It all began when Cathy saw that Alex, her teenage son, was sporting new headphones and outfits. Cathy was intrigued and made the decision to follow him in order to solve the mystery of his newly acquired possessions. She had no idea that this trip would transport her back to her early years and introduce them to an unexpected person.
“Where did you get those headphones, honey?” Cathy had to ask her son.
Alex said, absorbed in his phone, “From Dad.”
“And the clothes as well?”
He paused and said, “Yeah, I guess so.”
It was not quite right. Although they both occasionally spoilt Alex, Cathy and Alex’s father were divorced and valued pragmatism over designer labels. It didn’t feel quite right.
Cathy gave Alex’s father, Ian, a call to find out more. “Cathy, I’m not sure,” Ian answered. “It wasn’t me. Perhaps he found a side gig or something.
That type of money wouldn’t come from a part-time job, and Alex was just fourteen. She was plagued with doubts. She was determined to find out, so she took advantage of Alex’s suggestion to go work on a project at a friend’s house.
Alex headed out on foot, with Cathy secretly trailing behind. After Cathy watched Alex getting into a car with a blonde woman a few roads away, her heart fell. She had to get closer because she could not distinguish the woman’s features from a distance.
Cathy was shocked to learn that the woman in the car was actually Lia, her sister. Now entangled in her son’s world was the sister who had long since vanished from their lives.
Cathy confronted Lia and demanded answers, her emotions overtaking her. “What brings you and my son, Lia, here? You vanished into thin air, and now you’re back, interfering with our lives via him?
Lia’s eyes, reflecting the tangled web of their shared past, filled with a complex mix of emotions. “No, Cath,” she answered quietly. “Not to interfere. I contacted Alex after finding him on Facebook. I believed that he could help us repair our relationship.
Her comments carried a burden of unacknowledged hurt and unsolved past. With tears flowing down her face, Cathy sat back. “After all these years, you can’t just waltz back into our lives. Alex is also not a pawn in your scheme to make up for what you overlooked.
Lia’s eyes glazed over as the weight of the past descended. “Cathy, I acknowledge my mistake. I’ve improved, but I still regret how I harmed you and the family. And I’d like an opportunity to atone.
The ride was silent as Cathy thought over what Lia had said. Gazing at Alex, she saw that he had turned to face her and was waiting for her answer. She caught a glimmer of the younger Lia she knew in his eyes, the kind and understanding sister who would drop everything to listen.
Alex broke the stillness as they headed home by remarking, “Mom, I like Aunt Lia.” She has shown me kindness. Not Dad, but she bought me the new stuff.
“Why did you keep it from me?” Cathy inquired.
“Because I didn’t want to add to your already-heated feelings regarding the divorce.”
Cathy’s heart fell. She had not yet entirely come to terms with the fact that her kid had been having difficulty adjusting to their divorce. She was upset with Lia for involving Alex without getting her permission, but she was also appreciative of Lia’s assistance in guiding Alex through the difficult experience of being a divorced parent.
Cathy urged Alex to call Lia the next day and extend an invitation. Lia opened herself to them completely as they talked for hours on end and reminisced about their shared history. Cathy was appreciative that Lia had supported Alex even though she was still unhappy about what Lia had done.
A few months later, they hosted a few lavish family brunches where everything was set out. Although Lia was anxious, their parents immediately expressed forgiveness to her. Their familial relationships appeared to be getting better.
Have you ever been estranged from a brother or sister? What took place next? Tell us in the comments section below!