I sat in the doctor's office with a heavy heart. My mom hadn't been doing well for the past few months and no amount of treatment was helping. Finally after some new tests, Dr Calloway found the source of the problem - cancer.
"I'm afraid she doesn't have long, Sean. You want to make the most of the time you have with her. You and your sister both. We can arrange for care for awhile but you and Cecilia are going to have to think about where you want to go with this. Hard issues for two kids, but you guys are going to need to discuss the best way to send your mum off."
"I know," I said. This was hard for me - I was just twenty-two, but this was going to be doubly devastating for Cecilia - or Cissy as we called her. Our Dad died when I was eight and Cissy was four and she and mum had forged a special bond. I was a little older and had the support of friends' families and school. Cissy was kept back a year and never really fit in with her peers.
Likewise she held a fairly independent streak but was a little socially behind. Perhaps emotionally held back would be a better way to describe her. She would often cling to things a little girl would find comfort in like stuffed animals and cartoons even though at eighteen, she was actually an adult.
She was smart enough all right - she had just been offered two scholarships to Emory University and Temple University for writing and was looking forward to this next phase of her life. The tragedy of Mum's last days hopefully wouldn't jeopardize her prospects.
"Should I go see her now?" I asked.
"Yeah. She's been looking forward to it all day. Try to stay strong son. Markie's a tough lady but she could probably use your strength too," he said.
I bristled at hearing Mum's given name and exhaled.
He put a hand on my shoulder in reassurance and I walked down the hall past the nurse's station to her room. Her face brightened as I entered and sat down.
"So I guess you heard - I'm a short-timer now," she said chuckling.
"Don't think that way, Mom," I countered but she quickly shut me down.
"None of that. It's done. Right from my liver to my heart. No time for sadness sonny-boy. I need you to do some things for me."
"I need you to take three-hundred dollars from the savings account and help your sister buy a prom dress. I was going to take her myself to get one but that's not going to happen now. Make sure she gets something really nice - and make sure I get pictures. I only hope I'm still around to see them."
Cissy's prom was coming up. I had no idea if she had a date or not. My years away at college made me unaware of her social habits and status but if precedent served well, she was probably isolative and awkward. The fact that she was even going to the prom at all was unusual, although encouraging.
I spent a bit more time with Mum and finally left. I had to talk with Cissy and let her know about Mum's state before getting back to Boston to meet up with my fiancee, Lila. She was in rehearsals for "Aida" this week and we'd had limited time with each other. This was her one night off and she'd be furious if I made us late for our dinner reservations.
I went by the bank to get the money for Cissy's dress and drove up the highway to Byfield, the little suburb where I grew up. It was about 45 minutes north of Boston so getting back home by six didn't look to be a problem.
I drove into town and pulled into our driveway. Mum's beat-up Honda was in the driveway, signifying Cissy was home. She didn't have her own car and in fact, only got her drivers license last month after she turned eighteen.
I walked up the back porch and into the kitchen were Cissy was reading at the table.
"Hey Cis, what's up?"
"Not much. Reading up for AP English. How's Mum?"
"About the same. Not a good day. She gave me money to help you get a dress for the prom. When is it?"
"Aw that's so nice of her. It's in two weeks. I really didn't know what I was going to wear."
"Are you going with anyone?" I asked.
"Kevin Wheeler asked me last week. I don't know if he waited so long cause he was stuck for a date or if he couldn't get up the nerve to ask?"
I looked at my sister. Beneath the geekiness of her glasses and ponytail there was a real beauty. I'd never really noticed as I'd been away for the past four years at school but she had some serious curves both above and below her waist and any boy would be blind not to notice them.
"My guess is the latter," I said.
"He's kind of nice. I'm not sure if this counts as a date or if we're just going as friends."
"Well, at any rate, we should probably get a dress soon - like tomorrow. How's three o'clock sound?" I asked.
"That should work. Should we grab dinner? I've been craving sushi."
"Me too!" I said, "I haven't had sushi in the longest time." Lila was a very fussy eater and didn't even like to set foot in a sushi place.
She pressed herself against me in a quick hug goodbye and I left to head south for Boston. Telling her about Mom would have to wait until tomorrow.
Once on the highway, my thoughts turned to Lila and dinner. It was four-thirty now. I'd be able to get back in time and get ready.
No traffic, the drive was short and I walked up the stairs to the apartment Lila and I shared. I no sooner enter than i heard, "Where have you been? It's almost time to go!"
She was fussing in the bathroom with her hair, a towel wrapped around her.
"You're late," she snapped, "It's five-thirty. Reservations at six!"
"Actually, I'm not 'early.' There's a word for that. It's called 'on-time.'"
"How's your mother?" she asked.
"Not good. The doctor says she's got cancer and not much time."
"Oh my God!" she gasped.
"Actually we'd been thinking it was terminal for a bit of time. I guess I'm not surprised, more disappointed."
"No not that. Although that's bad. My earring fell down the drain. Do you think I can wear this pair?"
She held up a pair of pearl studs.
"Yeah, they look fine," I muttered.
"You can get the one that fell later. Zip me up?" she asked with a wink over her shoulder.
My mild disgust at her callousness melted. She was stunningly beautiful - way out of my league. And when she looked at me with a hint of playfulness, I was hers for the taking.
This was an important dinner for Lila. Tosca Prezin, the director of a Le Grande Opera in Austin, Texas was going to be there and if Lila made a favorable impression with him it would mean a well-paying gig in a big city - right out of school. Her professor and some other bigwigs were going to be there, presumably to show support for the college - but make no mistake - this night was all about Lila.
And the night was all about Lila. Everyone there made a show of how spectacular she was and she lapped it up. She sat at the right hand of Mr. Prezin, practically in his lap. And like all hot-blooded mammals he wasn't immune to her charms. I caught him a few times staring down her dress.
I felt totally invisible.
The ride home was filled with Lila's chatter about how great the dinner went and how we should make plans to move to Austin, and I should look for a job there.
I let it roll off me and we tumbled into bed. I sleep in my boxers, Lila has a collection of thigh-length satin shirts that drape over her modest curves very attractively. Tonight, they were looking quite attractive.
I leaned over her and we kissed. My hand moved over her breast and she moaned.
"Mm-mm. Not tonight. It's that time if you know what I mean."
I brought her hand to the bulge at my crotch.
"Maybe tonight you could help me out a little. You have a very talented mouth - even when your not on the stage," I said.
"I can't tonight. I have to sing tomorrow. You know I can't afford to have anything happen to my throat. What if I gag a little?"
I sighed in exasperation. I didn't want to beg for sex. And I didn't want lame excuses.
"Never mind," I said and rolled over.
"Maybe tomorrow," she said.
I was just done with my finals in Anthropology and was feeling pretty good about things. I would leave BU with a good degree and had some prospects at different research centers lined up. The Museum of Fine Art in Philadelphia had offered me a grant to start restoring some tapestries and furniture that sounded like the best prospect. But if Lila went to Texas, I'd have to do whatever was out there. Lila had departed early for the day and I had a little time to myself.
So I took a nap til two. And it felt fucking great. I felt alive and recharged with energy.
I got into my car with the money in my pocket looking forward to an evening out with Cissy.
I pulled into the driveway and saw a strange car in the driveway, a beautiful rear and shapely thighs in a set of white shorts was bent over the trunk and I was mesmerized by the sight as I parked.
I got out my car and asked, "Can I help you?"
"Oh hi!" said the voice,"I'm just trying to move this seat back.
It was Cissy.
"Oh my God Cis! I didn't recognize you from behind," I said, "Whose car is this?"
"It's Kevin's. He dropped me off and I figured if we we going to the prom in it, we should probably clean it."
"Is he here?" I asked, "It would be great to meet him!"
"No. He had some errands to do with some people. He said he'd by by to pick up the car tomorrow."
"Oh," I said.
"So sushi or dress first?" Cissy asked.
"Sushi," I said, "I'm hungry."
We got into the car and drove to Saugus.
"Cis," I started, "Mom's not doing good."
"I know. You can hear it in her voice. I think she's given up."
"I want you to know I'll always be there for you. Whether you're here, or Georgia, or anywhere. I love you and I'm here for you forever."
"I know. Me too."
She was silent for the rest of the ride as we contemplated life with just the two of us.
We ate in silence at the restaurant, only occasionally commenting on the quality of the fish.
"We'd better go see her tomorrow," Cissy said.
"Yeah. Hopefully she can see you in your dress," I said.
"Me too. I hope we find one."
We paid the check and headed up Route . A few places had gowns but at this late day, the pickings were pretty slim. One place suggested we try the consignment bridal place in Danvers just a town over. Having nothing to lose, we went there.
It was a creepy hole in the wall attended by an oldish man. We asked if he had any gowns and he seemed doubtful.
"Not much left with such short notice, but let me see," he said as he eyed my sister up and down - presumably to estimate her measurements.
"She seems a bit ample in the bust and hips, a perfect hourglass. Let's try this," he said as he reached into a wall of billowing fabric and pulled out a black sating gown. It was very sleek and strapless. Cissy's eyes grew wide as she looked it over.
"It's beautiful!" she said almost tearing up from wonder, "Can I try it on?"
"Certainly, the fitting room is over there," and he pointed to a closet in the other side of the store.
After a few minutes of waiting awkwardly with the old man, Cissy poked her head out.
"I need your help for a second!" she called.
I went to help her, glad to be free of the old man's gaze, and entered the small dressing room.
"It's a bit big," she said, "It's really tight around my butt, big in the waist and my boobs are barely contained by it. What do you think would happen if we took it in?"
I grabbed the fabric at the back of the gown and watched my sister transform from a gawky kid to a raven-haired black-satin princess in the mirror. The dress was like a corset on the upper half and the skirt had taffeta scallops that hugged her generous thighs. It was true, her generous bosom was nearly falling out of the top and her hips were a bit wider than the dress was made for but she was absolutely stunning. With heels and a corsage, she'd be the envy of any guy at the prom.
I pulled her back to me and told her to stand up straight. We looked at her in the mirror together. Then we saw the price tag - $600.
"Oh no! We can't get this. It's way too expensive!" she cried.
"Give me a minute Cis, I'll see if we can work something out," I said leaving her in the dressing room.
The old guy was there, probably wondering what was going on in his dressing room. I asked him if he'd consider less for it.
"Listen, you seem like good kids. If I could, I'd give it away. I can go to five-hundred."
"Can you take three?" I asked and pulled out the cash. I had a total of four-hundred twenty-five on me, but seeing my sister so happy, not to mention beautiful, made the cost a secondary issue.
"Four twenty-five it is. And who says I don't have a heart?"
"Not me sir. Any chance you can take it in in the waist?"
He turned and stared at me after writing up the receipt, "Kid, that whole wall is alterations that need to be done in two weeks. Not only that, but my seamstress is out for the rest of the week. You're on your own for alterations, I'm afraid."
I was handy with a needle and thread from college days and had made some alterations on some of Lila's costumes so this wasn't going to be such a big deal, just Lila was a bit more comfortable with me touching her body than Cissy would be. I returned to the closet to tell Cissy the news. She was posing in the mirror, fighting a losing battle against a dress that refused to stay put or against a body that refused to stay in the dress. I crept in behind her and cinched the fabric around her abdomen tighter watching her beam once again at the transformation.
"All set, we'll have to make the adjustments ourselves."
"You mean it? How much did it cost? I'll pay you back, I promise. But wait - I can't sew!" she said excitedly, "How's that gonna work?"
"Relax. I can sew. I've done plenty of Lila's gowns - not to mention upholstery and I'm thinking about branching into tapestry. This should be a cinch - so to speak - besides we don't have to do certain things to your gown that we need to with Lila's."
"What's that supposed to mean?" she asked.
"We don't have to make your boobs look any bigger," I said.
We took one last look in the mirror.
"Mom's gonna love you in this," I said.
That's when Cissy broke down. The silence of the ride in, the dinner, all the kept-in feelings gushed out. She turned quickly and buried her head into my chest, sobbing. I relaxed my grip on the fabric of her gown to hug her and it slipped down, nearly exposing the creamy smooth flesh of her breast. I tried not to look in the mirror but I found it impossible not to. She was beautiful, crying into me as I comforted her.
She finally released me and pulled the gown up, vulnerably covering herself.
"Sean, you know what you said about always being there for me?" she asked, her swollen eyes gazing up at me.
"Yeah," I said.
"Thank you - and I love you," she said planting a kiss on my cheek.
I left her to get dressed and she emerged ready to go. The man bagged up the dress and bid us farewell. Cissy made me promise to make the alterations tonight so that we could show mum the dress tomorrow. We got into my car and there was a message from Lila.
She said she was going out after rehearsal and wouldn't be home if it got too late. Perfectly understandable as we only have the one car and the "T" can be kind of sketchy late-night.
I called back and left her a message that I wouldn't be back either. I figured these alterations would probably take a while.
We got back to the house, tired from all the errands but still carrying a sense of urgency from the the task that lay before us. I grabbed Mom's sewing kit and undid the side stitches.
"You sure you know what you're doing?" she asked.
"No but what choice do we have? You're going to need to get down to your skivvies or a bathing suit if your more comfortable with that."
"What's the difference really?" she said, "Underwear's not a whole lot different that a bathing suit."
My sister stood in the living room and I slid the unstitched dress over her, trying not to stare too much at her breasts. They were full and pert - no doubt C or D-cups. Lila was flat-chested, which never bothered me too much, but seeing Cissy's melons restrained by her beige lace bra in front of me made me long for something to squeeze and suckle.
I tried to concentrate as I put the pins in place. Cissy giggled a little bit as my hands touched the smooth skin of waist. My fingers moved through the ripped seam to lightly feel the flare of her hips. I got down on my knees, face-level with her crotch and was overcome by what a sexy woman my sister had become.
"Ooh, that tickles," she said,"Just think, you can tell Lila that you spent the evening with a half-naked woman and she's got no reason to be jealous."
Something in the back of my mind said that Lila would be jealous, particularly if she knew the thoughts that were going through my head. Touching her was driving me crazy
Pinning completed, gingerly we lifted the weaponized gown over her shoulders.
She let out a moan.
"Does that tickle too?" I asked.
"Kind of. I can't describe the feeling," she said as I wrapped a blanket around her.
We went upstairs to mom's bedroom and opened up the sewing machine. I found some black thread and Cissy went into the closet.
"I bet there's shoes here somewhere," she declared, as I sat down to the Singer.
I wound the bobbin with black thread and carefully placed the chalk line I'd made on the dress underneath the needle.
"Here goes nothing," I said but Cissy was too busy rummaging through mom's drawers. She grabbed a few things and went to her room as I finished up the sewing. At last I tied off the loose ends and called for her to come in.
"No! I'm naked! Bring it to my room!" she hollered.
I obliged and she clumsily opened the door a to receive the gown which was larger than the crack she'd allowed the door to be open. I placed my hands over her eyes but couldn't resist a peek. She was dressed in thigh high stockings with suspenders and no bra. On her feet were black patent leather three-inch heels. Her rear was covered by black lace boy-shorts which exposed the perfect curve of her rump. She took the gown out of my hands and I descended the stairs hoping my growing boner would go down to normal size before she came down.
I sat down on the couch and awaited arrival. I was used to waiting for Lila, but this was different. Cecilia was less into herself, with Lila it was always about being a diva.
At last I heard the gentle pad of her feet down the stairs followed by the clunk of her shoes. She placed each foot delicately into the high heels and walked towards me with all the grace of a baby giraffe.
"Well, It's a bit tight around my hips, but that's just c'cause of my big bum," she said.
"Your bum is fine. Guys like curves. Or at least they should."
"And the 'built-in-bra' doesn't feel like it's gonna make it through the night. My boobs feel like they're gonna pop right out," she laughed.
"I can try to adjust it later," I added.
"No. You've already done so much. I'm sure it will be fine."
"Clearly, I'm going to have to practice walking around in these things," she admitted.
"Not to mention dancing," I chuckled, "Let me take a picture! You look gorgeous!"
"Shit! I don't know how do dance!"
"It's easy," I said, " Let's start without the heels. I pulled her towards me again and she kicked off the shoes.
I put my arm around her waist and grabbed her hand. Her arm went instinctively to my shoulder and we moved in a polite motion. Her breasts pressed up against me and I could sense the swelling in my crotch and I was beginning to wonder if she could to when she stopped suddenly.
"Something's wrong," she said pulling away.