You Can Go Home Again

We left her standing at the curb.  As we drove away, my mother cried and stared at the shrinking shape of my sister in the rear view mirror.

Lunch had been terrible that day.  I did everything I could to make Tess feel as guilty as possible for leaving me.  New Zealand is on the other side of the world; she couldn’t have gone farther away from us if she tried.

“I know you’re angry and you think I’m leaving you,” Tess said once Mom had left the table to go have a cigarette.  “But I promise you, no matter what happens, I’ll be back for your twenty-first birthday.”

“Are you serious? That’s five years!,” I screamed.

People at the surrounding tables glanced over.

“It won’t feel like that. You’ll be in college and time will fly.”

I didn’t believe her.

She was going to miss it all, including my high school graduation.  At Tess’s going away party a week earlier, Mom had said, “make sure you say goodbye to your Grandmother.  It may be the last time you see her.” That’s when it hit me – she was picking up and running.  I’d never felt so stuck in my life.

The first few times she called me from New Zealand, we joked about her disappearance.

“Tess who? I think I had a sister once but…”  By Christmas, it wasn’t funny anymore.  It also wasn’t funny when Uncle Tommy died, and she could only offer condolences over the phone.

She missed the good stuff too, like Ricky’s wedding reception when he jumped into the water with a beer in his hand and two in the pocket of his tuxedo.

But, as it turns out, in her infinite older-sister-wisdom, she was right. Time did fly.

My twenty-first birthday is in 19 days.  She arrives in 18.

—–

Check out the individual posts:

Exodus by Emily Atkin

Bringing Home the Bacon by Zan Strumfeld

Next Day Air by Malcolm Harper

Carry On by Eden Hausdorff

Bedside Manner by Keith Carroll

You Can Go Home Again by Julia Amberg

Dog Days of Summer by Charlene V. Martoni

Julia Amberg

Next Post

Next Day Air

Fri Jul 22 , 2011
“Another letter came for you in the mail today, Malcolm,” momma said. “It’s your father again.” This had been the fifth letter I received in almost three weeks; the previous four letters proved to be his unsuccessful attempts at soliciting two of my four graduation tickets. It had been about […]

TWITTER

Have you recently taken an internship? Check out the story below by @EriRuggiero which tells the stories of those who’ve had their internships affected by COVID-19. #newpaltz #internship #NPsocial https://bit.ly/39EzqYI

Do you use @Spotify to discover #newmusic?🤔Read about @krish0723’s journey as a musician🎙️and how streaming services work for artists in @jaredlabbq’s story, coming soon to http://thelittlerebellion.com. #streamingmusic #dmj453

Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro is hosting a virtual discussion on Thursday from 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM. They will cover civil rights, inequality, social activism, and the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Register here to receive the Zoom link.
https://puc-rio.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUkcumvrzgpHNI4vecmtIMViP40FDPKeEnt

Load More...

INSTAGRAM

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: API requests are being delayed for this account. New posts will not be retrieved.

Log in as an administrator and view the Instagram Feed settings page for more details.