Copyright© 2017 Rebecca Jane
All Rights Reserved.
Author's Note: I had been able to write several chapters before I started posting, hopefully I’ll be able to keep a fairly quick posting schedule for this one. It’s writing itself fairly quickly ~Rebecca
Stepping back from the door, Sarah’s heart started racing and felt like it was going to jump right out of her chest. The last time she had seen them was at her sisters funeral just three months prior, and it didn’t affect her this bad. She realized that time, she had been able to mentally prepare herself. She then remembered how that time they hadn’t recognized her as their long lost son, maybe they still didn’t know… Then again what were they doing here now? She was taking long deep breaths trying to calm down, when another knock on the door caused her to jump.
Slowly, she opened the door, doing her absolute best to hide her fear and anger that was burning just under the surface. Staring at the last two people in the world she wanted to see, she noticed how much older they looked. Even older than they were at the funeral just a few months ago. Trying her best to smile, she said, “Can I help you?”
Her parents, Bill and Joan, looked up hopefully, then Joan spoke, “I’m sorry to bother you, but we were looking for a Sara Marks. She was a friend of our daughters and…” Her voice just stopped as recognition dawned on her face. “You were at her funeral, weren’t you?”
Sarah sighed, “April’s? Yes… I was there… She was a sorority sister of mine… I’m Sarah, I’m so sorry for your loss Mr. and Mrs. Richardson…” Her voice started cracking, so she cleared her throat in an attempt to hide her emotions. “I’m sorry but I’m running late for something, is there something I can do for you?” She asked, no longer being able to mask her frustration.
Joan gasped, as she looked directly at Sarah for several seconds. Finally she asked softly, “Brian? Is that you?” Sara couldn’t help but grimace at hearing that name, especially seeing who had uttered it. Then Sarah was caught off guard when the next thing she heard her mother say was, “You’re so beautiful….”
Still more angry than confused though, she said through clenched teeth, “I’m… Sarah… I haven’t been Brian in a long… A really long time… Now what do you want!?”
Joan started to take a step back, but bumped into Bill who was standing behind her. He gently said, “Sarah please, we have to… I mean… Can we please talk to you… It’s important… I promise…May we come in?”
Realizing they probably wouldn’t leave till they said whatever they had come to say, reluctantly she said, “Fine… I hope its important enough to be worth traveling twenty-five hundred miles…” She then stepped back to let the older couple in. After closing the door behind them, she led them to the kitchen table. The living room was meant for guests she actually wanted in her home. “Do you want something to drink? I have water, milk, and green tea… That’s it. I don’t want you to think I’m a bad host as well.”
They both shook their heads no, then looked at each other as if to figure out who was going to start. Several long moments later, Sara snapped, “Will you just say what you came to say for crying out loud? Let’s just get this out of the way! I do have someplace else I need to be! You both just remember something, if you came all this way to say anything you’ve already said to me before, I can just kick you out of my house this time! That’s something I learned how to do from the best!” She immediately cringed at the amount of venom she heard in her own voice… Also seeing the stricken look on her father’s face, along with the tears starting down her mother’s, didn’t do anything to make her feel any better either. Taking a deep breath, she said much more calmly, “That was... mean… I’m sorry…”Joan just started crying, which only made Sarah feel even worse.
Bill sadly said, “Don’t apologize… We deserved that… And then some…” as he looked down towards his feet.
Sarah was trying to figure out what was going on, these weren’t the same people from her youth, or let alone even at April’s funeral. They looked worn down, and beaten… Suddenly Joan looked up through her tear filled eyes at Sarah , and just barely got the words, “I’m so sorry”, out of her mouth, before she stepped closer and wrapped her arms around Sarah continuing to apologize.
Sarah started to return the embrace, after all this was what she had been praying for, the night she had come out… She didn’t realize how much she had missed her mom’s hugs. Then she remembered what had happened instead, and quickly shrugged off the hug, and said, “Look you can’t come and say you’re sorry and expect everything to be okay… It’s not okay, and I don’t know if you can ever make what you did okay!!!” She had started to cry again as well, confused and with her emotions constantly bouncing back and forth she whimpered, “Will you just please tell me why you are here…”
Joan started reaching into her purse to grab something, then paused to say, “I don’t know if you knew… You probably did since she stayed close to you… Our relationship with April had been strained for a long time… Ever since…” she paused trying to find the words.
“You kicked me out? Yes I knew that, she was angrier at times than I was at you…”, Sarah interjected. Joan just nodded, and wiped away the fresh tears on her cheeks.
“She had tried to talk to us about you… So many times… I can’t apologize enough…” Joan sobbed. “When she got sick… She started to talk to us again… We think she knew what was going to happen… After she died… Her nurse gave us this letter that April had written… She wrote it the evening before she passed away…” She pulled a well worn folded piece of paper out of her purse and handed it to Sarah. “I think it would be best if you read it, please…” Joan begged.
Sarah gently took the letter, and as she unfolded it she grimaced as she noticed it appeared to have been wadded up. Seeing her sisters handwriting made her smile, even though it was written the night before she died, the little hearts and smiley faces dotting the I’s were obvious. Sarah then read…
Dear Mom and Dad,
Since you’re reading this, I want to say I’m sorry I wasn’t strong enough to not still be there with you. Please know that I’m at peace now, and the cancer can’t hurt me ever again. I do want you to know, that even though I’ve been sick for awhile now the last few months since we started talking again I will cherish forever. I’ve been thinking about that a lot, being bedridden will do that I promise you.
I hope that now that you’re reading this we can have a conversation that we’ve both refused to have. That conversation is about your other daughter, the one you won’t acknowledge. If you truly want to honor my memory, reach out to her, for not only my sake but yours and hers as well. If I’ve learned one thing lying in this depressing bed, is that anger and resentment isn’t worth holding on to. When you reach out to Sarah, that is HER name by the way, I will promise you several things. Mom, Dad… Sarah is amazing… She’s someone you’d both be extremely proud to call daughter, only because I know how proud I am of being her sister. I also know how hard it will be, she’s just as hurt and angry as I had been. Just promise to try… For me… Make it a dying girls last request, I don’t care. Just try… After you read this and promise the nurse that you WILL try, she will give you another letter. This one isn’t for you, well directly. It’s for you to give to Sarah. It’s my last gift I can give to you, all three of you. Do not read the letter, unless Sarah agrees you can ONCE she reads it first. Mom… Dad… I know my time is close, I will love and miss you...
PS Oh… If you don’t try, I’ll know… You thought I was bitchy before, just imagine how bitchy I can be in the afterlife if you don’t at least try…
Sarah started to giggle even amongst her tears from reading the letter. She could hear Aprils voice as she made that last threat in her letter. That was just like her to do something like that, and if anyone could carry it out, it’d be April.
Softly Sarah spoke, “So that’s why you’re both here? To honor her last wishes? Or is it because of her threat?” She looked at her parents with a small smile this time.
Joan nodded, “We’re wanting to respect her last wishes… She was right though… This anger and hurt… We need to try to heal this… As much as we possibly can… For all our sakes.”
Bill added, “Plus if anyone could follow through with that threat, you know it would be your sister.” That caused everyone to softly chuckle, they each remembering just how feisty she had been.
“So do you have her letter for me?” Sarah asked, and noticed her mom was already handed her a sealed envelope.
“We didn’t read it, I promise”, Joan said.
Sara carefully opened the envelope and unfolded the letter. She couldn’t help but chuckle upon reading the first line, but the further she read the tears started to flow.
To the bestest, most pain in the ass little sister, a girl like me could ever hope to have,
Hey Sarah, hopefully since you’re reading this that Mom and Dad are there with you. I can’t tell you how much I wish I could be there with you all in person and not just this letter. I will promise you if there is a way I can be there when they give this to you I will be. I know how hard this will be for you, only because how hard it was for me to make my own peace with them. Promise me that you’ll try though, and you better promise, I’m dead serious. You all need each other, a lot more than any of you are willing to admit.
I want you to know holding on to that anger only hurts you, and I love you too much for you to keep hurting Sis. I’m not saying it was to blame, but that anger had slowly poisoned me for years, it easily could have helped the cancer spread through my body as fast as it did. You deserve so much to be free, and even with being sick, no matter what happens to me I am truly free now. Even with the pain, I am already at peace just knowing I did everything I could to help you while I was alive. I will hopefully continue even though now I’m gone.
I also cant tell you how much it has meant to me to watch you blossom from that scrawny young kid to the beautiful strong person I’ve watched you become. I have been truly blessed to be your sister. You had always told everyone how lucky you were having me as your sister… Sarah, this entire time, I’ve been the lucky one from the day you were born.
Sarah I know you’re scared right now, only because I do know you, but you are strong. You are the strongest person I have ever known. If anyone can move past this it’s you, I have faith in you squirt, I always have, and always will.
The pain meds are starting to kick in, so I need to let you go. Please give them a hug from me, since I cant be there to do it myself.
Love you forever and ever,
Sarah was sobbing uncontrollably at this point, as her mom gently took the letter out of her hand. Joan quickly read her daughters letter, and smiled through her own tears. Softly she said to Sarah, “You’re sister was something else wasn’t she?”
Nodding Sarah whimpered, “I miss her so damn much!!! It’s not fair!!!”
Joan hesitantly slid closer to her sobbing daughter and gently wrapped her arms around her, “Baby so do we, so do we.”
This time Sarah didn’t shrug off the hug, instead she turned and fully embraced her mother as they both wept.
To be continued.
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