounding like someone punching a wall repeatedly somewhere else in the house.
Our parents casino firmaları were having a heated argument in the other room, which we had gotten real good at tuning out since they did it most every night at that point. If we had actually been listening to what they were saying, however, what happened next wouldn’t have been nearly as much of a sickening shock as it was.
Our mama burst into our bedroom, grabbed a suitcase, and started throwing as much of Rhiannon’s clothes into it as she could.
“Mama!” Rhiannon called out, “what are you doing!?”
“We’re leaving Rhiannon. Get your shoes and let’s go.”
“But, what are-“
She grabbed Rhiannon by the wrist and lifted her into a standing position. Then she grabbed the suitcase and dragged her daughter out of our bedroom.
Rhiannon looked back at me for the briefest of seconds before being pulled around the corner and out of my sight. Her face in that moment, which showed a combination of fear and confusion, has been burned into my memory ever since.
I heard the front door open and slam, then the sound of car doors, an engine starting, and the crunching of gravel.
“Have a nice life with your new boyfriend, Charlene!” my daddy screamed out angrily as she left. “I hope you and him both get eaten by a shark in California!”
That quickly, my life was turned upside down. My perfect sister, my best friend, my other half, ripped away from me in a matter of seconds.
I think I cried for a month straight after that. Daddy did the best he could to comfort me, but it was no use. I had lost the other half of my soul, and had no way of knowing when, or if, I’d ever get it put back together.
Ten years later
It was an unseasonably cool June afternoon when my daddy died.
It was kind of a sudden death, but not really. He didn’t have any chronic illnesses or anything, at least that I was aware of. Of course, it’s pretty hard to get diagnosed with anything when you go to the doctor once every 17.5 years. But he was a large man, his body burdened by Spam and cheese sandwiches, fried chicken gizzards, and Mello Yello for the majority of his life. He was also a three pack a day smoker, a heavy drinker, and always left me to do any of the physical labor out and around the yard. Come to think of it…how the hell did he manage to even live to be 60 like he did?
I don’t mean to make him out to be some horrible excuse of a person, though. He held a steady job as a butcher in town for close to 40 years. He was kind…in a very severe way. Sort of a harsh man, especially after Mama and Rhiannon left, but never hateful. All in all, I guess I can’t complain too much about him. He always did the best he could for me, that was for sure.
It was a heart attack that killed him, got him while he was at work cutting up a ribeye loin. By the time I got to the hospital, he was already long gone. Again, it was sudden, but if I’m honest with myself, I knew deep down this day was coming soon. The human body can only take so much abuse.
I was very fortunate to discover that my daddy had the foresight to write a will, and pretty much arrange everything in the case of his death. Like I said, not a perfect man, but still a pretty good one.
“You’ll find that your daddy was pretty specific with everything in his will,” the lawyer had said to me. “You get everything, of course. Not much money, mind you, but fifty three acres of land ain’t too bad for a boy your age. What are you, twenty?”
“Twenty-one,” I replied.
“Right. Yeah, I don’t know any other land owners in their early twenties, that’s for sure. Well anyway, he left something else for you.”
The lawyer slid an envelope towards me with my name written on it.
“I’ll just step out,” the lawyer said as he stood, “give you a few minutes to yourself.”
After he left, I grabbed the envelope and pulled out a single sheet of paper. It was a letter in what I recognized as my daddy’s handwriting.
‘Ben, if you’re reading this, that means I’m dead. Expired. Worm food. I wonder what got me? Maybe my foot slipped when I was rock climbing and I fell to my death. Ha! Can you picture me climbing anything? Eh, who am I kidding? I was a fat smoker and a lazy drinker. Probably something with my heart. Or maybe liver. Could’ve been lungs too, I guess.
Anyway, the point is I’m a fucking goner. Now, knowing you, you probably ain’t cried over me yet. Good, no need to. It’s not like we were ever that close. Still, I was your father, so if you do cry about it, just do it once and get it all over with. I ain’t worth fussing over for too long.
Now listen, I need to tell you a few things. Don’t bury me, or waste any time or money with a funeral or ceremony or any of that horse shit. Just have them burn me to a pile of ashes, that’ll be much easier for you. And no, I don’t care what you do with them. Throw them out the damn window on the way home for all I care.
Another thing. güvenilir casino Keep up the good work with the land. I know I don’t go outside much, but don’t think I didn’t notice. The garden, the chickens, all of it looks really good. You got a real talent as a farmer, or whatever the hell you’d call yourself. Keep it up.
One last thing. You need to tell your sister I’m dead. She don’t need to find out by accident twenty years later from some aunt of a cousin of an uncle or whatever. Besides, I think it’d be good for you to get back in touch with her. You know what they say, family is the anchor that…well, I mean, it’s the branches of a tree that…shit, it’s fucking important. But don’t ask me how the hell to get in touch with her, you’re on your own there. Maybe see if she’s on that My-face on the world wide web or whatever.
I guess this is the part where I tell you I love you.
Have a nice life, and don’t ever sell the land.’
Driving home, my daddy’s letter leaving my heart filled with…something, I thought about Rhiannon. Heck, it didn’t take my newly deceased father’s letter to make me think about my sister. I probably did that, oh, five or six times a day on my own.
But for as much as I thought about her, I never once made the slightest attempt to track her down. I knew they had moved to California, but last I checked, California was kind of a big state. Besides, she could have left there at any point in the last decade and gone who knows where.
Still, I’m sure I could’ve found her if I tried. Like my daddy said in the letter, all I needed to do was find her “My-face” profile, which was probably easy enough. But it’s not like I needed a sixty year old bumpkin to tell me how to use technology to find someone. Truth is, I had thought about that for years. I was just too scared to do it. Scared of what? I don’t know. Maybe she had moved on and didn’t care about me anymore. Maybe she doesn’t want to think about her past, the backwoods lifestyle with the always fighting parents.
Or maybe I was simply just a chicken shit.
Daddy was right, though. She needed to know, and I needed to be the one to tell her.
At home that evening, I got on my computer and went to the Facebook sign-in page. I didn’t have an account, so I had to create one. Maybe because of where I grew up, with so few people around, I never saw the point of being on social media. It’s not like I knew that many people to connect with anyway.
So I made an account on Facebook. When I started filling in my profile information, I considered using a fake name. Then I thought better of it when I realized how creepy it would be for Rhiannon to get a message from someone named Xander Dorfendoo that her father was dead.
After creating a profile, I then needed to find her. Luckily, while I may have been social media inept, I had plenty of experience using a search bar. You know, from, uh, ahem, other websites.
I typed her first name in the search bar, not hitting enter, but instead just looking at the first group of Rhiannons Facebook threw out to me as suggestions. She wasn’t there. I typed the first letter of our last name, my hands increasingly shaky and sweaty. The Rhiannons updated, but I still didn’t see her. I panicked for a moment that maybe she had married young and changed her last name, not wanting to dwell on the reason I would feel the need to panic if I found out that she was married.
I decided to stop torturing myself and quickly typed out her whole last name and hit enter.
Boom. Like a sledge hammer to the chest, there she was at the very top of my search.
Rhiannon Middleton. Those familiar blue eyes boring a whole right through me. Dark hair framing her beautiful face, a closed mouth smile that seemed comforting and intimidating at the same time. There she was, my long lost sister.
I sat and stared at her face on my screen, completely losing track of time. After a while, I got up, grabbed a beer, and went out onto the screened-in back porch, feeling the need to give myself a little space and time away from the matter. The frogs and crickets always knew the right things to say to me at night when I was trying to clear my head, and they didn’t fail me this time either. After an hour or so of sitting on my porch, soaking in nature, I had finally come up with a perfect, eloquent message to send to Rhiannon.
I went back inside and plopped myself down in front of the computer again. I clicked on the word “Message” underneath her name and wrote out a heartfelt composition to her.
Having completed my message, I quickly hit send before I changed my mind. I closed the browser and shut down the computer, not wanting to be tempted to linger in front of it all night waiting for a response.
As I lay in bed that night, not sleeping, I thought about lots of things. What should I do with my daddy’s clothes? Should I move in to the master bedroom? Would he want me to hold on to his collection of Dale Earnhardt memorabilia?
Mostly I thought about how nice it would be to have Rhiannon here with me to help make these decisions. It was always nice, no matter the circumstances, having her be the last thing on my mind before I drifted off to sleep.
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