Sister Bonding Day & AWF Wrestling Night

Morning rolled around and I looked at the time. Go figure: it was 5 in the morning, when my brain was used to east coast time of 8. I quietly got up to use the restroom, and I left that door open. Why? I couldn’t explain it to even myself (maybe I was too lazy to close it). I was grateful that I did leave it open: Rachel woke up with a startle, as if she just woke up from a nightmare. I’m here in the bathroom, I called, guessing that she panicked because I wasn’t at her side.

I hate divorces, She whimpered as I finished my business and returned to the bed. I pulled her into a cuddle hug, and she whispered, Your brain thinks it’s 8 whatever. We have big plans today, so please, get some rest. She paused for a moment then suggested, Tonight, let’s try to stay up until it’s west coast bedtime to try to adjust your brain.

Shouldn’t be a problem with what time we will be home from AWF, I said.

I looked over to the corner and saw my sister’s small laptop. The laptop I help set up for her before she had to leave. She gently kissed me on the cheek as she saw me looking at it. You set that up for me. I haven’t forgotten. I want to show you the wallpaper on it, She said as dawn’s first light started to peek through the window. She sat on the bed as the computer started coming to life. As I figured, it was a picture of me and her with Jessica. The last picture we took together at Delaney Street. I miss everyone, She cried softly. Tears started to roll from her eyes, and I knew that I was going to make sure this was the best summer she would have in a while. I studied the picture: Jessica sitting in her wheelchair the day before her flight to Seattle to study at the university out there, with Rachel and I on either side. While I did look happy in the picture, it was a lie. I was very upset that Jessica was leaving, but at the same time excited for her new adventure. She received a huge scholarship from, and now works for, WorldSoft.

We should probably get dressed and have breakfast, Rachel said, putting her laptop away as her crying subsided.

What are we having, I asked.

Remember the eggs mom used to make? Want those, Rachel asked as she started to get dressed for the day.

Sunday morning breakfast, I asked.

Yep, if you want, My sister replied as she took her turn in the bathroom. She kept the door open like I did as I followed her lead by getting dressed for the day. I want to take you to Portland today to meet Noelle. Then you and I are going to watch wrestling.

You mentioned tickets to the Monday night show, I said as we made our way to the kitchen where my sister started to gather the ingredients to make breakfast. She turned on the stove and soon eggs were cooking. Just like mom used to make, I said, admiring my sister’s cooking skills as the familiar smell of childhood Sunday breakfast hit the air.

Yep, My sister replied as she mixed in the ham, mushrooms, and cheese just like old days. It wasn’t too long before our meals were ready, and we sat at the small table together.

I just realized something: how is Jessica supposed to visit us? This is a second-floor apartment, I mentioned as the ham was starting to cook.

We are going to visit her up in Federal Way, Rachel replied as she took a helping of orange juice, Yes, it’s correct that Jessica cannot manage to get into this apartment. I’m not too happy about it.

The door opened and Rachel announced, Good morning daddy. How would you like your eggs? She then looked at me and said, Yours is ready. Ham, cheese, and mushrooms just like old times. Orange juice or milk to drink?

OJ, I replied as Rachel handed me my plate.

We all played catch up with our lives, and soon Dad said it was time to go. I’ll drop you two off at the mall and I’ll pick you both up at the arena tonight, Dad said as we got in the car.

We arrived at the mall and Rachel explained, Here’s your bus pass for the summer. I’m taking you to Portland, and by then the mall down there should be open.

Dad Not Found

Wrestling was over for the evening, and I immediately took my sister’s hand as I said, I don’t want us to get separated.

She laced her fingers and whispered, I appreciate that. I’m tired and want to go home. We took turns using the restrooms — yes there were big lines — and we found each other after. We held hands again as we maneuvered through the mass of people. The mass of people trying to head to the exit made me grateful that we were holding hands, and soon we were outside in the warm Portland air.

We started searching for our father’s car in the sea of vehicles picking people up from the event. What does the car look like again, I asked my sister. She described it, and I said, I don’t think I see it. I started getting nervous seeing every kind of vehicle except for the car we were looking for. Do you see the car, I asked, trying to mask my worry.

I don’t, My baby sister said, starting to get worried herself. I decided to drop the pretense of hiding my worry, and my grip on her hand tightened a little. I did not want her to get lost in a big city. Why isn’t daddy here, She whimpered, wanting me to comfort her.

Of course I will hold you, I whispered, This isn’t the first time daddy let me down, if I can be honest.

What, She shrieked, and I started to see the realization down on her face.

I had Rachel sit with me on a bench, and I started explaining the band trip to Atlanta, Jessica’s first big trip in a wheelchair. Rachel was furious and said, We have a bus to catch! She took my hand, and started dragging me off in a place that was not familiar to me. She seemed to know where she was going, when suddenly, Senator Hambulton! Thank goodness you are here, Rachel spluttered.

Rachel! What are you doing out in Portland this late? And where is your father, The Senator said.

Senator, first meet my older brother Michael, visiting from Virginia. He was taking me to an event in the Rose Arena, and daddy was supposed to pick us up, Rachel said, with a mixture of determination and sadness in her voice. Daddy never showed up at the Rose, and Michael says this isn’t the first time daddy let him down.

Let’s get you two off of the streets, and find out where your dad is, Senator Hambulton said. Once we were ushered into a car, Senator Hambulton started to introduce herself to me. She was the mother of Rachel’s best friend Noelle, and now I was grateful that we were in the right place at the right time. The Senator got on a phone, and was furious. Is Phil there, She asked, like a dragon about ready to blast out a jet of fire. I found Michael and Rachel wandering Downtown Portland looking for their father, having just watched the wrestling event at Rose Arena. He was supposed to pick them up? The Senator was seething, turning bright red in anger, but not taking it out on whoever was on the other end of the line. I don’t blame you, and I am going to have to have a few words with their father in the morning. Senator Hambulton turned her attention to us and said, Let me give you two a lift to Vancouver. Your father is out with friends apparently, and Cathy doesn’t have a working car! There will be some words in the morning.

Senator Hambulton dropped us off at the apartment complex where an upset Cathy was outside waiting for us. Thank you for bringing them home. Their father knew tonight was wrestling, Cathy said offering a $20, Use this towards gas, and I’m sorry their father ducked out like this.

Cathy led us upstairs, and apologized again and again for our father not showing up. Rachel said to me, Let’s just go straight to the bedroom. Please don’t leave my side.

I followed my sister into her bedroom where she promptly called Jessica. Daddy didn’t pick us up in Portland. Noelle’s mother had to bring us home, Rachel said angrily, You are on speaker and Michael is in the room with me. The sooner next week rolls around and we are with you, the better!

Would you two like to come tomorrow, Jessica asked.

Yes please, Rachel said, I am just so mad at Daddy right now.

Jessica then said, I’m going to get you both train tickets for tomorrow. Portland to Tacoma, since you said there is no bus to the train station in Vancouver?

That is correct, we need to take the train out of Portland Union Station, Rachel said, Because we will probably be taking the bus to the train station.

Both of you, I want you to bring whatever you think you will need to stay with me long term. We will discuss this when you both arrive, and you will be taking the train tomorrow. How does 11 AM from Portland, arriving in Tacoma at 2:35 sound? Should give you both time to get up and get to Portland without breaking your necks, Jessica said.

We will take it, Rachel said, her voice breaking, without having to think about it.

Book the tickets Jess. I think Rachel is about to start crying. I think this is her first time realizing daddy fucked up, I said, as my baby sister curled up in my lap with tears starting to flow. We will see you tomorrow, and I think Rachel will appreciate the lack of stress being away from dad, I said.