Siblings Bonding at the Mall

Since no one wants either one of us at school, want to do something nice together, Sarah asked her special needs brother.

What did you have in mind, Billy asked, his ears perking up at the thought that a girl would even think about him.

Would you like to come with me to the mall? I wouldn’t mind the company to spend my birthday money, Sarah said.

Sure, I’ll come. Would be something to do with somebody, Billy replied, How are we getting there? You don’t have a license and I’m too young.

Flashing her bus youth (free ride) ID, she said, Our ride will be here in ten minutes.

Sure, Billy replied.

Sarah wrote a note and stuck it to the fridge:

Taking Billy on the bus to the mall for lunch. Could we get him a bus ID?Sarah

The bus pulled up right on time and Sarah said to the operator, It’s my brother’s first time riding and my first time taking him somewhere. I will pay for an all day pass for him. The operator extended the wheelchair ramp and got the bus situated for Billy to ride. She dropped $1.50 into the box for his Day Pass while the operator secured Billy. Sarah had a seat across from her brother once the operator was satisfied Billy was secured properly. We’re getting off at Fashion Center, Sarah said as the operator handed Billy his pass. When the operator asked about her fare, Sarah showed her youth ID.

Fashion Center Mall… Transfer available to Route 5, Called the automated voice as the bus turned into the parking lot about 20 minutes later. Billy pressed the wheelchair stop request button and the bus made a distinctive double ring as the automated voice called out, Ramp requested!

Well, we’re here, Sarah said as she wheeled Billy off the bus and towards the door of the mall.

What would you like to do first, Billy asked his sister.

We should probably have lunch first, Sarah replied as she pulled open the door so Billy could wheel himself inside. Sarah then started wheeling him again and they made a turn towards one of the food places that had a decent sized line. Fashion Center was one of the few malls that did not have a dedicated food court and they had to make do with what was there. Chicken sandwiches… six days a week. Something quick and simple, Sarah said as she angled Billy’s wheelchair into the line. They were packed but the line went smoothly, as was often the case during the height of lunch rush.

They got what appeared to be the last table and Sarah happily pulled a chair out of the way. I’d like to sit next to you, Sarah said, offering her kid brother a hug. Sarah heard her name called from the counter and stood up. The cashier, seeing Billy in a wheelchair, offered to bring the food over. Their meal was very simple consisting of their trademark chicken sandwich, fries, and a drink for each of them. Sarah put her arm around her brother and giggled, This is nice. No one wants either of us in school, so I pick my kid brother! She then helped him open the wrapper for his sandwich, put the mayonnaise on it, and then they proceeded to eat their lunch. I want to take you shopping for swimwear since it’s starting to warm up, Sarah said as they finished eating.

I just never thought that I would look forward to a day out with my own sister, Billy mumbled.

Are you happy, Sarah asked.

I am. I just thought that I would have someone to go on a date with, He replied nervously.

I can be your date, if you want, Sarah replied, offering her brother another hug, Big Sis does not mind being That Girl in Your Life until you find someone. She got up to clean the trash from their table and said, Now, I want to take you shopping. She then took control of Billy’s wheelchair and started to head down the main section of the mall.

They entered one of the departments stores of the mall and lady’s swimwear was one of the first things on the display mannequin. When a worker asked if they needed assistance, Sarah said, I’m looking for swimwear for my brother and me. Since we are here in the women’s department, I guess we can start with me. I am looking for a one piece that does not try to show off skin. I’m still a minor and don’t want to feel like I’m wearing just a bra and panties in public. After trying on a few different suits, Sarah found one that she liked. Now, we need a swimsuit for my brother. They were directed upstairs to the men’s department and the same thing with Billy. After trying a few respectable swimming trunks, he found something he liked. Sarah paid for their suits and headed back downstairs.

Their father was waiting in his pickup truck when they came outside. Happy birthday, Sarah; have a look in the back of the truck, He said as he got out to help Billy into the truck.

Daddy, thank you, Sarah exclaimed as she saw the tent she wanted.

It has a modified entrance so Billy can wheel in and out without breaking it like you asked for, Their father said as he finished loading his son into the truck. He gently tossed the wheelchair into the back and soon they were heading back home. I saw the note on the fridge and sure, we can get Billy a bus pass. Your mother and I are ok with him going somewhere as long as you’re with him.

Their mother added, Would you like us to stop at the transportation center so we can buy his pass now?

Sure, Sarah replied, It’s free but they just need a parent to sign for it.

They arrived at the Water Street transportation center. I’ll come inside with you two while Dad parks the truck, Their mother said.

They entered the center and Sarah said, I’d like for my brother to have a youth ID please. Mom, it’s free but we just need you to sign for parent. Billy and his mother filled out the application then Sarah helped him position his wheelchair so that he could have his picture taken. Sarah used her birthday money to buy him and her each a lanyard and cardholder. That is when the rain arrived, and Sarah groaned. She was excited for the tent, but it would have to wait a night, as she loaded Billy back into her parents’ truck and they started making their way back home.

They arrived home to a nice birthday dinner waiting with the whole extended family. Everyone was there from the entire extended family, which is something that has not happened in many, many years.

Happy birthday, Everyone said in unison, as Sarah started blushing as she realized just how many people were there. She was 18 now and hadn’t seen many of the family members since she was little.