No tears yet.
Solicitor called me at around 7pm on Friday. I was at Bimbo's planning our children's wedding (if one of us has a boy and the other has a girl they'll fall in love and get married).
"You have to come home. Now."
So I drove home. I was surprised to see a load of Tesco shopping bags piled up in the hallway. I looked at Solicitor questioningly and he shrugged. Nephew bounced out of the living room, as happy as punch, and threw himself into my arms.
"I'm staying here!" He squealed happily.
"She's upstairs in the spare room." Solicitor told me, referring to Sister. I dropped a quick kiss on Nephew's head and jogged upstairs.
Sister was lying in the fetus position. Staring. My heart dropped. Had something happened to Mother? Or Stepfather? Sister was in complete shock, I'd never seen her like this before.
I carefully sat on the bed, preparing myself for some awful news.
"I've left him." She quietly whispered.
Left Brother-in-law?? That's ridiculous. Sister and Brother-in-law were like apples and pears. Actually Sister is like an apple, she's practical, appealing, and healthy. Brother-in-law is a pear. The type of fruit you forget is in the fruit bowl. Not the crunchy type of pear, the soft weird tasting pear.
Brother-in-law is boring. I forget that he's even in the room sometimes. He's not exactly the heart of a party. But Sister loves him. They wear matching anoraks and they go on nature walks together. They plant herbs in the garden. Why on earth would she leave him? He's so.... reliable.
Sister didn't say anything for a long time after she told me she'd left him. She's not the type of person to gush out all of her feelings. She'd prefer to think first. So I decided to unpack her suitcase.
The spare room is normally my dress room. The closet is full of beautiful I've-only-worn-this-once dresses. I pushed my gorgeous gowns across the rail and began hanging up Sister's clothes. Her clothes look the same. Shapeless, colourless. I swear Sister thinks the only reason for clothes is to keep warm and protect modesty.
I've tried to help her but she just smiles and says "I can't be bothered with looking nice. It's not practical." True. That's what happens when you chose to live in the country. But you can get all sorts of wellington boots nowadays. I bought her a pair of red ones with white spots. She nearly had a heart attack. She thought they looked slutty!
So, I hung up her two pairs of blue BHS jeans and folded up her pastel T-shirts. Other than that she had a bunch of underwear which I'd stuffed into the top draw. I'd just started unpacking Nephew's clothes, when she spoke again.
"He's seeing someone else."
I dropped Nephew's Sponge-Bob pajamas. How the hell could Brother-in-law be seeing someone? I'm surprised someone even noticed him. Maybe Sister got it wrong. There's no way he has the guts to speak to another woman let alone cheat.
"I was loading the car in the Tesco car park when he text me a message that was meant for her."
That explains the Tesco bags. I climbed onto the bed and laced my hand through hers.
"I picked up Nephew and packed. I didn't know what else to do." She gripped my hand. "Can I stay here?"
I hugged her, expecting her to cry. She didn't. She stiffened her body and carried on staring.
"Do you want to see the message?" She pulled her phone out of her pocket.
Hey Sexy, I need to see you. I miss you. Same place tonight?xox
I felt anger rise in me. How could he do this to her? What a fucking loser. If I was in her position I would be plotting his murder, screaming at him, demanding to know every little detail.
But Sister's not like me. She'd rather bottle up all of her feelings. She didn't know anything about the other woman, only that she existed. I offered to track her down and 'take care of her', after all that's what family is for. Sister smiled. A small smile, but it was there. She shook her head and asked for some Nytol.
"Why didn't I see it happening?" She whispered as she dropped off. Tears stung my eyes. My big sister was hurting so much and I didn't know what to do to help her. I got into bed with her and held her until I was sure she was asleep.
I went downstairs and made some decaf tea. Solicitor and I spoke quietly in the kitchen. Although Nephew was asleep on the sofa, we couldn't take any chances of him hearing us.
Solicitor came home from work and found Sister sitting in her car staring. He managed to get her to come into the house and he unloaded the car. The frozen food had completely thawed out and needed to be thrown away. Apparently she stood in the living room doorway for a long time in complete shock. He's surprised she managed to drive down.
Neither of us can believe that Brother-in-law could do that to her. They seemed so happy. The worse thing was that he hadn't even bothered to call her. He didn't have the guts. The spineless piece of shit.
I cried. I'm not sure why exactly. Sister should be the one crying. But I couldn't bare the pain that she was going through.
It's now Monday. Solicitor and I decided that Sister should stay as long as she needs to. I called Nephew's school and told them that he'd be absent for the remainder of the week. We'll sort something out by then. Sister hasn't moved from the spare room since Friday. She hasn't cried yet.
Shitface hasn't even called yet. I'm inches away from grabbing my car keys and driving up to see him. Ask him what the fuck he thinks he's doing to his wife and child. Ask him why he hasn't called.