A second later another pair of arms went around me from behind and I heard Colleen's voice whisper in my ear. "And I love you too Bobby, we all love you."
After several moments Colleen stood up, kissed me on the top of my head and said, "Girls, would you mind going into the house for a little bit? I need to talk to Uncle Bobby."
A quick squeeze from the girls then they hopped, skipped and jumped into the house as Colleen replaced Meghan on the glider next to me. She hooked her arm through mine and pulled me closer until we were leaning against each other. She took the papers out of my hands, looked them over then set them aside. We sat quietly before she spoke.
"When Bill died, I wanted to die too. I couldn't see any reason for going on. And then Dad died. The only thing that kept me here was the girls...and you. I must have sat holding the girls for hours; I couldn't bear to have them away from me. And you, you called me what...three...four times a day? You have no idea what that meant to me. I know what it means to lose someone you love. I think loosing someone to death is probably easier to deal with than what you've lost because I know that Bill loved me. Do you remember what you said to me...oh, must have been a couple of months after Dad died?"
"No, I don't."
"You said, 'Colleen, you will always love Bill and Dad and it hurts to lose someone. You must remember everything about them, the good and the bad, but we love you and it is time to let go...' Bobby, it's time for you to let go."
For the first time since that day at the hospital with Barbara, I cried. It was as though a giant festering emotional wound had erupted and my soul was pushing all of the poison out. Colleen sat holding me saying nothing. She waited patiently until the sobbing of a grown man stopped and I was able to pull my self together.
"You're right, I know it's time to let go. I just loved her so much. I don't want her back; I just want to understand why she did it. I know in my mind that I did nothing wrong, but emotionally I feel like I failed as a person somehow...that I failed Barbara...that I failed myself. But you're right, I will not let what Barbara did to me ruin the rest of my life. I've been using you and the girls as an emotional crutch for too long...I need to stop free loading off of you, I'll start looking for a place of my own."
"You will not. You'll just sit there alone in some apartment feeling sorry for yourself and the girls would be devastated if you moved out." Then she ruffled my hair, "besides, it's nice living with you again without having the twins around to tease the hell out of us. When you're ready, come inside and help me fix lunch."
John Gordon was right. It was at that moment that life began to get better.
After lunch I took everyone to an afternoon matinee of the new Disney movie and against Colleen's wishes, treated the girls to buckets of popcorn, candy and sodas. During the movie Colleen kissed the back of my hand and held it in the dark until the credits began to roll. For the first time in a very long time, I was having fun.
That night after the girls were in bed, Colleen and I talked late into the night, mostly me taking, Colleen listening as I purged my soul of more emotional poison. We have always been close, but now I was able to understand how much our family loved each other. That simple act of listening meant more to me than anything anyone has ever done. Only now did I realize the importance what I had done for Colleen after Bill died, and now she was returning that act of love to me.
After I had gotten into bed and was lying on my back staring at the ceiling, I heard the door open and watched as Colleen came into the room walking to the bed. She lay down next to me on top of the covers and pulled me close to her. When I started to say something she just stroked my face and said quietly, "Sh-sh-sh, just let it go baby." When I awoke in the morning, she was gone.
Slowly but steadily my life got back on track. My harrowing nightmare existence began to fade, the dreams and mental pictures came less frequently at night. I began to interact with the people in the office in a more personal way. One day I had Colleen come to the office where I introduced her around before taking her to lunch. Later that evening after the girls were in bed, she had a half smile on her face when she asked why I hadn't mentioned to anyone that she was my sister.
"I don't know, it never crossed my mind. I guess that I'd better correct that tomorrow."
"No, that's ok. It'll be good for the rumor mill to think that Bobby O'Conner has a girlfriend. Besides, I haven't been the object of gossip for a long time."
I thought about it for a while and realized Colleen had introduced me to her friends as just plain Robert. I pointed out to Colleen that she had not mentioned that I was her brother to the neighborhood, that she done the same thing I had done. We started laughing at what a scandal we must be in the neighborhood, that nice widow woman with the live-in boyfriend. We were laughing so much at what we both had inadvertently done that we had tears coming down. Laughter felt good once again.
When we caught our breaths, Colleen gave me a hug and whispered in my ear, "Well, I have to admit, I could do a lot worse for a boyfriend." Then she turned, went to her bedroom, stopping to smile and blow me a kiss saying, "good night sweetie" before closing the door.
Life was getting better for me and the memories of my time in Chicago began to fade. Colleen and I spent a lot of evenings talking late into the night. Conversations that started with "Do you remember when..." and "What ever happened to..." but always ended with sharing everything that was important to us. Colleen told me of how much she missed Bill and Dad, but was now at peace with the idea of that chapter in her life being closed. My thoughts no longer dwelled on Barbara and I tried to express to Colleen how important Meghan and Molly had become to me.
I was surprised when Colleen insisted that I accompany her to the parent-teacher conferences for the girls. I applauded enthusiastically after Meghan and Molly sang their solos at the first, and second grade concert. Gradually I began to accept Colleen's invitations to participate in her neighborhood activities. Our hugs at the front door in the morning were lasting longer each day.
It may seem odd, but one of the things that I came to enjoy the most was grocery shopping with Colleen. We would walk, or more accurately, stroll down the aisles pushing the cart, talking about everything and nothing. If the girls were with us, they would have to remind us that we had put nothing in the cart and they were getting hungry. Many times in public and when we were at home alone I would glance up to find Colleen looking at me with her half smile. She would hold me in her gaze for several moments and then return her attention to what ever she had been doing.
But she wasn't the only one. Unconsciously I would find my attention drawn to Colleen at unexpected moments, watching her play with the girls or working in her studio. My relationship with her was shifting from little brother and big sister to friends that genuinely care for each other. Smiling came much easier me and I found that I had a tendency to whistle as I walked to the car after work.
One Friday in late March I came home from work to find Colleen and the girls loading sleeping bags and duffel bags into the trunk of Colleen's car.
"What's going on? Is someone running away from home?"
"No Uncle Bobby, we're going to our Gymboree. Come with Mommy to take us, please, please, please."
The girls had been talking about this for weeks. The Camp Fire Girls had a weekend campout that was going to take place in the gym of the local high school. The campout would last from Friday evening until 10 AM Sunday morning. We arrived at six o'clock along with 70 other girls between the ages of six and twelve and assorted parents and grandparents. Inside the gym was an entire village of tents and sleeping bags scattered around. To call the scene bedlam would not do it justice. We got the girls signed in and found their assigned place with the rest of their troop. A quick kiss, a few hugs, a rapid "see you on Sunday" and Colleen I beat a hasty retreat, barely escaping with our lives. We agreed that the adults who actually planned this event and stuck around to supervise the weekend deserved the Congressional Medal of Honor.
As we pulled out of the parking lot Colleen said that we needed to stop at the supermarket and pick up something for dinner. I looked at her for a few minutes and said, "Listen, this is the first time since I got here that we've been able to have an evening alone. How about I take you out to dinner, someplace where the food doesn't come in a paper bag with the picture of a clown on it?"
Colleen had a faint smile on her lips as she spoke. "Why Robert O'Conner, are you asking me out on a date?"
"Well...yes...I guess I am...that is if you're not busy and it's ok with you're parents, I'd really like to take you on a date...if you don't already have a boyfriend."
"I don't know, I sort of promised Cindy that we might go to the malt shop together, but sure, I guess we could go out if you're sure you want to...with me that is. I know it's ok with my parents."
"Gosh Colleen, you're just swell."
We had instantly reverted to that gut wrenching insane insecurity everyone has in junior high and we continued joking in this manner as we decided where to eat. We finally settled on the Shanghai Garden, a small neighborhood Chinese restaurant at the edge of downtown. After parking the car at the curb, I walked around, opened the door and held out my hand to help Colleen out of the car. When she was out of the car I held on to her hand and asked, "Would it be alright if I hold your hand for a while?"
She gave my hand a squeeze and said, "Sure. Just remember, I don't kiss on the first date." I didn't reply, but gave her a quick peck on the cheek then we walked down the block to the restaurant.
It was much warmer than usual for March. Colleen was wearing a thin jersey knit black top. It was sleeveless with a scoop neck, low enough to show the smallest possible view of her cleavage and emphasized the full roundness of her breasts. She wore a khaki colored skirt that stopped inches above her knees; modest but still short enough to show the beautiful shape of her thighs. It was snug enough around her hips to be flattering without making her look like a streetwalker. Her legs were bare and she had on a pair of sandals that consisted of a sole and a couple of thin straps.
It was early in the evening so we were the first patrons for dinner. The waiter was showing us to our table, Colleen following the waiter and me following behind, watching Colleen, when I had a heart stopping epiphany.
My sister has a fantastic ass.
This realization threw me for a loop. That mental picture of her ass made it difficult for me concentrate on what to select for dinner from the menu. Eventually we did order something and began to eat. We talked about what we thought the girls were doing right then and whether or not the troop leaders were still sane, or were they ever sane to begin with. We talked about my work and what illustration projects Colleen had going at the moment. We discussed what was on the upcoming schedule for Meghan and Molly. All through this we kept our private joke running about our first date. After we finished eating, we were waiting for the waiter to bring us coffee when Colleen reached across the small table, placed her hand on top of mine and left it there.
When we were completely finished and the bill paid, we walked out of the restaurant still holding hands. Out on the sidewalk I asked, "it's still early, want to catch a movie? We could see something for grown-ups this time."
"I'm sorry Bobby, but tonight is too nice to waste it sitting in a dark room staring at lights on the wall. Let's just walk for a while."
We casually walked along the sidewalk with no particular destination in mind, talking or stopping to look in the shop windows, completely oblivious to the fact that we were still holding hands. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Colleen's breasts gently sway underneath her top as we walked. When we stopped to look in the windows, we stood close to together, the skin of her arm pressed against mine. When she would turn to say something to me, her breast would delicately brush across my arm and cause a strange feeling to shoot across my chest. I don't know if it was because of our joking about dating or what, but tonight I was seeing a completely different Colleen than the girl I had grown up with as a sister. I was starting to feel more than a little confused and awkward.
Eventually we found ourselves in front of a bookstore that was still open and we went in to browse around. Several times I looked up to find Colleen gazing in my direction with that half smile she uses when she is happy. We finished up by buying a bunch of paperbacks for ourselves, and a couple of volumes of the Nancy Drew Mystery series that the girls had not read yet. By the time we pulled up in the driveway at home, I looked down at my watch; it was only 9:45. We walked up to the front door where we quietly continued acting out the big finish to our date. I held both of Colleen's hands in mine and tried to look at her face but for some reason the only thing I could focus on was her lips.
"Golly gosh gee whiz, I had a super-duper time Miss Colleen, I hope that you will let me take you out again sometime."
Colleen has this way of laughing quietly that is so intimate you can only hear it if you are right next to her. She pulled me close and softly said, "I think that can be arranged." She pulled my head closer and whispered, "I told you I don't kiss on the first date but tonight I feel like breaking that rule."
She put her arms around me and kissed me full on the lips, a kiss that was tender and loving and held the promise of something I couldn't comprehend. I held her in my arms and was lost in the love I felt for this woman. After several minutes she pulled her head back and asked, "Do you have a curfew? Would you like to come in for awhile?"
"What about your parents, will they approve?"
"They're already in bed, and they won't know if we're really, really quiet."
"Ok, as long as we won't get into trouble or anything."
Again Colleen smiled, then opened the door and we went inside. She went into the kitchen and started making us some tea while I sat on the sofa in the living room skimming through the books we had just bought. She brought out two mugs, set them on the coffee table then sat next to me. We didn't say anything for a while then Colleen turned to look at me.
"Bobby, all kidding aside, I want you to know that I haven't had this much fun in a very long time. I haven't had a date since before Bill died and I just want to say thank you. Tonight has been very special for me."
"I know what you mean. These last eight or nine months, I feel like I've been to hell and back. I never would have made it if it weren't for you and the girls. Tonight is the happiest I've ever been in my life...you know, I really do love you."
"I know Bobby, I love you too."
Colleen placed her hand along the side of my jaw, leaned in and kissed me again full on the lips. She pulled her head back as we looked at each other in the eyes. This time, I leaned over and kissed her, but now all pretense was gone. Our arms wrapped around each other as the kiss grew in intensity, becoming an act of passion trying to feed a desperate hunger. Somewhere along the line our mouths had opened and our tongues began a dance that was millions of years old.
After what seemed like an eternity that lasted only a few minutes, I broke out of Colleen's grasp and slid down to kneel on the floor in front of her. I looked up into her face to see that she was breathing heavy, her breasts rising and falling with each breath. At that moment I began to feel like I was having an out body experience, as though I was standing over in a corner watching myself.
Kneeling in front of her, I slid my hands slowly up the outside of Colleen's thighs. When they reached the hem of her skirt, I gently pushed it up her legs until it reached her crotch where it exposed the tiniest bit of her panties. I could see a large wet spot on her panties between her legs when I leaned forward and began to gently kiss the tops of her thighs.
"BOBBY! WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?"
I looked up into her face and saw a glazed look in her eyes and she was biting her lower lip. By now I no longer had any conscious control over what I was doing. I was on automatic pilot and found it hard to actually form words.
"I think I'm going to fuck my date."
We were frozen there, staring at each other, uncertain of what to do. After several moments, Colleen spread her legs apart, as wide as she could get them. This forced her skirt all the way up around her hips, exposing her pubic area and lower stomach. At the same time she placed her hand behind my head and gently pulled it forward until my face was pressed against her panties.
I could make out the faint shadow of her pubic hair that was trapped behind sheer pale lavender panties. I began to slowly and gently rub my face against the silky thin material. Each time my lips got to the top I would give a small kiss or a lick on her skin above the waistband. I moved my face further down and started to lick and suck directly between her legs. I placed my open mouth directly onto her pussy and began sucking the juice that was soaking the material. It seemed as though the more I sucked and swallowed, the more the wetness flowed out of her.
I felt Colleen moving around and raised my eyes to look up at her. She had removed her top and was grasping her breasts in her hands. She wore a matching bra made of the same thin material and I could see the dark circles surrounding her nipples. She had a frantic expression on her face and was rolling her head around on the back of the sofa. Her body gave a small shiver then she reached down, placed both hands on the side of my head and pulled my mouth away from her.
She stood up, pulling me with her. She was directly in front of me, looking me in the eye when she spoke. "You are most certainly not going to fuck your date." Then she leaned in and whispered, "But you will definitely make love to your sister all night long."
She walked away from me and down the hall to her bedroom. Her skirt was still up around her hips and I watched her gorgeous ass it twitched from side to side. The bouncing movement of her panty covered cheeks was breathtaking.
I paused for only a moment before sprinting behind her into the bedroom. A bedside lamp was on and she was standing in the middle of the room by the time I had entered. There was a bemused smile on her lips as she watched me desperately ripping the clothes from my body. When I was done she didn't say anything, just pointed to the side of the bed where I sat down. She reached behind and undid the clasp on her bra. She leaned forward slightly and shrugged her shoulders, letting the straps slide down her arms before falling to the floor, allowing her breasts to sway freely.
She stood there bare breasted, her skirt up around her waist and her panties just barely big enough to cover her pubic area. A few stray hairs were sticking out above the waistband and between her legs at the crotch. She reached behind again, this time undoing the button and lowering the zipper on the skirt. She gave it a small push and it fell to the ground on its own. She stepped out of it and kicked it aside.