The Solo Sibling

In "How She Met Her Father" Series, Non-Fiction, Personal, Writing on January 4, 2013 at 11:38 pm

This is Part 1 to a series I have titled “How She Met Her Father.”  It is based on my own experiences growing up and while I have chosen not to write it as a first person account, it is quite factual to the real events.

The store was full.  Bodies and carts everywhere.  It was a maze, as Wal-Mart always has been, always is, and always will be.  She was small, riding in the shopping cart like a mobile playpen, keeping a watchful eye on her mother as they barreled through the aisles.  Mom was the ultimate swerver and collision avoider, which allowed her to peacefully play in the cart oblivious to the madness surrounding her.

This was how she always spent shopping trips, unless they were in the toy aisle.  In the toy aisle, Mom would lift her out and let her wander through the Barbies and dolls and all the accessories.  The only other time she would get pulled from her own imagination was when Mom would run into an old friend.  This happened often, since Wal-Mart was the only store in the town where she grew up.  She generally knew everyone that would stop them.  They worked at her school, they were parents to her classmates, they lived on the same hollow that her family had lived on since before she was born.  Except for this time, on this day.

She heard Mom’s name called and felt the cart roll to a stop.  She glanced to see who it was this time. The secretary from the front office of school?  The bus driver that lived down the hollow and always let her uncles use his basketball goal?  No, she didn’t recognize this person.  It was a woman, not very tall and somewhat round, with mousy brown hair and a thick southern accent – much thicker than hers or Mom’s. This woman was flanked by two girls.  The comparisons were obvious: both were small and skinny, much like she was, with blond hair of just slightly darker shades than her own.  They were both looking up at her, now standing in the cart, like they expected some magical trick.

She looked to Mom, waiting for Mom to be as confused as she was about not knowing these people.  But Mom wasn’t.  Mom was smiling, saying hello, but it was odd and slightly rigid.  Mom looked to her briefly, then returned her attention to this unknown lady.  They went through the regular simple pleasantries.  The “how have you been” and “gosh, your kid has grown.”  She studied this woman while she talked with Mom.  They knew each other, really knew each other…somehow.  The two girls didn’t speak.  They just studied her as she studied the three of them.

Most of the conversation was typical grown up chatter, but then the lady made a statement that caught her off guard even at her young age of around 4 years old.  Gesturing to the two girls, lady said with a big smile, “They’ve wanted to meet her so much!”  She zoned out after this, her mind in overdrive trying to figure out how these people knew her or why they were so interested in meeting her.  They all beamed at her, still looking expectant, and she nervously looked to Mom to avoid having to talk to these strangers.  After what felt like an eternity, Mom finally said her good-byes.  She kept quiet and watched them walk in the opposite direction as Mom resumed motion with the cart.  The cart was still going quite slow, so she remained standing and looked to Mom again.

“Who were those little girls?” she finally asked.

Mom was hesitant and let a little sigh.  “They…they are your…sisters.”

Sisters?  She slowly eased back down into a sitting position while Mom pushed on through the bodies and carts around them.  Mom’s answers were always the solution. They always made her worries go away.  Never had they created more concern or more questions.  Until now.

But she went with it; she pushed on a little further.  “Sisters?” she asked.  Her stomach clenched as she asked the tiny one-word, two-syllable question.

“Yes.  By your father.  I never told you about them because…I never really thought you would ever have to meet them.”  The clench turned into a double boy scout knot automatically.  She had never heard anything about her father.  She knew his name, that was all, and that was only because she had specifically asked what is was once during a moment of unquenchable curiosity.  She had asked it, and immediately regretted it.  It was uncomfortable and she had enough of it within a nanosecond.  And now she’d just done it again.  But this time, instead of finding out a bad name, she was finding out that she had even more family than her brain could wrap around.  This little only child actually had sisters – two of them – who a mere five minutes ago hadn’t even existed, but seemed as thought they had known about her their whole lives.

Coppyright © 2012

Read Part 2, Discarded

  1. […] in order so it flows smoothly and stays true to the story line.  If you haven’t read Part 1, The Solo Sibling, you should check that […]


  2. This is great! I very much enjoyed reading your writing! : )



  3. […] 3 of “How She Met Her Father.”  Read Part 1 and Part […]


  4. […] She Met Her Father, Part 4.  See Part 1, Part 2, & Part […]



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