After my brother and I unload the car, I remove my shoes and coat. “Can you pick up Dad in an hour or two?” I ask and follow my brother up the stairs. At the landing he gives me a look, half puzzled, half annoyed --- one that tells I am going to bear Desi Brother’s wrath. “Why?” he asks.
Hhhmm, here is where I would like to share the truth with the person who I share the most amount of DNA with. However, Mom has made that impossible for me because by sharing the truth I betray her, and she betrays Dad, who is probably suffering a loss. “He’s tired,” I offer weakly. Desi Brother groans and shakes his head. “If he can’t deal with the brutal travel – he should stop. I have guests coming, and we still need to go Wal-Mart and run two other errands…now I have to get him? He has a car…” Desi Brother mutters and stops when he realizes Mom is listening. “Fine I’ll get him. You guys stay with Desi Niece..." he says in an atypically surly tone.
Okay? Really? I get it, what I am asking him to do is annoying, but don't shoot the messenger buddy. And I can only hope, once Dad tells him, Desi Brother will be more understanding. After all, out of the two of us, Desi Brother is the nice, diplomatic one EVERYONE on both sides of the family adores. Which is okay with me - I don't mind sticking up for myself and being dubbed the bitchy one.
When it is just Mom, me and adorable Desi Niece crawling around on the floor wearing her lengah and bangles, I cannot stop wondering two things. One, will I ever have children. And if I don’t – will it be so bad. Two, is Dad sad? Did he cry when he learned his sister died? Unlike Mom’s family, Dad’s family is a disconnected motley crew of mostly sociopaths. Though Dad does not show his feelings, I think he has an emotional depth that no one appreciates. It amazes me at how tough Dad can be; because I love and hate with such intensity that I brazenly put my all into everything.
I can’t speak for my brother but I will be devastated if I outlive him. At some point he will be the longest standing relationship in my life and when that is gone, that is quite the burden to bear. I can only hope I die first.