My brother and I had hoped to have our mother with us for many more years. But the cancer was too far advanced when they found it. She had waited until the day after Christmas last year to tell us. They did not expect her to see another Christmas.
And so it was that my brother Frank and I, both barely into our 30s, buried her this past fall, next to our father, under the granite marker they had picked out together.
Time is the great healer of these wounds that life gives us, and as Christmas approached, Frank and I felt that we were ready to begin the process of closing out mom’s house. It sat on the edge of a little lake in the middle of Wisconsin. With Christmas and New Year’s both falling on Tuesday this year, both Frank and I had what we thought was enough time off to get the sad job behind us.
Frank carried in the luggage while I brought in bags of groceries from the car. A light snow was just beginning to fall — snow that would continue, more or less, throughout the weekend.
We had already discussed the sleeping arrangements. Neither one of us wanted to sleep in Mom’s bed, so Frank insisted that I take the bed in the guest room, while he would sleep on the pull-out sofa in the living room.
We had thought that we had waited long enough, that enough time had passed. But as we moved past the initial easy part — the clothes that I dealt with, and the dishes that Jack packed up — two things happened. First, we moved on into the more personal parts of mom’s life: the photos, the letters, the scrapbooks and collections. And second, Christmas approached.
Mom’s house, of course, was not decorated at all, and we talked about this as we worked into the weekend. It was clear that we still had days of work ahead of us. We were going to be here over the holidays. So Frank took some time out on Sunday to go find a tree.
“It’s really getting bad out there,” he said with a shiver as he carried the small pine in from the car.
“Over here,” I directed him. “I found a tree stand and some boxes of ornaments.”
We took the rest of the afternoon to decorate the tree. My heart felt as heavy as lead as the brightly colored ornaments brought back so many memories. The breaking point — or almost, anyway — came when I reached into the box and pulled out the ceramic angel that I had helped pick güvenilir bahis out the year Frank was born. I couldn’t believe she still had it all these years later.
With tears streaming down my cheeks, I grabbed Frank’s arm and we hugged. He had been my protector so many times back in high school, and once again he held me in a brotherly way until my sobs subsided.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I need to do better than that. You don’t need a basket case here.”
He put his hands on my shoulders. They were strong hands, so much bigger than mine, but so gentle.
“It’s OK, Jen,” he said firmly, with his own look of deep pain in his eyes. “You don’t need to hide it from me.”
By Monday — Christmas Eve — we were well and truly snowed in. The car was no more than a bump in the snow out in the driveway. We took stock of the provisions we had, and we figured we were good for a few days. Our work of cleaning out the house and getting it ready for sale was going so well that it now looked like we’d be finished before we’d be able to leave.
As I had done on the previous evenings, after dinner I slipped into a modest cotton housedress, and I thought nothing of it. A few times over the weekend I had noticed — as we always notice, by the way, if you don’t know — that Frank was not unaware that I was a woman. There is a certain way that a man looks at a woman, measuring the distinctive parts of her figure.
No man, and no woman, is exempt from this law. Not even brother and sister. And as he was not overly obvious or rude, I wasn’t offended. In fact, I was flattered. Let me tell you, as a woman in her 30s, it was no accident that I still had the figure I had.
We had a late dinner and opened a bottle of wine. We were trying everything and anything to keep our spirits up. We checked for something to watch on TV, and the best choice available was that movie about the kid with the BB gun.
I found some old fashioned popcorn in the pantry and started heating it up on the stove.
Frank had left the sofa-bed pulled out so that he didn’t have to re-do it every morning and night. “You don’t mind if we just stretch out on it this way,” he asked. Again, always the gentleman.
“Don’t be silly, Frank. Are you afraid of me?”
I think the last thing I remember about the movie was the little kid falling türkçe bahis off of Santa’s lap. I woke up unknown hours later — it must have been the middle of the night. I noticed with some embarrassment that Frank had taken off his shirt and trousers, probably not wanting to sleep all night in them, given that we could be stuck here with limited clothing for several more days. Still, he was reasonably modest in boxers and T-shirt. I slipped out of the bed and went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and take off the little makeup I had worn that day.
I came out of the bathroom and stood looking at the little Christmas tree we had put together. I gazed at it for a few moments before reaching down and unplugging the lights.
I looked at the door to the guest room — my room — and it felt so empty and cold. In contrast, the living room offered the soft colored lights of the tree, and the flickering images from the TV, now replaying that Christmas movie for who-knows-how-many-times.
I crawled back into the sofa-bed and focused once again on the movie. I remember hoping that sleep would take me again quickly as I watched the scene where the dogs knock the holiday turkey onto the floor.
And soon enough, sleep did take me.
I awoke sometime later, surrounded by pale early morning light. The first thing that crossed my mind was that it was Christmas morning.
The second thing that crossed my mind was that I was lying in a sofa-bed in my nightclothes with my own brother. This would ordinarily not have been such a big deal, except that his hand was draped on my hip.
And my hand was draped on his.
Taking stock of the situation, my sleepy mind gradually became aware that my body was tingling from the predicament I found myself in. Yes, in bed with a man who was touching me. In bed with a man I was touching.
Underneath the plain cotton night-dress I was wearing, I was fairly sure that the natural responses of my body had made a noticeable wet spot that showed through my panties.
But I was intently aware that my brother, asleep there beside me, had a full-blown erection.
I tried my best not to move. I didn’t want to wake him. I wanted to find a way out of this. But there was no denying. Underneath his flimsy cotton boxers, he was as hard as could be.
I found myself rocking güvenilir bahis siteleri against it, and realizing what I was doing, I forced myself to stop. Without wanting to, I found that my effort to be still brought a soft whimper from my throat.
Oh, Jesus Christ, I thought as Frank’s eyes slowly opened.
I lay perfectly still, hoping that he would not realize that I was awake.
His eyes slowly opened. His gaze flickered down to where our most private parts nearly met through the limited clothing we wore.
He was the first to speak.
“We should probably…,” he began.
The feeling of his hardness against me, through my thin cotton panties, was almost more than I could bear.
“Yeah, I know,” I breathed.
“Why can’t we, you know, hook up like people do these days?”
This question caused me to stop. Why couldn’t we? We were both completely grown adults. If we wanted to hook up, the way people were, after all, doing so much these days, why couldn’t we?
I decided to try to be the voice of reason.
“I’m going back to my room,” I said. “If we both come back in here in a couple of minutes, you know….” I didn’t finish the sentence.
I retreated to the guest room. Electricity ran through my body, and in a moment of boldness I ripped off my housedress.
A few moments later, I stepped into the living room wearing nothing but T-shirt and panties. I threw myself at my brother, his erection still pressing against the thin cotton barrier of his boxer shorts.
As we held each other lovingly in our arms, I reached down and swiftly peeled my panties down off of my legs. Then I reached toward him and tugged his shorts free from his body.
We were bare, then, our private parts touching each other. I drew him into me, and I let out a soft moan as he filled me.
We settled into a motion together, and as our arousal built to its height, I whispered into his ear: “please, Frank, don’t come inside me. I’m not using any protection.”
He gave one more thrust inside me before pulling himself back. With his penis outside of me, he seemed to wonder where to spend his seed. But I reached down and grasped his firm erection and kept stroking it at the pace he had been thrusting it into me.
My touch had its desired effect. Instead of impregnating me with his sperm, he came on my belly with stream after stream of his climax.
I reached up then and kissed him square on the lips. My hands were on his hips, my message was clear: we could do that again.