How it is
When I see him, there is a crushing feeling around my heart.
A difficulty in breathing.
I think I mask it well.
Maybe I don't.
Maybe everyone knows how I fell about Roy.
How I always felt about Roy.
My sister hadn't known, not until after she'd married him that I'd actually seen him first. She didn't realise I was in love with him...
I was in love with him and he would never ever love me.
He was a refugee, adopted by a family for publicity purposes.
Only a few people who knew his 'father' were aware of the nefarious purpose. Not until he lost the election and virtually put his 'son' to live in the basement was this known.
As Roy, (the name he was given) was very bright he took the exclusion from the
family as study time. He entered University on a full scholarship at the age of
sixteen. That is where I saw him.
I saw him and wanted so badly to befriend him. But he was elusive, hiding in his room, or some obscure part of the campus, taking an overload of classes and scoring all 'A's.
I was also a serious student, needing to work hard to maintain my grade average and my scholarship. I wasn't attracted to anyone on campus, wasn't concerned about my lack of social life.
I was in love with Roy.
I didn't know him, but knew about him. And I had seen that sad face, those big eyes, and that burning brilliance.
I felt so close to him when I locked myself in my room to study, as if he were with me, sitting behind me at a terminal, or taking notes in a book...sometimes I felt if I turned around quickly I'd see him.
My sister acted as if she were a motorcycle mechanic.
She was bright, but spoke like a construction worker. She wasn't interested in anything that normal people were, and had the habit of saying what other people thought as if she were psychic.
Suffice it to say she didn't have any friends and didn't seem to care that she didn't have any friends.
She didn't go to college. Our parents tried to force her to take courses at the Community College and she decided she would be a private investigator.
Where Dad was an engineer and Mom was a doctor and I wanted to be a veterinarian, she wanted to be a P.I.
This did not please our folks. After a few arguments, she moved out.
To make matters weirder, she did very well. She had money, and could afford to do something about her hair and wardrobe.
She loved to look as if she dressed from the rag picker's leavings and her hair was
just a wild mess.
Oh, she could go under cover and appear to have millions. Her behaviour, her language, her bearing proved she knew better, she could do better, but just chose not to.
We Give Up
Although my sister had a reasonable apartment in a decent enough neighbourhood
she preferred a cabin in the wilderness.
She had begun her career working pretty hard, saving her money, but after she got
that cabin, she slacked off. She worked just enough to get by. She didn't care that she was losing business and money, she didn't care about anything.
I went off to grad school and began my internship in another city, and our contact was sporadic and trivial.
Our parents died during this period and coming from a small family she was all the family I had.
You think we would cling to each other.
Their death didn't bring us closer together.
It was as if nothing happened.
It wasn't totally shocking, for she didn't seem to care about anything. Not how she looked not what she said, or people.
One day my sister rang up and told me she had gotten married ... not that she was going to get married. Not that she had met a man, but two years after our parent's death she rang up and told me she had gotten married.
She didn't give his name, I didn't ask, imagining some dreadful guy, maybe an ex-addict or double digit I.Q.
A few months later she had her first child so I guessed it was one of those 'have to get married' situations but that was so out of character for Karen.
She invited me to come visit.
If I had family, friends, and perhaps more free time, I wouldn't have come. But I had
nothing but work and had reached near burn out.
To take a drive to the wilderness and spend a few days would be in my interest.
So I accepted the invitation, arranged to arrive on Friday afternoon.
Skipping the Pain
I can't describe how I felt when I saw him.
He was being the super daddy with their baby and I was able to hide my 'shock and awe' by seeming to direct it to the sweet little boy.
When I looked at Roy i could see the love in his eyes for Karen. It made me want to vomit. That is how it hit me.
Of all the women in the world, how could Roy chose my sister?
It sounds hideous, I apologise, but he was Superman to me and she was below average.
Let me give details.
I had driven to the cabin, parked, and came to the door.
I knocked, no one answered.
This annoyed me because I was hot, I was tired, and it was so like Karen to be irresponsible.
I moved around to the back of the house, which was near a lake. There was a pier going into the lake, a boat tied at the end.
It was quite beautiful, with all the trees, and the distant shoreline, and the clean water lapping on the shore.
I heard sounds, and looked to my left, and sitting on the veranda, totally engrossed in the baby was Roy.
He was so incredibly beautiful to me, I gasped. I actually gasped.
And then, I heard my sister’s voice, and looked over at where she stood, to my right, sort of hidden by a tree, smoking a cigarette.
She wore cut off shorts and a tee shirt, her hair all over the place. She was so unattractive that I thought that Roy must be a neighbour.
Laugh if you will, insult me if you want, but if you saw him, if you saw her, you would never believe they were a couple.
Of course, that thought only lasted about 20 seconds, because she introduced me to her husband and her son.
Opening of the Past
They had given the baby some unpronounceable name, maybe in his language or maybe something Karen invented.
I said nothing.
Perhaps I had the right expression on my face, for Roy looked at me, maybe into me, and began to explain the meaning of the name. The reason why he gave his child that name.
Can you imagine what I would have given to get this conversation with him years ago? To be able to make this link, to express the understanding?
I knew he had been adopted as a political toy. I said something, our eyes met, our souls, touched, and he opened to me like a flower.
He spoke to me about his past, and then, became so emotional, he had to go inside, I think he was crying.
Karen came to me, and said, “I never knew that...” and stood there, like a mannequin instead of going inside to be with him,
Are you feeling this?
I had known of his past from day one. If I had ever been near him, ever had that moment of time with him, he could have opened to me then, as he did today, and I, unlike Karen, would know enough that he needed to be comforted.
If I could have entered the house, would hold him in my arms, he would cry and I would ...
“Karen, do you think you should go inside?”
Considering this was the pre-house entrance scenario, one can imagine how that week end went.
I had nothing to discuss with my sister. We never had anything in common. She spent the weekend swimming and doing exercises to get back in shape.
"I can't buy a new wardrobe..." was her explanation.
I assume Roy regretted opening in front of me so was a bit reticent for the remainder of the afternoon.
I was not a 'baby' person so wasn't doing the coo thing.
I was shown to the room I would occupy, spent time putting away my things, pulled on a shorts set and went out on the pier to enjoy the view.
Roy did the cooking and called me for lunch and I diverted the topic from me/you to a scientific topic he was interested in.
I was an expert on Roy; had been much of my young life, so I knew what caught his attention.
I said my good byes with this idiot smile and drove about two miles, then stopped and cried my heart out.
How could this happen?
Roy and I were perfect for each other. How was it fate could be so evil as to have him marry my sister?
To dangle him before me for the rest of my life when I could never touch him?