You are a Meany II :Like Uncle, Like Sissy
Author’s notes: These words are more heartfelt each time I say them, thank you everyone for being so helpful and supportive.
Six months has past since Luke made that fateful phone call to his parents. To everyone’s surprise the road to reconciliation was quick. This was for love does not mean you never have to say sorry, love means that someone is quickly forgiven when they show real remorse and understand why what they did was wrong.
The hardest part was Alice forgiving herself, she hated that she missed out on 20 years of her son’s life. She finally when she started to just do her best to be his mom, instead of trying to make up for the past.
The reconciliation was going so great that Luke was going to visit his parents with his loving wife, Beth next month. Little did Luke know that the parent-son reunion was going to happen beforehand. This was for Fred and Alice had been helping Beth plan a little surprise for Luke. Beth was holding a surprise birthday party for her love of her life. Fred and Alice being there was going to be the surprise gift from his wife.
Luke gave his mom and dad an open invite to come and visit anytime they wanted. They took advantage of it and was just planning to be there for his birthday. They told Beth about their plans to make sure they were not impeding any plans those two would had made.. Beth loved that they wanted to come and celebrate his birthday and told them about how great their visit fit into her surprise party.
Little Timmy has made a full recovery from Hodgkin's Disease and was loving life. He was now a huge hockey fan, he founded out that Mario Lemieux battled it while he was still a player and was inspired by Mario’s quick recovery. Timmy even wrote him a letter to thank The Magnificent One and got one in return with a signed hockey puck. It was Timmy’s prized possession.
Lori was so happy with her son’s recovery. It did pain her to see her little pride and joy being so sick. Luke, not offering to help made her hate him even more. It drove her crazy that, out of the blue, her parents started to defend Luke’s decision. She hated that her dad brought up his warning of Luke not being there for her when she would need him, and that Luke was estranged from the family so they cannot expect her brother to treat them like blood. Then her mom would tell Lori she finally got what she wanted, no brother.
Lori not wanting a brother was not true, she just wanted Luke to know his role. In her mind Luke should had gotten over he hurt feelings and helped her. He needed to quit being a special snowflake and to grow up. He would feel so much better about himself if he would just accept that she was and will always be more popular than him. That she was the star of the family and he was part of her supporting cast.
Once Lori got sick of her mom not taking her side, she was used to her dad trying to put on airs of being impartial, so she started to moan to her husband about her brother. Her husband, Kevin McCain, quickly got sick of hearing his wife’s same complaints about someone she has not spoken to in over 10 years. Kevin did not like that Luke would not help his son. but understood that Larry, Lou or Luke, he could never remember his name, did not see himself as part of the family. Why should he help people who were strangers to him?
Kev did not know what happened, but he surmised that the event was it had to be earth shattering. His in-laws, with a great look of loss on their face, would quickly change the subject the couple of times he did bring up their son. His wife had a look of disgust the few times he asked her about her brother. After a match was found Kev was happy that his brother-in-law did not help for he must have been the one who did wrong. The bone marrow coming from an anonymous donor meant no chance of that no good person coming back into his wife’s life.
Finally, Lori quit moaning about Luke being a bastard to her husband when Kevin just started to get up and leave when the subject came up. At first he would say goodbye, but quit even giving a salutation. They had a fight over him being rude and Kev explain that he was sick of her obsession over Luke, Luke was out of her life and we did not need him to save Timmy’s life.
So now Lori started to complain to Timmy about Luke. Timmy would listen for he loved his mommy. Timmy even started to join in by calling Luke a poopyhead. That made Lori feel so good that someone understood that her brother deserved how she treated him.
One day, during one of her rant sessions about her ‘dear’ brother, Timmy asked her what made poopyhead Luke such a poopyhead. Lori told Luke that he could not tell anyone and Luke promised not to. Then, she told him that Luke was a sissy and that is why he is a poopyhead. She loved that someone would again listen to her putting down her brother. Her brother could not stand Lori for her being better than him, so he deserved being seen as a petty no good person.
Then, Timmy asked what was a sissy. Again, Lori made her son to promise not to tell anyone and again her loving son made a promise to his mom. Timmy wanted do anything his mom asked of him. She told him a sissy was a weak boy, who liked to wear dresses, and could not take being teased for what he was. That anyone who is a sissy deserved to be teased about it. Timmy laughed when he heard that his uncle liked to wear dresses. That laughter filled Lori’s heart with joy.
It was coming up to two weeks before Lori’s birthday and she wanted to know what her parents were planning to do for her on her big day. Even with being an adult, her birthday was always spent with her parents. In Lori’s eyes, her birthday was the best holiday in the year. This was for she did not have to share the day with anyone else.
She went over to her parents and after exchanging pleasantries with them got straight to the point. “Mom and dad,” Lori said in a sweet tone. “My birthday is in two weeks and we still have not talked about what we are going to do on my big day. I am so looking forward to spending time with you two, along with Kev and little Timmy. So tell me did you plan anything special or is it whatever I want to do?”
Alice and Fred looked at each other, they knew they were going to have to answer this question but never talked about how to handle it. Alice assumed that Fred was going to answer it and Fred thought it was best if Alice did. When there was no answer Lori repeated the question. This time they both went to answer it at the same time. Alice, knew that Fred could handle answering the question better, deferred to Fred.
“Lori, you are going to be 31 years old this year and we are not going to be in town that week, so you get to celebrate your birthday with your husband and son.”
Lori did not like hearing this one bit. That was her big day and her parents had to be there for her. They could go on one of their vacations anytime they wanted to. They always did it, just go without any warning, just telling her at the last moment about it. That was fine but they never did so on any holidays and, in her eyes, her birthday was the biggest holiday of the year.
Lori demanded to know what plans they had were more important than her birthday. Before Fred could tell her, Alice spoke up. “Lori dear we are going to see your brother on his birthday. We had not spent a birthday with him in 20 years and we want to.”
Lori could not believe her ears, the man who would not help her son is now taking away the spotlight on her special day. If they were going to see him, that meant they are on good terms with him again.
“What!” Lori screamed, “He has not been around, he did not help my son and you are going to reward that kind of selfish behavior with spending time with him. I am so mad at you two.”
Lori thought of defending her son by telling the truth, but quickly changed her mind. It was more important to Luke that Lori did not know he was the one who donated the marrow than for his sister to see him in a good light. Plus, deep down Alice knew that Lori knowing who gave the bone marrow would not change how she felt about her parents not being there on her birthday.
“Lori don’t take that tone with us. His decision with the bone marrow made your father and I open our eyes to how we treated him.He did not donate the marrow, for we were not there for him when he needed us.
I am not going to be playing favorites with my children anymore. I was so wrong in treating you more special than my son. I did so because I wanted you to have the same childhood that I did. I should have known it could not have been. I was the youngest by many years and you were not.
Now, you can pout all you want; I don’t care. We are going to be in California for your birthday for your father and I need to repair the fracture in our family. You better get used to your brother being a part of our lives and if you know what is for your good you would look to do the same.”
Lori was getting more pissed off until she heard the words of advice from her mom. She knew how to make it about her, Lori, the brat. Her husband and son would just go to California with her parents. She already had the week off and her husband should be able to get it off also. When she finally got to met Luke’s friends she can tell them all about what type of person he really is. How he would not help his own nephew. They would like her more than him, just how it should be,
The sweetness returned to Lori’s voice“You know what mom and dad you are right. Luke was not there for how I treated him. I think the he best way I can start to heal the wounds between my brother and me is by Kevin, Timmy and I joining you two on your visit to Luke. So tell me the details and I will book us plane tickets and hotel rooms.”
Fred was so happy that his wife for the first time took a stand against what Lori wanted. It took 30 years too long in his eyes, but it was a start. Fred went to join in to show Lori a united front but before he could talk Alice said “No Lori, we will not give you any details about the trip. You do not want to reconcile with your brother. I know you too well, young lady. You want to make this about you. I do not know why but you could never stand your brother getting any attention.
Now you can be mad at us or not. It will not change how it is going to be. You will have a great birthday here and we will be with Luke. Don’t worry, we will still call you to wish you a happy birthday. It is final and we will not talk about this anymore.”
Lori did not know what to do, her mom never talked to her like that. She got a vacant look on her face and said “Yes,mother.”
Lori did not like this at all, it was so unfair to her. The worst part was she did not know how to handle her mom taking such a harsh stance. When Alice took a stance against her daughter, it was always with a metaphorical wink. This time Lori knew she was not going to get her way.
After Lori left, Fred congratulated his wife on doing such a great job dealing with Lori. Alice was not in the mood to hear it, she wanted to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. She wanted to beat herself up for not doing this decades ago. Fred was not going to have that and reminded her the past was the past and all she can do now was be the best mom to both of her children.
It was the day before Luke and Lori’s birthday and Fred and Alice touched down at San Francisco International Airport and were met there by their daughter-in-law, Beth, holding a sign with their names and a grin on her face. Beth’s face lit up even more when she saw her in-laws in person for the first time. She gave them both a big hug and thanked them for coming to visit and be her surprise at her husband’s birthday party..
Beth offer to take them to get some coffee and they politely declined. Beth told them she was disappointed for she wanted to spend some one on one time with her in-laws, but understood that they must be tired from the traveling. The sincerity in Beth’s voice made them both change their mind.
As they enjoyed their chat more than the big-chain java they were drinking, Beth mentioned she was so happy they were out here for Luke’s birthday. This was going to be the best present he ever got. Beth went on to how Luke always mention that he wanted his parents at his birthday, even when they were not talking to each other.
Alice was distressed by hearing that statement. All she could think of was how wrong she was about her son’s feeling for her. Her son loved her and she turned her back on him whenever Lori wanted a little bit of attention from her. It was not her son that acting petty all this time, it was her and Lori.
Beth saw that Alice was shaken and quickly said “Mom, listen here. Luke loves you and does not care about the past. It cannot be changed and one cannot go back to it. Do not think about how you can make it up to him. You being at the party tomorrow will more than do so. This is for it will be so special to him and it is a start anew for all of us.“
Alice was amazed at how accepting Beth was to her and Fred. “Dear you do not have to call me mom.” Alice informed Beth. “I know I have to earn that honor from you. Please call me Mrs Zahn, until I prove myself worthy of that title.”
Beth was not going to have any of this. “Listen here mom. You have earned the title of being called mom in my book for you are here to celebrate your son’s birthday. I am not going to have us have a formal relationship, we are family and we are going to be casual around each other.
Luke is concern about the trip back home. He is so concerned that you are going to like me and if we are going to get along. He wants and needs your acceptance and you will give it to him. So, I am not going to put up a social wall between us by calling you Mrs Zahn. Plus, I like you so I want to call you mom” Beth said in a feisty manner.
Alice laughed hearing Beth laying down the law. “Fine you can call me mom but I expect a call from you on Mother’s Day if you do.”
Hearing Alice say Mother’s Day made Fred think about how his little monster, Lori, has made even that day all about herself now. He could not figure out why his daughter always had to be the center of attention. He knew that he and his wife did not do the best job at raising Lori, but still her being a black hole of neediness could not all be from her upbringing.
Alice brought up the party, she wanted to go over the plans again. Alice wanted to make sure this was the best party it could be. Her son deserved the party to be special.
For once in his life, Fred was actually interested in the plans of a celebration, to him what made a party great was the people there not the logistics of it. This time it was different. He was going to be able to keep a promise he made to his son, many years ago. He asked about the cake. Beth told him it was marble, Luke’s favorite. That did not matter to Fred, so he asked if she got the cake he wanted. Beth laughed for she never thought that a Yo-Gi-Mon cake would be so vital to her father-in-law’s enjoyment of her husband’s birthday party. She reassured him that the cake was what he requested. Fred smiled while returning to his silence and let the ladies worry about the rest of the details.
They finished the coffee and Beth took mom and dad to their hotel. Alice and Fred decided to just stay in and get as much rest as possible. They had a big day ahead of them, they are going to try to fit the celebration of over 20 birthdays into one party.
Luke was happy when they arrived at Nunzio’s, his favorite Italian restaurant. His happiness came from how much the birthday boy loved the food and service there and also he knew his wife had something special planned for him. She would not tell him anything about what was in store for her better half on his special day. Her making the plans did not matter for he celebrates his birthday for her, not himself.
The date of his birth became another day to him when none of his classmates would show up to his. Two years in a row it was actually only him and his dad at the party, Luke did not want his mom there for how she downplayed what was going on in his social life. Both of those years it was a Yo-Gi-Mon themed party.
Yo-Gi-Mon was Luke’s favorite cartoon and card game to play. The first year with his Dad as the only guest, his dad swore to him that his friends will all be around him one year when he blows out the candles on his Yo-Gi-Mon cake. At the time, Luke knew his dad meant well. but it was a shallow promise for Luke believed that he would never have friends again.
While walking to the restaurant Luke notice a couple of his friends’ cars. He knew it was their cars from the bumper stickers on them. He then saw his Aunt Bridget’s truck. He smiled at his wife and jokingly said “Nice try, in your feeble attempt to have a surprise party for me. Sweetie, you gave it away by not telling me anything about it.”
“Dear, trust me,” Beth said back while smiling “ It is not the surprise party which I counted on surprising you with, it is what is something else. That is all I am going to say, I do not want to ruin it.
How confident Beth sounded with informing Luke about being surprise had him thinking”is she bluffing?” He knew how to read his wife and was a little concerned when he came to the conclusion that she was telling the truth. The concern was for he was going to have to come up with a bigger and better way to surprise her back. It was a playful competition, the young at heart couple wanted to see who can get the biggest surprise smile on the other’s face and right now Luke was winning.
Luke smiled thinking of how good his wife was feeling at the moment and also how he got the upperhand in their battle to spread happiness. He knew how much it meant to his wife to do something nice for him, her happiness actually made his day more than what she did to express her love to him.
He was also proud of the surprise his wife was trying to outdo. They went and saw The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and Luke was able to get them to dedicate their cover of “LIfe on Mars” to his wonderful bride. It was her favorite song, she did not know why the melancholiness of the song really touched her and she found it so beautiful.
Luke was able to give his wife that special moment for he did a persistent campaign on them. The determined man on a mission hit all their twitter feeds, the orchestra facebook page, sent daily emails to their official email address and mail a couple of actual letters. Each card and letter were unique and personalize, he also made sure to have the humor in his correspondence to be whimsical, the same kind which the troupe shows on stage.
Luke was only going to quit it when they either said yes or put a restraining order on him. He figured they would say yes, for that was easier than getting a court to put a order on him not to write them and he was right. When they told him yes, the orchestra asked him to bring his wife to where the band would be signing CD’s after the show. The entire group wanted to meet the lady who inspired him to go that great length he did to get them to dedicate a song to her.
The loving couple open the door to Nunzio's private room and Luke knew he was never going to be able to surpass the surprise his wife did for him. His mom and dad were there at his birthday party! Luke started to shake, he looked at his wife and hugged her. While hugging that wonderful woman, Luke buried his head in her shoulder to hide that he was tearing up. Luke said “I should have never doubted you. I love you.”
Then something came over him, he felt the joy which was usually only reserved for children to feel. He felt unabashed and did not care that people saw the tears and ran towards his parents saying “I love you mommy and daddy!” He gave them a huge hug.
Everyone at the party laugh in joy at seeing Luke’s reaction. It is not that often you see a grown man run while saying mommy and daddy. The best part to partygoers was Luke was proud of showing how happy he was. It made them feel good that they were able to share his special moment.
After hugging his mom and dad, Luke gain some of his composure back. Luke quickly lost it again when he saw the Yo-Gi-Mon birthday cake. He remember that promise his dad made him, he felt so loved by his parents for they kept that promise. He looked at his parents and they both got teary eyed. His dad said “Son I know it is late, but I did it. You have all your friends here with you to blow out the candles on your Yo-Gi-Mon cake.”
As they were talking Alice’s phone rang. She was going to let it ring but Luke told her to get it. She looked and saw who she thought it was, Lori. The confirmation of it was her daughter calling got Alice mad, “why can’t Lori leave me alone right now” She thought. It really irked Alice for she told her daughter not to call her or her husband while at the party. She hit declined and said the call was not important. Alice was anxious to see Luke’s reaction to the entire party, she did not want anything to take away from his special day.
Beth went to talk with Aunt Bridget as Luke made his rounds introducing his parents to all his friends. She was beaming with pleasure to see how much joy she gave her husband. He would glance at her once in awhile and the smile on his face was would get bigger when they made eye contact. Seeing his smile get bigger would make her knees a little weak.
While making the round there was an increased frequency of Alice’s phone ringing. Each time Alice would look and feel a little more annoyed at the ringing until the look and feeling went to madness. Each time she would just hit ignore as soon as she saw who it was.
Then Alice got a text it read “Mom I call calling you about Timmy. It is bad :-(“ Alice felt uneasy thinking that something was wrong with her grandson, It could be an emergency. To put her mind at rest, she called Lori. She told Luke that she had to call Lori.
As soon as the brat answered her phone call, Alice heard Timmy crying and saying “You are a meany, leave me alone.”
Lori sounded upset and said “Look at what you did mom going to visit Luke on my birthday. Timmy is upset”
Hearing her daughter’s grievance was the final straw, her grandson crying was not an emergency. In a stern voice “Listen here missy, I am at Luke’s party and told you not to call me unless it was an emergency. Your son crying is not one so no matter what do not call, or text me again today. We will have a talk about this when your father and I come home. Goodbye.”
“Fuck me” Alice thought after she ended the call. She wanted to apologize and explain to Luke about the phone call ,but he was already gone. She knew that she could not blame him, she always would blow him off as soon as Lori wanted her attention. Alice had to find Luke as soon as possible so she did not ruin yet another one of his birthdays.
While Alice was on the phone with Lori, Fred went with Luke to try to get him to wait a minute so his mom could explain why she had to call Lori. His dad went on to say Lori was told only to call if it was an emergency so his mom had to check to see what was going on. Luke looked at his dad, and explained that Lori was the girl who cried wolf, and everyone knew that she was just interjecting herself at the party. Finally Luke added that he was not mad, he was done playing second fiddle to Lori. Luke was going to have a great time at the party. He just did not want to be around his mom while she pulled that trick of dropping everything for her daughter.
Fred knew that his son was right so he let him go. He went back to find his wife. Alice saw Fred and went to him and asked where her son was. Fred told her to leave him alone, he will stop by and see them later. Alice was not going to listen and she was going to make this right.
Alice saw Luke at the bar and went up to him. He turned around and just looked at his mom. Luke’s remorseful mom turned off her phone and handed it over to her son. She then said “Son, I should have left my phone at the hotel room, so please hold on to it. I told Lori not to call unless it was an emergency, I knew it was not an emergency but had to make sure. No it was not I had to make sure I just am so used to treating her as the center of my attention. Trust me, I am changing I came out here for your birthday and that got her so mad.
She knew I would answer and wanted you and I to get into a fight about it. She hoped it would cause a rift between us. I hope it does not.”
Luke gave his mom her phone back “Mom I am not mad. I know you are changing and I love it. I just was not going be there while you comfort your daughter. If I stayed there waiting for you to get off the phone with my sister then she would have gotten some of what she wanted.
I am here to have fun and share this day with my loved ones. It is not about me, it is about everyone here. Come on, I have more people I want you to meet.”
They went and found Fred. After meeting more people Luke and his parents went to Beth and Aunt Bridget. This was the first time Bridget was face to face with Alice and Fred since they found out who the mystery donor was. Bridget just gave her sister and brother in law an icy stare, she was still a little pissed at them. Fred and Alice knew they deserved it.
Beth shook her head in disbelief. “Aunt Bridget promised to play nice and she better,” Beth thought. This was Luke’s big day, Luke might not have desired it, but he needed it. Luke needed his parents to make a huge deal about his birthday for once in his life. If Bridget did anything to ruin this party Beth would make her pay. Then, Alice broke the ice “Sis, you did a great job at raising your youngest, he is a fine young man.”
Bridget became livid, this was Luke’s birthday and her sister still is paying more attention to someone else. “Is my sister so worried about Lori’s feelings that she is still trying to keep Luke at a distance from her” Bridget thought.
“This is Luke’s birthday and the first thing you say to me is about how Sam turned out? Sometimes you are just so blind, this is Luke’s birthday party. If you were not so blind to him you would know we should have talked about him first. That is just common courtesy.”
Alice waited a second for she wanted to make sure she did not come off as defensive. She knew that her sister took what she said wrong. Alice was not talking about Sam, she was talking about Luke. Alice felt like she was Luke’s prodigal mom and Bridget was his real mom. Alice explained “Wait, Bridget. I was talking about Luke. You were his mom, not me. I am so proud of him and know you made him the man he is today.”
Bridget felt bad for snapping at her youngest sibling. She caused tension and it could have went the wrong way if Alice got defensive. She was extremely proud of her poor misguided little sister for what Alice said, but could not disagree with her any more than she did at that moment. Bridget’s ice queen’s exterior changed to one of a may queen.
With love, caring and concern in her voice, Bridget said “ Lili, you were, are and always will be Luke’s mom. You might not have always done the right thing for him, but you did when it counted the most. You put his needs in front of yours. You did not have to and it was hard to convince you but you still did.
Like mom and dad used to say. ‘Raising a child is doing your best and hoping that you do not mess them up that much.’ You did your best, Most parents would not have let their son move across the country, you did.
Now let us drop it, you know how fiery I am and go off the handle. I am sorry.”
Alice was so touched hearing her older sister call her Lili, that was her childhood nickname. Alice knew that Bridget only used it when she felt much love for her sister. Luke wanted to make sure his mom knew how much she raised him and made him who he was. “Mom, you are my mom. You always did what you thought was best for me. You also gave in when Dad wanted what was best after you realized you were wrong. It takes a great person putting someone else ahead of them to do so.
I love you mom. Do not beat yourself up about the past, it is the past. We are here right now together. Let us celebrate. Come on I want my mommy and daddy right next to me while I blow out the candles on my awesome Yo-Gi-Mon cake.”
Luke actually had a skip in his step as his family walked up to the birthday cake. He stood in front of it shaking a little inside waiting to blow out the candles. Fred was not the most emotional man yet he still teared up seeing the joy on his son face while all the guest sang “Happy Birthday”. Alice grabbed Beth’s hand, leaned into her ear and whisper thank you to her. This was one of the sweetest moments in her life. Alice was wrong when she thought that this moment could not touch her heart anymore. She put her hands to her mouth when Luke cut the first piece of cake and offer it to her.
It was a corner piece, her son remembered how much she loved the corner piece. She has not had cake with her son in over 20 years and he remembered. Luke was so happy seeing his mom knew he remembered, he knew it was a small gesture but he so wanted to show with actions how much he loved his mom.
The rest of the party was great. Luke mingled with all the guests and they were amazed at how happy he was. They never saw an adult with so much joy celebrating their birthday. Fred and Alice spent their time watching their son basking in the moment. They could not have been prouder of him, he was a good person who went out of his way to surround himself and the people around him in love.
After Luke and Beth thanked the guest for helping them celebrate Luke’s birthday, the unwhole reunited family sat at a table. Luke was still flying high from having his parents with him on his birthday. Luke told his wife that they needed to start anew on trying to one up each each others on surprises, for she won. They were all aglow just enjoying each other company.
When Alice and Fred made it back to the hotel room she finally turn her phone back on. There was over 20 missed messages from Lori. Fred saw the anger on his wife’s face and calmed her down. Bridget was not the only one of the Tribalinni’s sisters which could be fiery.
After hearing those messages Alice, for the first time in her life, saw her daughter for what she was: a spoiled self-centered brat. She could not believe them. Each one of those messages got worse. Lori blamed her mom and dad for making little Timmy cry. Lori brought up how unfair it was that they always liked Luke more than her. That they made her birthday the worse birthday anyone ever has had. Lori told them she hated them and would never forgive them.
Alice did not know what to do, she was not going to be treated that way by her daughter. Her daughter was actually handling this worse than when Luke was made to wear a dress. The worse thing is, right now she knew she could take no action. Alice knew that Lori just wanted their attention, it could be positive or negative, as long as they were paying attention to her was what mattered to Lori.
Fred and Alice made a decision that they will not contact Lori until they could do so in person. The talk they were going to have to have with their daughter deserved to be one which was as personal as possible. This was so all parties involved could process both the verbal and nonverbal communication which the other side was giving.
Luke made arrangements to have the rest of the week off from work to spend as much time as possible with his parents. How upbeat he was made them forgot about the trouble which was on the horizon for them when they got home.
Lori was being melodramatic when she stated today was the worst birthday anyone has had in one of those many immature messages which she left her mother. The Brat Princess would had been totally honest if she said that today was the worst birthday she has ever had. It was 11:00 PM, her husband was nowhere to be found, her son cried himself to sleep and there was no party.
If only her parents would not have went to see her no good brother,Luke, for her birthday. Why would they do that? He was not there for little Timmy when his own flesh and blood needed him. Then with no rhyme, no reason they started to defend her brother’s actions. Her mom and dad said that they needed to make it right with her brother. They did not need to make anything right with him. Her brother should have been there for his family. He should have consider himself lucky that he could help his sister in her time of need.
Lori was a little self centered but when it came to her brother, her neediness exponentially rose to godlike levels. The hatred she possessed for him had no cause, it just was always there. Her heart was blacken when it came to her ‘dear brother’, she would not refer to that loser Luke by his name anymore. Her brother was not worthy of her saying it.
The day started bad for Lori, she did not get her customary wakeup birthday call from her best friend, her mom. It did not matter it was a little after 3 AM on the west coast, her BFF should have called her. It was not that much of an issue to set an alarm to wake up to make that call. Her and her husband, Kevin, ate breakfast in silence. She was mad at him for he cancelled his vacation day. He told her that he was not going to waste a day off from work hearing her moan about Fred and Alice.
At least, Timmy knew how special this day was to Lori, he came running down to the breakfast table with a handmade birthday card made out of construction paper. He was so eager to give his mom, the light of his life, her card. Timmy was also looking forward to later today when he could give his mommy the gift he bought her. It was a cinnamon scented candle. Cinnamon was her favorite scent. Timmy saved up the change Pappy Fred would give him the last couple of months so he could use his own money to buy the gift.
Kevin drove Timmy to school on his way to work, so the drama queen was left all by herself. She sat in the recliner, her makeshift angry throne, and sulked while watching bad daytime television waiting for her Mom to call. Lori could not believe how slow the time was going. She never realized that time slowed down when a person was having a conversation with self pity. Immersing oneself in self pity does no good other than invite more self pity.
It was finally 11:00 and her bestie was calling. Lori was so happy to hear the phone precisely at 11:00. Her mom would never let her down, it had to be her dad made mom go to visit their son on her birthday. He always took her brother’s side,why did he not see that Lori was so much better and should be treated so.
Lori picked up the phone and cheerfully said hi mom. She knew that her mom would stay on the phone with her for hours. They would talk about all the great birthday parties they had when she was young. How her mom was going to make it up to her for not being there today. Then, they would pick on that loser of her brother. She loved to put him down, she would not of had to do so if he would have just accepted she was better than him.
Lori was devastated when, right after her best friend saying “happy Birthday Lori”, she was informed the birthday girl the call was not going to be long. She had a lot of decorating to do for Luke’s party today. That turncoat used her brother’s name, how dare she. Lori said fine and told her mom she had to go right after hearing that. If her mom was not going to spend the right amount of time on the phone with her, then they would not spend any time on the phone together today.
Lori started to call her friends to leave messages to see if any of them could have an impromptu night out tonight. Each decline made Lori see her friends as what they were, hangers on. They could work their schedule around for one night. It was her birthday after all.
Her day was brightened up when Timmy came running in the house screaming at the top of his lungs “Happy Birthday Mommy!!!” Hearing those words so loud brought a smile to her face and a piercing pain to her ears. She loved that pain for only a few months ago, her little angel could barely talk above a whisper.
She did not know who was that anonymous donor who gave her boy the strength to scream, but she loved that person with all her heart. At least she thought she did and that would have been true if it was anyone else other than her brother. Lori only saw the worst in him, so she would have accused him of doing so to lord it over her. There is nothing wrong in seeing the worsetin someone, if they did something which made them deserve it, Luke had not.
Kevin came home and she started to bitch about how bad the day was. She told him that she never wanted to celebrate her birthday again. If those words were true, hearing his wife complain the two weeks would have been worth it. He knew they were not, and dreaded next year. It was going to have to be one of the biggest birthday extravaganza he ever seen. He knew he and the in-laws better start planning it as soon as Fred and Alice get home.
Speaking of his in-laws why did their attitude change about their son. It is not uncommon for people to forgive after time has past. This was different; their son, Luke, Larry or Lou, whatever his name was, would not help their grandson when Timmy needed it the most. They hated their son, called him evil. Then one day it became we had no right to ask their son to be tested. We messed up and he was not part of the family for a long time, so it was not fair to demand that he help. Something very strange happened to cause this repair in the rift and Kevin want to know. It was just for he was a tremendously curious person.
As soon as Lori said that she did not want to celebrate her birthday tonight, Kevin took it as an escape route from her. Her frustrated husband asked Lori if that meant tonight was like any other night. Lori trying to get sympathy said yes. Those words were the key to freedom for Kevin and he used them to unlock the door. Before he got up to bolt to the door Kevin said “Good and I will respect your wishes. So with it being Friday night, my bar night, I am out of here. Love you dear.”
Kevin was out the door before Lori knew what happened. She got her phone and called him. When she got a connection she heard his phone ringing on the kitchen table. “That bastard” she thought “he left his phone here.”
If this day could not get any worse Lori’s friend Justine called and said that she and a couple of the other girls worked out their schedule to go out tonight. Lori could not get a hold of her husband and knew it would be next to impossible to find a babysitter at the last moment, so she had to decline the offer. Lori, worried about keeping up appearances, told them her man had planned a special surprise for her tonight and thanked them for changing their schedule.
Lori was so heartbroken at that moment and Timmy saw it. He knew his mom wanted to celebrate her birthday, even with her saying otherwise, so he went to get his gift for her. Tim came down and handed his mom the worse wrapped candle ever and said “Happy Birthday mommy, here is a surprise for you. I bought it for you. I love you.”
Lori unwrapped the candle and not thinking said in a snide tone “Thanks this really brighten my crappy day.”
As soon as those words left her mouth tears fell from Timmy’s eyes and both of their hearts drop to the floor. Lori never meant for her aggravation to be taken out on her son. It was so touching to her that he bought her the gift.
Lori did her best effort to cheer her son up. She told him they could have cake now instead of after supper. She lit the candle and mention how much she loved the smell of cinnamon. She told Timmy all his favorite silly jokes. None of this worked. Lori was getting exasperated
Lori had noone to turn to so she picked up the phone to call her mom. She thought better of it, she did not need her to figure this out. She would just think of how her mom handle her brother when he misbehaved.
It came to Lori, make her little man see how childish he was being crying. Honey was not working so she was going to the rod. She said to Timmy “ You know boys don’t cry. Only sissies cry and you are not a sissy right?”
Lori was trying to do the right thing but it did not get the right results for it was taken the wrong way. Timmy thought his mother was calling him a sissy and the crying became louder. The crying made her irritation and annoyance grow even more. Lori could not understand that it matter how Timmy took it, her son should only see it how she meant it.
Lori knew how much Timmy did not like sissies so she went to use fear next. She made the threat of if he did not stop crying now she would go out and buy him a dress to wear right now. That made Timmy cry even more.
Lori was unknowingly digging herself a hole. She told her son what she was going to do if he did not listen and she had to follow through with it. She called her next door neighbor, the Lanes, and asked them if they could come over and watch Timmy for a moment. She needed to run to the store and get the new Blueberry Muffins and Friends DVD to help Timmy stop crying. She added the detail of earlier this week, she promised her son that they would watch it together
The Lane’s were an older couple and knew how hard it is to handle an unruly child sometimes, so they were more than happy to agree to help. As they made it over to her home, Lori made sure to that Timmy would not say a word about her threat by saying. “You know how people laugh at sissies so if the Lanes find out I am getting you a dress to wear they will just laugh at you while I am gone.”
As soon as the Lanes showed up, Lori was out of the door. She wanted out of that situation for she could not handle it. She just did not know what to do. She hoped and prayed that Timmy just seeing the outfit would make him stop crying. She would also would make this up to him.
While Lori was gone, Timmy started to calm down. The Lanes were glad that Timmy quit crying. They knew it had to be something major in the young lad’s eyes, Timmy was tough beyond his years. He was so strong fighting Hodgkin's Disease.
Lori went to the local Bullseye store and bought her son a bright pink dress, mary janes, lacy socks and girl’s undergarments. She was hoping that she did not even have to show it to him. That Timmy calmed down and forgot about what she said.
Lori was relieved when she came home and found Timmy smiling and sitting at the table drawing. She thanked the Lanes for doing her such a huge favor on such short notice. The Lanes appreciated her thanks and what she was putting up with and left. On the way out they said, while laughing “They would not mind watching Timmy any time for he was such a darling.”
When Timmy heard the Lanes used darling he started to tear up again. That was one of the terms which his mom would use to describe Uncle Poopyhead, he was a darling sissy. That put him under the impression the Lanes saw him as a sissy.
Lori was coming up with a plan, have the Lane watch Timmy as she got her husband to come back home and she could head out with the girls, to salvage her birthday when she saw tears forming in Timmy’s eyes. Timmy asked his mom what was in the bag and she said “Nothing.”
Timmy knew better and began to cry as he gave his guess. “It is a dress.”
Lori lied again “No it is not. It is something special for mommy.”
Timmy knew it was a lie “No you said you were going to put me in a dress. You are a meany.”
Those four words brought back memories for her. How much she hated her brother. She looked at her son and he had her brother’s eyes. She never recognized how much her son looked like her brother until right then.
Lori went to use fear again. “Fine it is a dress and if you do not start to act like a little boy at this moment. I am going to put you in it.”
Timmy started to cry even more and it was the moment of truth for Lori. She could either back down from her threats and not be able to use the specter of discipline to make her son behave or she could put him in a dress. She went for putting him in a dress for her best friend, mom, would always say how Luke overreacted to her doing so. Lori believed that lie.
Lori said “Fine, you young sissy, go upstairs right now with this bag and as soon as you are dressed come down here. You better not be crying, if you are then you will be in that dress longer.”
Timmy grabbed the bag and marched upstairs and Lori called her mom. She knew her mom said not to call her unless it is an emergency, and this felt like one to her. The phone rang a couple of times then went to voicemail. Lori just hung up, she did not know what to say.
Timmy marched down the stairs and stood right in front of his mom holding back the tears. Lori smiled in relief that she could get the dress off of her son right now. Timmy took her smile as her mocking him and started to cry again. He said “You are a meany, leave me alone.”
Timmy just kept on crying and saying his new mantra; you are a meany, leave me alone, to his mother. Those words started to haunt her, she knew she would be hearing those words replay in her head for the rest of her life. She kept on trying to call her hero, the lady she strived to be,her mom and no answer.
Finally then sent a text message and then her mom called her. Timmy was screaming his new anthem and Lori put the blame on her mom. Alice was not having it, kids cry and Timmy crying was not an emergency. Alice very forcefully commanded her daughter not to call her, berated Lori for thinking Timmy crying was an emergency and hung up the phone.
Lori did not know what to do, she kept on trying to call mom. Even when the phone went directly to voicemail she did. Each message she left was filled even more with her frustration. She quit calling her mom. Lori finally gave up trying to get guidance from her mom. All she knew no way that Kevin could ever find out about this. He would have the mother of all shit fits.
Lori knew that Timmy would not want anyone to know about being in a dress, she used that to her advantage. “Listen here sissy, I do not care that you are a sissy. I will not laugh at you, but everyone else will. Even your dad, so you need to get out of that dress and go upstairs to bed.
Remember how no one liked Uncle Poopyhead, that is for they knew he is a sissy. I want people to like you so I will not tell anyone. It is our little secret.
I promise that as long as you act like a good little boy I will not tell anyone. You being in that dress should show you I do what I say, understand. So, go upstairs get changed and go to bed.”
Timmy feeling rejected by his mom slowly walked up to his bedroom. He changed into his pajamas and got into bed. Timmy felt his feeling of how lucky he was to be alive sucked out of him. His mom told him he was a sissy, his mom would not lie about that. He did cry like one, so Timmy came to the conclusion that with the fact his mom would not lie to him he and him acting like a sissy, he must be one. Little Timmy thought it was not fair that he was a sissy. Poor little Timmy cried himself to sleep thinking about how hard it is going to be for him to hide his secret.
After a while, Lori went upstairs and collected the evidence of her dirty deed. She needed to make sure that Kevin did not find out about this, or worse her parents. She knew why Kevin would not understand, he was a man’s man. He would hate to know that his son was in a dress. His son would make fun of a little boy in a dress not be in one.
Her parents, with their sudden and radical change in attitude towards her brother, would be furious at her. She could not understand why they would be, her mom used the same unconventional punishment as she just did. That meant her best friend should not be mad, but her gut feeling told Lori that her mom would. Now her dad she could see why he would be a little mad, for he always took her brother’s side. She just had a gut feeling that his reaction would be a lot worse now than it would have been before the reconciliation.
Lori sat at the kitchen table drinking her coffee and kept on lying to herself that it was no big deal what she just done; Timmy will forget about it in the morning. Timmy is nothing like her weak brother so this will not affect him. At first Lori knew that she was deceiving herself. After repeating the lie over and over. she was able to convince herself it was the truth.
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