Day 1

As the car pulled away from the loading zone  Jacob was in business mode. My attention was divided. Jacob’s voice was stern and flowed from one conversation to another. When he wasn’t talking he was texting. I’m a successful professional organizer and yet I’ve never been as glued to my phone as my brother.

My brother was talking about business deals, the stock market, his golfing plans as soon as the weather improved. The grieving process had started for me. I had flown from my comfortable immaculate apartment in Savannah to still-chilly-not-Mother’s Day-yet Syracuse to mourn my dead sister and clean out her 3 bedroom house.

Jacob looked over at me occasionally. He furrowed his brow. Did he not recognize me? Did he expect me to be as addicted to my phone as he was? Did he realize what he was avoiding? I exhaled loudly and cleared my throat.

“I’m glad you’re here. I’m sorry I’m so busy right now. I have the funeral arrangements to deal with too.” His mostly salty gray hair glittered in a ray of sunshine through the window.

What is wrong with you? When did you become so insensitive and unaware of your actions?  I screamed these words in silence. I stared blankly at him.

“You okay?”

You get 5 points for asking that. My lips curled into the softest of smile. We use to play a silly game of giving each other points as proof we cared or were having fun with each other.

“I’m ready to go there and start working.” I wasn’t going to fight with him while his driver, Alexander, listened.

We pulled up to the house we grew up in. Jules had bought it in 2000. Our mother’s tulips still came up in the spring. My favorite colors were the pink and yellow ones. I’d collect a few and add them to the daffodils that came up near our porch. I didn’t think I’d be coming back to this house. I didn’t think I’d be coming back; how do I do this without her greeting me?

Alex stopped the car at the end of the driveway. He came around to my door and opened it then fetched me my bags from the trunk. I smirked making sure my brother saw my impressed expression. Jacob needs to learn some gentlemanly cues from Alex. I stared at the precipice of our home 50 feet from me. I started walking towards her, towards my past and only faintly heard my brother call that he’d pick me up at 6pm for dinner.

One foot in front of the other. My vision was blurry from crying.

Here I am, tell me everything.

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