Everything whirled together into that one moment. Like the butterfly effect. The flap a butterfly’s wing could cause a typhoon halfway across the planet.
Debra was staring at the horizon as Anna approached on the other bike. “Quick, get on the bike” Debra ordered.
There it was, the first possible misstep. It felt creepily (if that’s a word) good and fearful.
The following day I went to Anna and Debra's. I had that terrible sunburn that Debra had predicted the day before. But I had projects that needed attention. But I was sore. I took aspirin to bring down the fever it caused.
Devo ran ahead of me into the house and in one fell swoop Debra's arms and up in the air.
"Wait until you see my mom!" Devo never said mom as a stand-alone word. It was always "my mom". I hoped this connection would never break.
Debra cocked her head around her arm as she held Devo up where her head almost got clipped by the ceiling fan. She slowly lowered her, not breaking her gaze.
"Oh My God!" she put Devo down, and the child swept past me onto the couch with the remote. Bo was barking and jumping on her, she giggled pulling her knees up to her chin.
"Aunti Debra, can I have something to drink?" "You know where the refrigerator is child." Devo never assumed anything. She was always polite "Do you want something to drink Debra?" Devo walked past her as Bo was pushing up against her and the little girl had to balance herself against the wall to keep from tumbling over.
"No child, I'm good.. Did you ask your mom?" Devo must not have heard her "You need more than a drink," she offered.
Anna came out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel. Her olive skin had a rich tan. She never had to go through that horrible middle school phase with the sum. She always was in her senior year of tanning and stayed healthy and brown.
My lobster red skin betrayed my Nordic roots.
Anna looked, sighed, laughed and went back in the bathroom. She came out and tossed a blue jar to Debra.
"She's going to need this" What the…why didn’t she give it to me? She is going to wish she threw it at me. She went into her bedroom; left the door open as she dressed "Oops" she gasped 'Is Trey here?" "No, he's with my sister" I said as I sat down painfully, blisters popping audibly
On that she grabbed a shirt and jeans and got dressed. I did not stare, Debra did for a second. She was actually incensed. I wouldn't have noticed that in the past. Modesty was a big deal for Debra. She commented if my shorts were too revealing or if I had on a shirt that spoke to loudly. I never cared...before. I just figured, again, she's a lesbian, lesbians are judgmental of straight women. Fuck her if she can't take a joke. Anna and I had seen each other naked all the time. Shit we looked alike clothed and unclothed. Had the same breasts, our backsides were different. I had a bigger butt. Hers was flat, mine round. I envied that in her, she envied mine. But at that time, big butts were not the rage. My entire life my brothers made fun of me because I had these two melons for butt cheeks. Now people get implants.
Anna came into the kitchen roughed Devo up, Devo laughed and fell to the floor her legs flew up and almost kicked Anna.
"Ohh Sorry Auntie Anna" She cupped her hand over her mouth. Anna grabbed her feet and then stopped and stared at this regalia of fashion.
She was dressed in shorts, a t-shirt and the Roper boots Anna and Debra gave her. A nice ruby red. She laughed knowingly at Anna and pursed her lips with a smug smile. She took a carton of juice, surpassing cola and put it on the counter. Boosted herself up on the counter, kneeling while opening the cabinet and getting a Flintstone cup. I watched this apprehensively, but I had become inured to Devo’s acrobats. She had been doing this since she could walk, at 9 months. She scaled every surface she could. Our parrot warned “Devo down! Devo Down!
It went completely unnoticed by Anna and Debra. She brought down two more glasses, one slipped out of her hand, she and the glass toppled to the floor. I gasped; Devo just rubbed her head, her long stick straight thick hair tangled between her fingers. She got up without missing a beat.
“That child is going to get herself killed” Debra sighed and went over trying to help her. Devo playfully slapped her hand.
She would always force that independence. She barely reached the counter yet she poured each glass with precision, making certain as children are want to do, that each was filled exactly the same.
She brought one glass to Anna, and one to me! I had not requested a drink, nor Anna, yet Devo prepared one for each of us just the same. Devo never liked to eat or drink alone. She liked the family table and would make issue of that throughout her life.She retreated to the bedroom, but stopped as Debra put her hand on her hip, resting the other on a chair looking at Devo quizzically. She was just playing of course, but Devo stopped looking at her glass and without lifting her head peered up at Debra, eyebrows raised.“Go on” Debra whisked her arm in a sweeping motion to the bedroom stopping with her arm out, presenting her like royalty to the bedroom. Devo laughed and tiptoed in. She was not a skipping type of child. Never.Then Debra turned to the matter at hand.
“What are we going to do about you?”Anna came in “Take off your shirt” and then went into the bedroom, tickling Devo on the bed, Devo screeching, laughing. Anna is going to take care of me after all, I was much relieved. Debra was in the far corner washing dishes in the sink, her back to me.I looked toward the bedroom, then turned and looked at Debra. I followed Anna.
“Where are you going” Debra asked, tapping her cigarette in the sink. Fuck, foiled. “To the bedroom” why was I going to the bedroom “to uh, take off my shirt” “Stay in here, we don’t want to disrupt Devo’s television viewing time. “ So she planned to be a part of this, I wasn‘t imagining it. I was always checking myself. It still seemed unlikely this was anything more than sisterly concern.I reluctantly retreated to the kitchen. Anna following me. “Di, you need to put something on that burn” she pulled the shirt away from my back, oh the pain. “NOW”.
I capitulated, hoping that Anna’s presence would impede any developing stories.Anna was not dressed in clothes to “hang” in.
She grabbed her keys, looking in on Devo. “I’m going to the video store and then I’m going to KFC” Now what? “Take off your shirt and get on with” She grabbed her keys and headed for the door. “I’ll be back,” she said in a humorous Schwartzenhager voice.
Alas, we were alone, except for Devo’s vigilant eyes. Except, Devo could give a crap. She wouldn’t know what she was seeing anyhow. Debra came over to the counter and took the top off the Noxzema. She had a triumphant look. Manipulative witch. I had to remind myself, this was not her idea. I didn’t know what to do; I crossed my arms and grabbed the bottom of my shirt, but then stopped. I had been in a bathing suit just the day before. I had been in some of the skimpiest bikinis one could imagine. Anna had seen me naked several times. But this was different, for all the reasons that were obvious. To me, to Debra. She leaned on the counter, smoking a cigarette, smoke swirling around her head causing her to squint one eye as she blew the smoke out of the corner of her mouth. Waiting, acting annoyed, as if I was taking her valuable time that she could be fucking around with another person’s life.I grabbed my shirt, pulled it slowly, purposefully over my head and thanked myself for having good taste in lingerie. It is not what you wear; it is how you take it off. I had on a black fine thread mesh bra, very translucent, the straps had black lace, very fine, and there was a flourish and lily over the nipples. (Thank God)
I pretended not to notice, putting her cigarette down and opening up the jar. She turned and washed her hands, came back and scooped a small amount into her hands. Looking away courteously. I held my shirt in front of me much as the freshman in high school blocking the much-too-long stares of the female coach when entering the showers. When I saw she wasn’t looking, I felt rather foolish. I got up and went to the bathroom, she bent back and her eyes went strait to the lilies. I grabbed the shirt, put it in front and retreated to the bathroom. I acted as if I was to use the restroom. In fact, I wanted to check myself out. Both physically and emotionally.
Physically, I looked no different from what I did when I got dressed this morning.
Emotionally, I NEED TO STOP THIS.
I retreated to the kitchen, slumped down in a chair and waited for my destiny.
Debra came over and slowly, deliberately ran the cream across my back. It was gentle, the cream was soothing. She covered every inch of my back putting her fingers under my bra-strap. She started on my shoulders and moved her hands teasingly down to the inside of my bra, stopping short of my areola. I was definitely aroused and glad she did not feel my nipples, though they show through the bra, if not just by the shape. And it was warmn in the house, and only getting warmer.
It went on, until Anna drove up the driveway. She stopped immediately, turned to the counter, grabbed her cigarettes with a Noxzema covered hand. She immediately put the cigarette down and went to the sink and washed her hands.
I could hear the jingle of her keys, Bo barking. I was so glad he didn’t have the power of speech. I thought about the tool someone had invented to interpret your pet’s language. Thank God, Anna didn’t have it.
Even if it's taking the easy way out
Even if you feel you've nothing to hide, keep it inside of you
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