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For Sezzie.

Family Bonds

He will stare at you from across the table and as he gets up he will brush past you. You will not flinch or shiver.

Beside you daddy will say, “It’s so nice to be together. I just wish your mother was here…”

Lyle will bow his head and daddy will follow suit. You alone will stare straight ahead; you alone are not fooled by this display.

You will say, “I have to go to freshen up.” Lyle’s foot will brush yours as you leave and he will smile as you finally flinch. Beside you daddy will murmur, “So nice…”


In the bathroom your cell-phone will ring. You will wish you are at the table and could pretend it is urgent.

It will be Jarod; he will say, “So, did you order the calamari?”

You will laugh, because that’s exactly what you ordered, and even daddy doesn’t know it’s your favourite.

You will wish, for a second, he’s not the prey. You will wish you could say “I don’t think I trust them.”

Instead he will say, “Don’t drink too much, it’s bad for your ulcer.”

You will reply, “Who are you, my wet nurse?”

He will say, “Have fun.”


Daddy will have a scotch. You will drink two glasses of merlot and Lyle will not touch a drop. At the end he will offer to take you home and even though death in a fiery explosion sounds better daddy will be standing beside you so you will have to accept.

Lyle will smile. You will wish you could find some nice way of saying “I’m your sister,” but you doubt it would deter him.

You will finger the gun in your purse. When Lyle is distracted you will cock it and all the tension will drain from your body.


The car will pull up at your house without incident. He will say, “I’m really not a bad guy, Parker.”

You will note he dropped the ‘sis’.

He will say, “Do you want me to come in? Jarod is capable of anything, you know.”

You will say, “I know what he’s capable of.”

Lyle will smile and reach for you. You will be faster (he has nothing to lose), and the barrel will rest between his eyes.

“Let’s not do this again sometime, hmm?” you will say.

He will only glare.

And you will only let yourself cry once inside.


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