She blew in a day early. No big surprise; it was typical Trish. You’d think I would have learned by now – with Trish it paid to expect the unexpected. The problem was that there were usually two or three options and whichever one I assumed, chances were good that she would pick one of the others.
Every time she came to visit, she would come early, or late. Or on a different airline, or on different dates than she originally planned. Once she didn’t come at all because an assignment came up that she couldn’t refuse. Because I’m a planner by nature, I usually picked one possibility and planned for it, subconsciously trying to be prepared for what to do if I guessed wrong.
It was stressful for me, but Trish was my only sister and I loved her. Besides, she only came to visit once every year or two, and once we got past the initial kerfuffle it was really nice to have her around.
But this time was different. This time Jeff wasn’t here and I was alone and I didn’t know if I could bluff my way through a visit with my only sibling. She had a way of reading my thoughts, or interpreting my body language, or whatever it was. I could try to fake it but Trish would know that something was wrong.
I didn’t even try to put off her visit. That would have opened a can of worms and I couldn’t go through the process of trying to pick new dates. I simply had no energy to make excuses, or spin a story and see it through. Honestly, I wished I could just crawl into bed and stay there for a week.
Maybe subconsciously I wanted Trish to come. So I could vent and rant and cry. It might make me feel better. And talking it through with her might help me figure out what to do. When we were kids, I was the one giving her advice and helping her figure things out. It might be nice to switch places for once.
I stopped tidying the living room when I heard Trish coming down the stairs. I had opened a bottle of the Cabernet Sauvignon she liked, to let it breathe. I pulled cheese and pate out of the fridge and poured us some wine.
“So, Sissy poo, how’s life?” Trish asked, taking a glass of wine from me, clinking it against mine and taking a long sip. “Ahh, my favorite!” I tried not to be annoyed by how gorgeous my sister managed to look after a four hour flight, and by her calling me by that stupid name!
“Oh, you know, same old same old. But what’s new with you? You look good! Have you lost weight?”
Trish drank some wine, shook her head. “You say that every time you see me. Nah, I go up and down the same five pounds, just like always.”
We talked about her work, and I told Trish that I loved her article on HuffPo about the swinging singles retirement village. I knew she was doing NaNoWriMo again, she had told me the plot. I reminded her to be disguise the character based on my ex-boyfriend the artist who turned out to be gay. I offered to read what she’d written so far, but she said no, it would slow her down if she started rewriting before the end of the month. Afterward, if she felt it was publishable, she’d let me have a go since I was always her best editor.
We finished the wine, the cheese and pate. Our catching-up chat was winding down. I sat back in the plush sofa and let out a long sigh.
“OK,” Trish said, coming to sit next to me. “Tell me. What’s wrong?”
So I did. I admitted that Jeff and I were separated. We had tried everything – romantic getaways, couples counselling, individual therapy. We finally agreed on a trial separation, to take some time to think things over and decide what we wanted. But the truth was, we both knew it was over. There was no point trying to resuscitate a marriage that wouldn’t survive the long haul. Trish, better than anyone, knew they probably shouldn’t have married in the first place.
My sister gave me a big hug, and we clung to each other for a minute. Then she sat back and said, “Thank God you told me! I saw Jeff a week ago at the Eaton Centre. He was having coffee with some bleached blond. They were just sitting and talking but they looked, well, I was worried about you. That’s why I came early, Sis. I knew you needed me.”
PS. Sis, you’re the only one who knows which bits of this are real, which ones are opposites, which ones are total fantasy. I love you lots and I always will be glad that we are Sisters!
PPS. I’m doing NaNoWriMo so there’s less time to do decent blog posts. Stay tuned…