Tuesday, 7 February 2017


‘But I asked you not to bring him today! Mum didn’t like him and I think it’s disrespectful to have him here today.’
Sara sighed and mentally prepared for another hissing argument with her sister. This tension was taking it’s toll on both of them and they seemed to have been at each other’s throats ever since their mother had died. Everything Sara did was wrong and Marsha never wasted an opportunity to tell her that. Things had come to a head two days ago when Sara mentioned casually that she was bringing Dale to the funeral. The frost had passed down the phone line and Sara knew that this was to be the line in the sand for Marsha.
‘Marsha, he’s my husband, of course I want him here to support me. Why should everyone else be allowed to come and Dale gets singled out? I know he wasn’t Mum’s choice for me but he’s my choice. Please don’t make a scene, today of all days.’
Sara turned and walked out of the house. She needed some fresh air so she wandered to the end of the road and sat on the wall. Many years ago this had been their wall, the place they had sat and poured out their hearts to each  other, sisters united against the world. Marsha had cried on her shoulder about many of her boyfriends; Sara had shared her latest love with Marsha on this corner; they had both shared the news of engagements and pregnancies here. It was a special place, their special place. Now she sat there and felt the tears well up as she remembered how close they had once been and how frosty their relationship had become.
After a while Sara returned to the house and busied herself greeting relatives and making tea. As much as possible she kept out of her sister’s way and the time arrived to leave for the church. It had been arranged that the sisters would travel together but Marsha had other ideas. As soon as the funeral cars arrived she grabbed her family and piled them all into the lead car, leaving no room for Sara. Sighing deeply Sara grabbed Dale’s arm and lead him to their car. They followed the hearse and undertaker’s car, neither speaking. She could see that Dale was angry but keeping control of his temper for her sake. She just felt sad. Sad at the loss of her mother, sad at the loss of her sister too.
At the church Sara saw Marsha sitting in the front pew. Dale walked down the aisle and began to shuffle into the second pew. Sara was about to join him when she paused. Today of all days she needed her sister rather than her husband. She slid into the pew next to Marsha, shuffled up and reached for her sister’s hand. For a fraction of a second Marsha froze. Then she squeezed Sara’s hand and they felt that sisterly connection that they both remembered from many years ago. And the tears began to flow.

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