I signed into Message and immediately I got a message. “I’m coming to visit for Thanksgiving,” Rachel boasted. It was Monday the 19th and I was plenty excited. Rachel continued, “I’m sure you won’t mind me being with you.”
Of course I replied, “Rachel of course I don’t mind. Just please understand it’s going to be very cramped. There’s a spare room at Mom’s condo in Norfolk.”
My sister said, “I don’t care about how cramped it’ll be. I’d rather be with you.”
I continued, “Alright. You said you already have your flight?”
She said, “Yeah. It’s an overnight flight from PDX. I’m leaving Wednesday at 5:25 PM and will be pulling into Norfolk at 8:43 AM Thanksgiving Morning. I’m going to be on Air New England from PDX to Phoenix to Charlotte. Then, Air Hampton Roads will bring me into Norfolk. I’m going to be arriving on TMS Flight 1500. It’s cheaper because it’s overnight.”
Thursday morning rolled around and I was excited. Delores, her mother, and I arrived at the Airport around 8:15 AM and made our way to the second floor and I made a pit stop at a water fountain. After getting a drink, I said to Delores, “I think this is the first time you’re meeting my little sister.”
“I think you’re right,” She said.
We decided to sit down by the Gates 16-30 entrance and at 8:50, I saw a girl running for me. “Rachel,” I happily called out. I ran up to my sister and hugged her very tightly.
After getting her bag from Baggage Claim, Rachel asked, “Could we stop for breakfast?”
“Of course,” I said. We couldn’t believe there was a Burger Arch open (they were serving breakfast and lunch and would shut down at 2 PM) and happily pulled in. When we sat down with our food, I presented Rachel with schedules for Routes 47 and 85. “This is our local bus route and it sucks,” I explained.
She said, “I live on the 72 and its last trip is 9 PM Weekdays, 7 PM Saturdays, and 5 PM Sundays.” She eyeballed the schedule further and said, “This sucks!” She eyeballed the schedule even further and asked, “No Weekend Service!?”
I said, “I know. It sucks, but Portsmouth’s broke.”
“No bus after 7 PM and NO service on Saturday or Sunday,” Rachel asked, making sure she understood.
“Yeah,” I said.
We arrived back on Gateway Dr and I got my sis settled on the sofa she would be sleeping on and as she sat at my side, she just crashed. I gently pulled her shoes off, sat down at her side, and placed her head on my lap. I pulled her glasses off and as she started to stir, I said, “Just rest. You had a long flight.” Rachel turned onto her side and started hugging me as she curled up. I asked, “Could she have a blanket, please? She’s curling up because she’s cold.”
Delores gave me a sideways look as she went to the hallway closet to fetch a blanket for Rachel and I. She was extremely tired, and I didn’t mind at all letting her lie her head on my lap.
8 PM rolled around and Rachel switched the TV to Channel 7. “It’s time for the Turkey Brawl,” She said.
As the American Wrestling Federation theme cut in Delores exclaimed, “I hate wrestling!”
I made the decision, “Rachel, we’ll watch the Turkey Brawl.” Her eyes were glued to the TV, and she was clearly pumped. I was only mildly interested – just to make my sister happy – and somewhat paid attention as the announcers opened the show.
“I want some brother/sister time. What time does the bus start running tomorrow,” My sister asked as the Turkey Brawl wrapped up?
“Around 7 in the morning,” I said with a yawn.
“I’m getting us a taxi. Jess gave me enough money. I want a brother/sister day,” Rachel said again, sounding quite stubborn.
She had me curl into her arms as Delores looked on, disgusted. “Aren’t you supposed to be cuddling with your girlfriend?”
Rachel adjusted me so that I was lying on her breast, as she often did in years past, and snorted, “I haven’t seen my brother in ages. Tomorrow, I am taking my brother out for a day.” She put her arms around me, and held me protectively. She was tired, and was being her stubborn self that I remembered from the past.
I woke up the next morning, realizing I slept on the sofa in my sister’s arms. “Up we go,” She said, “I’m feeding you breakfast too.”
“It’s too damn early,” I moaned.
“Let’s get going, because I want to talk,” Rachel said, with disgust in her voice.
“What,” I asked.
“I tell you when we get outside,” Rachel said. My baby sister led me outside and took me by the hand to lead me downstairs. She seemed hellbent on getting away from Churchland as she pulled me along.
It was so early in the morning as I yawned. “What is going on,” I asked.
“I need to be blunt. She was very rude to me. What is her problem,” Rachel asked as the taxi picked us up. “Chesapeake Square. Any entrance will do,” Rachel said to our driver. She then turned her attention back to me and continued, “I will be letting Jessica know about yesterday.”
We got out at the Square, and Rachel paid the fare. The mall, as expected, was packed. “Next year: you, me, and Jessica will go shopping. It’s a tradition me and her have. She lives within wheeling distance of the mall.”
“I’m hungry,” I whimpered as I looked at the burger joint at the edge of the parking lot.
“Let’s eat, and discuss things,” Rachel said. I felt miserable as my younger sister led me to the front door. This was the first time I was ever really away from my girlfriend, and it felt weird. She sent a text message to Jessica, “Please call when you get up.”
We ordered a meal and Rachel sat me down at a booth, so she could sit up right at my side. “I will be blunt. She was rude to me, and she was treating you like absolute trash.” She looked me right in the eye and said, “Why are you living with her?”
“Rachel, I finally found someone,” I said, not thinking clearly.
“She was hurting you,” Rachel said, “I do not approve of her. Not one bit. I’m going to see if Jess will send some money, and we will be in a hotel room for the weekend. Brother/Sister time. I do not want them taking me back to the airport. I will take the damn bus.”
“The bus doesn’t go to the airport,” I said, confused.
Rachel’s phone rang. “Rachel, what is going on,” A voice called over the phone, highly sleepy. I could hear Jessica just fine, as Rachel made sure my ear was near the phone.
“Jess, I’m surprised you’re awake, but it’s about our brother. He’s hurting,” Rachel said into the phone, almost in tears.
“What’s wrong,” Jess asked, as if she could sense her sister crying over the phone, not caring that it was 2:45 AM on her end of the Country.
“You do NOT want to meet Delores,” Rachel said point-blank, “And I do NOT want to go back into that apartment!” Rachel paused for a brief moment, then decided she needed to really get something off of her chest: “Jessica, Delores is an absolute bitch!”
“Rachel,” Jessica stammered, “What’s with that mouth??”
“She is absolutely evil,” Rachel said.
“I think I should talk to Delores,” Jessica said.
“I forbade her from coming with Michael and I. It’s just the two of us and we’re having breakfast,” Rachel explained, “Yes, she was that nasty.”
“Let me speak to Michael please,” Jess said.
Rachel handed me the phone and Jessica said, “You know it’s not like Rachel to talk like this. Is Delores being that rude to her?”
“Things are fine,” I said, feeling weird that both of my sisters were being mean like this.
“Then explain why Rachel said she doesn’t want to set foot in her place again,” Jessica replied, cutting straight to the chase. “Rachel came all this way to see you, and she is clearly on the verge of crying. Please don’t ruin her visit. Now, she needs you right now. She’s hurting, and you really need to come to your senses.”
Rachel took the phone back and asked, “Jess, could you please set Michael and I up in a hotel room for the weekend? Also, I need a ride back to the Airport since the damn bus doesn’t serve Norfolk.”
“I’ll put you two up in a hotel with an airport shuttle,” Jess said, “Let me do that right now. I will message you with details once I’ve paid for the hotel.”
“Thank-you, Jessica,” Rachel said. My baby sister then turned towards me and said, “Let’s finish our breakfast, then it’s time to go shopping. What time does the bus start running?”
“Around 6,” I said as she pulled me into a hug.
“I want us to have a good weekend together. Just you and me,” She whispered, “I do not like Delores. As your sister, I am also saying that I do NOT approve of Delores either.”
“Rachel, I finally found someone,” I whimpered, not used to my baby sister being like this towards me.
My baby sister pulled me into a hug and whispered, “You’re my brother, and I love you to death. I don’t want to see you get hurt.” She paused for a moment then said, “Let’s head into the mall.” She was clearly upset, but I just couldn’t believe that my own sister was trying to turn me against my girlfriend.
Rachel took my hand as we walked towards the mall. I was honestly surprised how packed it was for just after 5 in the morning. “I don’t want us to get separated, so do not let go of me,” She said as we made our way towards one of the department stores. I felt weird as she led me along to the clothes area – both of my sisters know how much I hate clothes shopping – and Rachel said, “I want to help you pick something out for Jessica.”
I stammered, upset that Delores wasn’t here. “Rachel, this stinks. My first Thanksgiving and you want to tear my away from my girlfriend. What kind of a sister are you,” I groaned.
“One who is looking out for your best interests,” She snorted in anger.