And Kissed a Snake!
A raw scream born deep in the recesses of heart and soul manifested and strangled a desperate path into the outside world.
“Noooo! Elizabeth! Noooo!” I dropped to my knees still holding the yellow Post-it note.
I'm sorry, Becky. Nothing more. No explanation really. Not that I needed one; I knew my sister . Hadn't I always been there to cover any of life's little injustices? Elizabeth had been coddled all twenty-six years, mostly by me, but by mother as well.
I was the dark-haired one who favored father, the same father who had left us high and dry when I was in first grade and Elizabeth still a toddler. Elizabeth was the golden child, blond and beautiful like mother.
Just yesterday we were making plans to go shopping. She needed some new sandals.
“Becky, I can't wear these old things to Jamaica. Look at them! What will people think? I have to make Thomas proud. We'll be rubbing elbows with some movers and shakers at the company. They have to see Thomas deserves to be a partner...they just have to!”
I looked at the expensive sandals, yellow to match the sun dress. Everything had to be yellow for Elizabeth. “They look just like the ones you're wearing. Are you sure you need another pair?”
“Becky, that's why you've never married. You just don't get it. I have a position to fill. Thomas needs me.”
“Are you sure, Elizabeth? Really sure that's what Thomas needs from you?” I hurled the words in anger.
Now, a day later, I fought to keep from hating the sister I dearly loved. She was a taker. Always a taker. Now she had taken the one thing that meant the most to me...her own life. Selfish and cowardly.
Not the way I handled her stealing Thomas from me that Christmas five years ago when I brought him home to meet the family. My fair-haired sister moved right in and captured him for herself without a moment's guilt.
I had been her maid of honor; she had passed the bouquet of Daffodils to me as she swapped vows with the man I loved. I remember thinking how the Daffodils were more fittingly called Narcissus and that they were poisonous.
I walked over to where Thomas stood quietly in the living room looking out the window. People milled around him taking care of little details and speaking in whispered voices.
“How could she? What happened, Thomas? She seemed just fine yesterday.” I looked into the face of a man I once loved. His face was drawn, his dark eyes sad, but dry.
“It's my fault, I couldn't take it another day. So, I told her. I told her about us.”
I could feel my blood run cold and a chill caused me to shake.
“What? What do you mean, Thomas? You told her what about us?”
Thomas turned to face me. “I told her the truth. I told her that it's you I always loved and that I regretted marrying her. I told her I was leaving. Becky, she killed herself because of me! She couldn't take my leaving her...or loving you!”
“You made your choice when you married her. No one made you! You thought you could have her and me too. You tired of her. You thought that I would come running back to you. You were wrong, Thomas!”
Yes, that's what Elizabeth would have thought; unlike most who would have fought for what they wanted. I knew that about her. As a young girl she would jump rope for hours with me at one end turning it while the other end was tied to a tree. Never once would she offer to turn it and let me jump; when she was through she would just walk away.
Cinderella dressed in yellow
went upstairs to kiss a 'fella
made a mistake
and kissed a snake...
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