We are three years apart, Cindy and I. We used to do everything together and people had the idea that we were twins, how I don’t know. She was the other world, the proper one, the clever academic, the ambitious one, the good child.
I on the other hand only have the beauty, without the brains. I never cared for books or to think hard. I was more of the artist, more hands on. I want to bring a canvass to life, like the journey of the embryo, the sperm entering the mouth of the womb,meeting up with either the x or y chromosome, fusing together and nine months later a human is born.
That’s how I nurture my paintings to life. I plan, I start, I fuse, and my creation is born. Many say I’m brilliant , I just think I have the vision of a true artist.
I haven’t seen my parents or my siblings for over eight years. My brother is five years younger than me. The mistake baby. My mom and I had a terrible fight before I left for France to pursue my love for art. She thinks I’m reckless, irresponsible and need to settle down with babies. How does that even makes sense.
My mom and I never got along. it was because I was not Cindy, I wasn’t the obedient one, I was always arguing and never accepted the norm, I was never going to give her the beautiful white wedding and the string of grand kids..Unlike her, I want to marry the man of my dreams, the Love that I’ve never seen coming, the one Love that feels right, the one Love that just fits.
And I am going to create the biggest scandal knowing to man! Unknowingly that is..
I’m sitting high in the sky, contemplating how things are going to work out. How everyone is going to look at me and asking me the same annoying questions. “When are you getting married. “When are you having babies”? “Your sister is marrying into a good family, they come with money” You should settle down..
On and on it will go. I would eventually stop justifying my way of life, my reasons for not settling down, my reasons for not marrying for fear of making a mockery of a sacred step, because my parents was hardly a good example.
My father is cheating on my mom for all their married life and of course she knows. She even know who the woman is. And does nothing about it. I love my parents ,but I have the sense to know they’re hardly live the life I want to, or lead by example.
As I walk through the terminal I scout for the familiar face of my sister. I realised I’ve missed her and crave the soft hug and the familiar smell of lemon grass, her favorite body lotion. We see each other simultaneously and I’m always blown away by her beautiful white smile that takes her eyes with, they scrunch up into almost slits and her high cheek bones get all rosy, like pink rose petals and her long mane of black hair swooshing around her face. She’s gorgeous, if only she can see it! We practically run walk to get to each other, I suddenly felt a lump in my throat and I wasn’t sure why. Once again I get a sense of gloom and I quickly shrug it off, not wanting to spoil the short time with my siblings.
“Sarah oh my word, I’m so glad to see you! Oh man how I’ve missed you!” With that we hugged and she gives me a slap kiss on the lips, he familiar smell invading my sinuses and I could feel and taste the vanilla residue of her lip gloss on my lips.
I gave her the biggest hug, and never wanted to let go again pushing the feeling of gloom away.
“I missed you big sis, you looking good” We were smiling at each other, what felt like an eternity. My hands feeling her face wanting to make sure it was her, she looking me up and down, rubbing my hand, cupping my face, running her hand over my almost non existing crop of black hair, now streaked with red.
” What have you done to your hair! You do know it’s going to be the topic right..”Sarah must you always be a disgrace” pulling her face and mimicking my mother’s voice. We burst out laughing and she says “It suits you, you’re looking like the famous artist you are, don’t worry about mom, she’ll get over it ” Cindy always being the enthusiast. With that she take my hand and fold it in hers. Then she realised that she wasn’t alone.
” I’m so sorry, how can I be so rude..” at first I didn’t know what she was referring to but then she stepped out of the way and I looked into a grey set of eyes. I immediately knew it had to be her fiance.
” Sarah this is Adam, Adam please meet my sister Sarah” she nervously introduced us, half letting go of my hand to take his torn between the two of us..I smoothly slip out of her embrace and extend my hand to her fiance.
” Very glad we finally meeting” he drawls with a very heavy accent. One I didn’t immediately recognised.
His hand shake felt sure and I was immediately aware of how soft his hands were and how immaculate his nails are and I almost pull my hand out of his to hide my artist hands. They clean but always have some paint residue on.
That wasn’t the only reason I pulled my hand away. I felt a jolt from somewhere in my body, feeling suddenly hot and flustered and in desperate need of air. I felt an enormous sense of guilt but shook it off, because history is not going to repeat itself.
I mumble some nicety and I hear Cindy asking if I’m ok because I suddenly look a bit pale.
” Nothing is wrong, it has to be the 15 hour flight…let’s go, I can’t wait to see Ricky!” The lack of interest into seeing my parents was not mentioned.
Cindy spoke all the way, babbling about the planning of the wedding, about the dress, the cake, about mother’s annoying interference, about Ricky’s latest girlfriend. I made the necessary hmmm’s and aaaa’s and got an occasional question in but like always I was the one listening.
As if pulled by force I look into a set of eyes. I’ve never seen such smoldering grey eyes with a slight tinge of yellow. It reminds me of threatening grey clouds, with a streak of sunlight peeking through creating a striking balance with those two simple colours. I’ve done so many collages of colours, but never mated those two colours. Without realising, I turn my head to the side in a ponderous motion and I visualize my next painting. I was completely lost in his stare, I could hear Cindy still talking away but have no idea what she’s saying until she calls my name.
” Sarah, do you think it’s a good idea..Sarah! You’re not listening to me”
” Sorry” I mumbled trying desperately to remember what she asked me, but that part was lost to me. And feeling extremely guilty, shrugging off whatever happened now.
” I’m sorry sis, I am jetlagged and my brain is not functioning at the moment, what were you saying ?” I put on my best smile, thanking God that she can’t see the cauldron of emotions going through my mind and how my body has reacted to her fiance’s stare..
From then on for the rest of the way home, I gave her my thoughts and advice and hoping that whatever just happened was never to be repeated. I cannot imagine going through that mountain of guilt again.
As we approach my parents home, my stomach gave unhappy jerkings and I cannot believe that I am no more happy to see them as they are to see me.
My mom was the first to greet us and for a few seconds I was glad to see her. And she was genuinely happy to see me, that too won’t last long. We have that love, hate relationship.
” Sarah my love, come here I’ve missed you terribly” she grabbed me in a big hug and I fleetingly wished I could stay in her arms forever. Get her acceptance and unconditional love, listen to constructive criticism, go to her when I need her guidance, just to have a decent relationship with the woman who birth me.
I thought I saw a glint in her eyes and wondered if she’s hoped for the same but at soon as it appeared, as soon it was gone replaced by complete composure.
” Hey mom, I missed you too”
” Sarah your hair looks terrible, why do always cut it so short!”
” and you’re so thin, do you even eat that side, look at the dark circles under your eyes, and it looks like you live in the sun, I hope you use sun block” on and on she went..
Cindy rolled her eyes, silently pleading with me to let it go..for now. And I was prepared to do that for her benefit, for the next two weeks I’m going to keep it together for her sake.
” aah there she is, my sunshine” I heard my father’s booming voice.
As much as he’s disappointed me, my heart gushes when I see my handsome dad. Always the prince of night, dashing in a Levi jeans, white shirt with a few buttons opened showing off his tanned, well built chest. He’s white smile has to be the biggest drawing card for many woman. I walk into his embrace and find that familiar, cosy place I’ve spent many days and nights whilst growing up, long before all the disappointments..
“Hello dad, I’ve missed you” and I realized I did and that I’ve missed our bond. I’ve missed the one person who never judged me, who never expected more than what I had to give.
” You looking good Sarah, I’ve missed you too” he cups my face and kissed me like old times sakes..on every quarter of my face. This always used to make me giggle and I couldn’t help to accept the happy feeling.
“Sarah, you must be exhausted darling. Please go freshen up we have lots to catch up to. I’ve placed you in your room” says mother as if it’s organizing one of her infamous tea parties. I smile and nod, suddenly yearning for the familiar smells and decor of the room I’ve grown up in.
At the same time dreading it. But also see it as an opportunity to get some peace for even a short time.
” Yes, good idea. Nothing a hot bath won’t cure” I lugged my suitcases up the enormous stairs and hurriedly tried to get away from the buzz. I felt a stare and I was certain I knew who it was from but refused to acknowledge it.
“Adam, you’re miles away. Come let’s have a brandy before supper” I hear my dad says.
As soon as I’m inside my room, I hurriedly banged it close, hoping that a few minutes of peace will calm my shattered nerves. I close my eyes for a minute to block out that grey stare.
“Oh my god, what just happened.!” I feel myself shaking like a leaf. I sat on the floor behind my door for what felt like an eternity. Eventually I got up and took in my four poster bed, school posters and I ran my fingers over all I’ve left behind, reminiscing and smiling seeing some happy moments.
I then picked up a framed photograph of Cindy and I …with him. I suddenly started to hyperventilate and the memories assaulted my conscious mind and it opened up a flood of emotions I’ve buried long ago.
I didn’t mean to..I didn’t mean to fall in love with my sister’s boyfriend….it just happened. How could something so wrong felt so right…