Chapter 4 Sisters
Sarah Revilo moaned uncomfortably as she shifted in her bed. The night was smothering her like a heavy blanket on a summer day. Her back was aching, and her stomach was stretched like a balloon. She blamed it all on her husband, Ron, who was snoring softly next to her. This was all his fault. If he hadn’t been so charming, loving, and handsome, this uncomfortable pregnancy would’ve never happened.
To be honest, there were many things she blamed him for. It was him who insisted they leave their home in Tuscan and join the rat race of city life. He was the one who demanded they move into this old, oddly shaped house which was basically two tiny apartments stacked on top of each other. Yes, he did inherit it from his parents and it was their house, but she truly missed Tuscan. She hated Riverton with every fiber of her body, it’s trash-cluttered streets, it’s odd people, and the high crime rate that haunted their television every night.
The only good thing that came out of owning this house was being able to unexpectedly provide a home for her sister. Sarah remembered that sudden midnight call from her mother almost two years ago. “Alathea is on her way over. She needs a place to stay.”
“Okay, we can take her, but why?”
“She’s not safe here anymore.” There were too many secrets she inexplicably overturned and too many threats left on their front porch for her to stay in Tuscan.
That being said, their home in Riverton hardly fared better. Every day seemed to increase Ron’s and Alathea’s hostility and tension towards each other. Even though they worked together, they were constantly jabbing and arguing like jealous teenagers.
She groaned irritably when she heard the front door open. While stifling her grumbles, she forced herself out of the bed and hobbled towards the stairs. Her little sister was just hanging up her purse. “You know time it is?” Sarah hissed sharply.
Alathea jumped a mile high. “You scared me!”
“Shhh! Ron is asleep.”
“Why are you so late?”
“Ron had me close.”
“It took you that long? You didn’t walk, did you?”
“Yes...I’m not going to waste money on a taxi.”
“During the day, fine. But you know how I feel about…”
“Then tell Ron not to have me close.”
Sarah scowled. “He told me what happened today.”
“Of course he did.” She headed towards the kitchen.
While leaning heavily on the railing for support, Sarah managed to step down the stairs, though each step sounded like a loud stomp. She found Alathea in the kitchen helping herself to a glass of orange juice. “We need to talk.”
“Nothing to really talk about. I’m sorry I screwed up the deal.”
“But this isn’t the first time! You keep doing this again and again! Can’t you just leave customers alone?”
Alathea crossed her arms. “You would rather deal with an untrustworthy customer?”
“You don’t know if they are or if they aren’t!”
“But I can, Sarah! I have! Does it ever bother you that the reason people are so offended is because I’m right? They aren’t offended, they’re afraid!”
“Exactly! Do you like people avoiding or threatening you at every turn?”
Alathea cringed. “Not really.” She admitted.
“The point is, it’s not our business. I don’t care if Mr. McGunn is cheating on his wife. He’s a customer, and we take care of him. That’s what we do.”
“He was going to cheat us.”
“You don’t know that. If he was, we could sue him.”
“Ughh,” Alathea rolled her eyes and walked past her.
“Alathea.” Sarah hobbled after her. “Seriously, this is a problem. I’ve told you once and I’ll tell you again, you’ve go to stop. We’ll go out of business.”
“I’m serious! This is the fourth customer we’ve lost because you dug into their head.” She became breathless as she trudged up the stairs. “And...I hate...huh….to think that...huh...one of them….huh...was a police detective!”
Alathea leaned on the wall at the top of the stairs and watched her progress. “Corrupted police detective." She stated. "He made me nervous.”
“He was just...huh...being friendly. But it doesn’t...matter! He still paid us….for the work. He was honest!” She stopped. “What was it you found out about him anyway?”
“That’s none of your business.”
Sarah glared at her before she tried and failed to take another step. “Help me up!” She gasped, lifting her elbow. “And wipe that smug look off your face!”
“Sorry, little guy is getting big.”
“You’re telling me. Anyway, Ron sounded pretty serious when he said he’d fire you if you do that again.”
“I know he’s serious, but maybe it’s for the best. I should think about moving on.” Sarah’s countenance fell, crestfallen. Seeing this, Alathea tried to amend her statement. “Not for some time, but you know what I mean. I should try to get out on my own.”
“I don’t think you’d make it.”
Alathea scowled and marched to her room. Unperturbed, Sarah lumbered after her, inwardly cursing the narrow hall and her large stomach as she brushed up against the walls.
“I’m going to repeat a question.” Alathea stated as she grabbed her pajamas from her chest of drawers. “Does it bother you that I turn out to be right?”
“Right about what?”
“About people and their intentions...that I know when there is something….shisky about them?”
Sarah cocked an eyebrow. “Shisky? That’s not a word.”
“Nobody is perfect.”
“I know that. But I mean I can see when they lie. I know when they lie. Doesn’t that bother you?”
“That you know when they lie, or that they lie?”
“If you’re still trying to convince me about the things in the air…”
“That’s how I know!”
“You don’t! I think you’ve been good at lucky guesses. Not to mention you dig for information.”
“Once I see the lie, I ask questions. I try to find out why.”
Sarah shook her head. “If you really want to get into something like that, Sherlock Holmes, then look for physical proof. You’re hallucinations are not going to to convince anyone. Till then, please keep your mouth shut.”
Alathea's eyes narrowed. “What do you mean physical proof?”
“Isn’t that what I’ve been doing?”
“You think somebody is lying because you see a certain hallucination.”
“They’re not hallucinations.” She nearly growled.
“What I mean is before you start accusing them of lying, or trying to make them admit something that may not be true…”
“But it is true!”
“Have evidence that we can see! Please!”
Alathea sighed in exasperation, but she consented. “Okay, fine.”
“Great!” Sarah smiled, relieved. “You have a day off tomorrow, right?”
“Let’s do something fun. I have a little shopping to do for this guy.” She patted her stomach. “Maybe we could have lunch at that….”
“Wait, I have a lunch.” She interrupted.
“I have a lunch...with...someone.” Her pale cheeks darkened to a rosy red, but she grimaced as if in pain.
Sarah’s eyes grew wide. “With who?”
“A fellow I met on the street.”
“You don’t look happy about it.”
“Uh, no. Don’t go off...the...fractals. You met him, he invited you for lunch, go for it! Where are meeting him?”
“Perfect! Is he handsome?”
“Really good looking?”
“Isn’t that what handsome is?”
“What does he look like?”
“Handsome...you’re not worried that I met him off the street?”
“Not really. You're not completely stupid, and it's a cute guy who asked you out. That rarely happens. I say, jump at the chance!”
Alathea rolled her eyes. “I’m tired Sarah, and so are you.”
“You’re going to have to tell me all about it tomorrow.”
“Okay, remind me to do that.”
“Speaking of reminders, don’t forget to take your meds. I went ahead and set them out for you.” She pointed to the tiny white pills and glass of water on the bedside table.
Alathea scowled. “They don’t do anything.”
“I think they do. You haven’t had any flashbacks for ages.”
Without saying a word, Alathea popped them into her mouth. As Sarah bade her goodnight, she mumbled under her breath, "I wish they did help with the hallucinations."
"I heard that!"
Nothing changed much, just a couple errors. Thanks!