tagIncest/TabooHappy Valentine's, Baby Sister

Happy Valentine's, Baby Sister


Ellen and I had always been close.

The moment I was told that I would be getting a little sister, I had promised our mother that I would be a wonderful brother to her. And I kept to that word: it was me who taught her how to ride a bicycle; I was there to defend her when she was bullied by her classmates in middle school; When her hamster, Dolly, died, it was my shoulder she wept against until my shirt was drenched by her tears and snot. I was always there for my sweet Ellen.

Then she got accepted in that fancy bilingual school in British Columbia.

She was still only 10 years old when she moved to live with our Aunt Karen. Our parents always assured me that we would eventually all move over, but my father failed to find a position in the town her school was in. In the end, it was simply more convenient to stay put.

I was already starting high school when she moved away. With the Rockies between us, we only saw each other for the major holidays. That is, if her outgoing personality didn't get her invited to go skiing with friends and their families.

While I loved Ellen, I knew it would be an amazing opportunity for her. So when she was gone, I redirected my longing into my studies. There were a few meaningless romances as well but nothing that stuck.

I went on to work in a consulting firm and moved to Vancouver. There wasn't much in Calgary holding me back so when I was offered a transfer, I took it without a second thought.

Then one day without a warning, I got a call at my desk at work.

"Hello, Andy Michaels speaking," I muttered in my boredom.

"Hey, it's Tris from the reception."

"Oh, hi..." It was unusual. I was merely part of a team and was seldom required to interact with the client in person.

"There's a young lady over here who's come to see you. Her name is Ellen Byrne, says she's your sister?"

My heart skipped a beat. She must surely be mistaken. What would Ellen be doing here?

An "Oh" escaped my mouth for the lack of a better word.

Tris was kind enough to go on. "She's here in the lobby. Would you have a minute to come greet her here?"

"The lobby. Sure."

I knew I couldn't take her upstairs. Too many of our papers were filled with confidential information. Even so, it's not like I had my own office to take her into.

I thanked Tris and quietly put down the receiver.

I hadn't seen Ellen for over eight months. Sure, we had kept in contact, just like a brother and sister always do. But there's a difference in talking with her face-to-face and jokingly wagging a finger at her drunken party pics on Snapchat.

I took the elevator down, checking myself in the lift mirror. I thought I was smartly dressed. Brown trousers and black pullover with a white-collar peaking under. I was maybe paler than usually but that's Canada in January for you. One of the side effects of the job was that I had begun to use hair products to look sleek at work and my brown hair was neatly pulled back. The brown leather shoes were also a necessary investment that I might've never worn at home. Would Ellen even recognize me like this?

As the elevator doors opened, I saw her immediately. She was standing right there in front of me, as if she had been anticipating the lift to come down. There she was with a wide grin on her lips, her hazelnut eyes shining merrily.

Somehow the sight of her made me feel happy... and relieved for I knew there was no tragic reason for her sudden appearance.

She still looked very much like a pixie. Her hair was slightly shorter than shoulder length, smooth and silky. Her breasts have gotten bigger, I thought, and the school girl's skirt she was wearing hid poorly her mermaid thighs. She always felt insecure about those; I thought they just made her look more adorable.

"Andy!" she squealed joyfully as she saw me, running to hug me.

"Hey Ellie," I smiled, hugging her back stiffly. Her hair smelled fruity, like freshly sliced peach.

"Happy to see me?" she beamed.

"Well, of course," I was aware I probably looked a bit taken back. "Just this was a bit of a surprise, that's all."

"Yeah, I'm skipping school," she said nonchalantly.

The smile froze on my lips.

"You're what?"

She looked into my eyes, fake-stretching as she usually does when something shouldn't be a big deal.

"Skipping school."

"Are you serious, Ellie?" Anger dripped into my voice. Our parents weren't particularly wealthy and I know they were paying themselves sick to have her in that school.

But then a mischievous grin appeared on her lips.

"It's a joke, Andy, geez. It's just I'm only finished with the exams," she tilted her head like an observing cocker spaniel. "Probably a row of A's anyway. I just seized the opportunity to see my loving darling Andy before heading home. Boy, aren't you wearing that collar a bit too tight, all grown-up."

Jokingly she pulled my collar, laughing

"Seriously, chill. I'm through with school. We have the exam period which is basically a week off save for the exams and I'm already finished with mine. I just wanted a break from playing the perfect daughter, so I thought I'd stay with you for a couple of days instead."

She smacked her lips. They looked soft as velvet. I wasn't quite sure if she was being serious. Sometimes it was hard to say with Ellen.

"Alright," I said, carefully.

"So," she began, "Would you be cool with that? Could I crash at your place for a few of nights before I must go back?" She fluttered her pretty, long eye-lashes.

Somehow the idea of her coming to my flat troubled me. Maybe it was the fact that it was my place, my world. Maybe it was the porn on my computer. I do not know. Nonetheless, there was no excuse.

"Of course, you're welcome, Ellie," I sighed. "You will always be. But why don't you want to go see mom and pops?"

She shrugged. "I only just saw them for Christmas. It's you I haven't seen in a while."

"Fair enough." I looked around a bit hesitantly. Where was I to put her for now? "You had lunch already?"

"Nope," she said swinging her arms absent-mindedly to the elevator music that was playing in the lobby.

"You should definitely do that. There's a nice sushi place around the corner with a lunch offer. I'd join you but I literally just came back from a break."

"Sure. Or you could just give me the keys to your apartment with an address."

I looked at her queerly. "But you don't know where I live."

"It's the 21st Century, bro. I'll find it," she replied confidently.

"I don't want you getting lost, wandering in the odd parts of city. Better we go together when I'm finished in a few hours."

She groaned. "I found my way here, didn't I?"

"You probably just walked around the town, saw a building with the company's name and just waltzed right in."

"That's... exactly how it happened," she admitted nonchalantly.

I smiled. She really hadn't changed at all.

Still this created a bit of a problem. I lived in a cheap apartment in Grandview and I was worried of having her get lost on her way here. I thought she might've liked to visit MOA but that was even further away. As for a stroll in Stanley Park, the weather was too atrocious.

She looked at me there thinking, her arms crossed with a sympathetic smile on her lips.

"How about," I said slowly, "you start with that lunch and then go catch a film at the cinema nearby?"


"You can leave your bag here. Do you have money?"

"Yeah, yeah. Stop being so patronizing," she snapped.

"Fine, you little shit."

We both laughed. Ellen placed one of the loose strands on her face behind the ear as she smiled.

"Later then."

"Yeah later."

She waved me bye as she slipped through the gas doors into the rainy streets of downtown. At least she had an umbrella with her.

I shook my head at the sight of her disappearing into the grey haze. This could not be good.

- - -

My apartment was a mess. It was a nice two-room apartment, freshly renovated with double-glazed windows and hardwood floors. But the unwashed dishes kind of brought the place down a notch. The sun had set an hour ago, so the large windows framed nothing but murky darkness and a pattern of yellow lights marking people's homes in the unseen horizon.

"Home sweet home," I muttered as I turned on the light.

"Wow," Ellen mouthed. She was looking around the place like it was a murder scene but with an amused expression on her face.

"Should've called first," I told her for the nth time.

"I still get the bed, right?"

"Anything for Princess Ellen," I spat the words out sarcastically. The sofa was a bit too small to be comfortable, but it would have to do for the next few nights. Whoever my guest was, I wouldn't have them sleeping on my sofa. Who knows what's between the pillows?

"Imma take a shower," she announced while I was changing sheets for the bed.

"Alright. There are some towels in the closet in the bathroom. Just make your pick."

"Will do."

With the sheets freshly changed and the dirty dishes having been brought to the kitchen sink, I turned on the tv and fell on the sofa, surfing through the channels trying to find something worthwhile until I settled on an old film.

Eventually I heard how the facet turned off in the bathroom. And then Ellen reappeared. She was wearing nothing but a loose blue-grey t-shirt and red undies with tiny polka dots. I was surprised she was comfortable enough to wear such an outfit in her brother's presence. Truth was, I found her choice of clothing oddly alluring, but I was determined not to let it show.

"Is that Dustin Hoffman?" she asked as she came to sit next to me pulling the blanket I had laid on the armrest over her chubby legs.

"It is. The film's called The Little Big Man."

"What's it about?"

"Beats me, I just turned on. But it looks like it's just about this guy's weird life."


"So," I said carefully, "how's school for you?"

She looked at me funnily.

"Ew," she muttered, looking disgusted.

"What?" I laughed.

"Stop acting like dad. Please."

"What? How else am I supposed to ask?"

"You just don't."

I sighed and turned back to watch Hoffman being bathed by Faye Dunaway.

"I'm not in trouble if that's what you're asking," Ellen finally added frustrated. "Just the usual prep school shit."

"Yeah, ok."

I decided not to push her since it didn't seem like something she wished to talk about. So far, she had been a straight A student and all her social media accounts showed evidence of her leading a normal teen life. It must have been the impending graduation that was stressing her out.

"You got a date for Valentine's day?" she eventually inquired.

I was slightly taken aback by her question. I hadn't even realized it was just around the corner.

"No," I carefully admitted. "Why? Is it already this weekend?"

"On Sunday."

"Huh," I mused. "I guess I have to settle with you then."

"Har har." She nudged my shoulder affectionately.

I ordered some pizza and we spent the evening watching films and tv. Many memories flushed back and we laughed about our friends, family and childhood. Ellen might now officially be an adult, or as adult as an 18-year-old could be, but she hadn't changed a bit. I was relieved to know that neither had I.

- - -

The following day was a Friday. I woke up earlier than usual, knowing that I could leave work earlier this way. On the kitchen table Ellen would find a note and keys so that she might enjoy the day in town. Whatever she might want to take from the fridge was up for grabs.

It seemed that Valentine's celebrations had also leaked into our workplace. All the women were handed a rose as they arrived to work. There was also a rapid inflation of flower deliveries during the day compared to the usual zero. It made me wonder if I should get Ellen some roses, just as a bit of a joke. This probed me to buy her a box of chocolates during lunch break, thinking that she'd probably appreciate the gesture.

Other than that, the work was as dull as usual. As a junior member of the team, my task was only to format the data my colleagues had gathered. This meant several hours on a computer. So, when my day was finally over, I was excited about the upcoming weekend that I would get to spend with Ellen. I even turned down a co-worker's invite to go out and sing some karaoke that night. Never cared much for singing anyway.

I called her as soon as I got out of work.

"Hello," I heard her cheerily answer at the other end of the line.

"Hey, it's Andy. I'm off the work. Where are you?" I had just left the building.

"I'm just having some coffee on Robson Street."

"Doing some shopping then?"

"Yeah. I had to get something new since I'm going out tonight with Fiona."

I stopped on my tracks as a lump appeared in my throat.

"Fiona? Who's Fiona?" I asked, trying hard to mask the disappointment in my voice.

"Oh, she's just from school," Ellen explained. "Promised to see her while I'm down here."

"Alright," I said reluctantly. The enthusiasm left my body as quickly as it had entered it. I had assumed she had only come to Vancouver to see me.

"Did you need the keys?" her voice chimed from the end of the line.

"Yeah," I muttered. "Should I come there?"

"No, I'm already done here. Should we meet up in Downtown?"


"I'll see you there in 20 minutes."

The call ended, and I was suddenly out of plans for the evening. I had hoped to take Ellen bowling but since that was now out of question I might as well take Calvin's invite for the karaoke night. If nothing else, it would make me feel less of a loner.

Ellen looked unusually colourful in her yellow jacket in the otherwise dull scene that was the Vancouver city centre. Her silky hair was constantly being blown by the wind in front of the laughing brown eyes that were not too dissimilar to my own. Only that mine probably looked a lot more solemn.

I chivalrously offered to carry her shopping bags and inquired about her plans for the evening. Fiona should be picking her up around 8 pm. They had tickets to some party in Westend, which ascertained my fears that alcohol might be involved.

Later when Ellen was getting dressed for her night out, I gave Calvin a call, saying I would be tagging along for the karaoke night after all. To these news, the already slightly intoxicated Calvin reacted giddily, saying that Karen would be pleased that I should be participating. When I asked what he meant by that, he claimed he was implying nothing at all.

Ellen looked stunning in the girly green dress she had bought. It had a big knee-length skirt and revealed her small shoulders. The colour suited her fantastically.

"Wow, I muttered, as she stepped out from the bedroom in her simple black heels.

Ellen twirled, showing off her dress. A big smile was on her face.

"Nice, isn't it? It was a bit expensive, but it was just perfect!"

"It is," I admitted shamefully trying to avert my eyes from cleavage that the off-shoulder cut emphasized, telling myself that she's wearing push-ups anyway and that she is also my sister.

"Do you think the earrings are too much?" she asked showing the big golden hoops she had attached in her ears.

"No, it's fine, Ellie. You're absolutely stunning," I chuckled desperately. All the men would be preying on her at whatever nightclub it was that she was going to. The thought made me feel uneasy.

Then came the dreaded moment when the doorbell finally rang. I looked at Ellen tiredly.

"Should we have a word about the curfew?" I asked, only half-jokingly.

She rolled her eyes at me but softened into a brilliant smile. I opened my arms for her to come hug me. She almost ran in my arms. Maybe she too thought that a hug was in order.

"Whenever you're ready to come home just give me a call, okay?" I told her, squeezing her tightly against my chest, breathing in the scent of her sweet perfume.

"Mmhmm. Okay," she replied contently.

There was another buzz from downstairs. Ellen hurriedly took her purse and wished me goodbye before leaving the apartment. For the first time since I had moved there, my home felt cold and empty.

- - -

The karaoke place my co-workers had chosen was a fairly cosy bar near the office and by the time I got there the party was at its full swing. I was soon informed that there had been an agreement to stick to love songs in honour of Valentine's day. It explained why some of the girls of our department had found the courage to sing Total Eclipse of the Heart on stage.

"Andy!" Calvin shouted as he saw me approach the table.

Everyone was already giddy drunk, and it didn't take long for them to have me join them in their intoxicated delirium. Calvin had me sit next to him, him being the social powerhouse and all. He offered me a shot of tequila, which I kindly refused, saying I should stay sober should Ellen give me a call.

"Oh right, your sister is town," he grunted, "Say, how old is she?"

"She's 18."

"Alright!" Calvin exclaimed laughing.

Awkwardly I stared at my cola, desperate for the subject to change.

"For god's sake Cal, stop being so predatory."

Hands fall over my shoulders. A friendly face appears at my side, framed by platinum blonde hair.

"Hey Andy," she said.

"Karen," I nodded as a greeting. She was a fabulously looking woman wearing a skin-tight shimmery dress that complimented her busty chest and the thin waist.

"Seriously though Cal, your frat boy attitude is getting old," she looked at Cal tiredly.

"I'm just joking!" he exclaimed, raising his hands up defensively without the smirk on his face wearing off. "Just having some fun with the newbie."

I sighed inaudibly. Karen rubbed my shoulder gently.

"Just take it down a notch," she muttered and I heard Calvin wince mockingly.

"Okay, okay," he laughed in response as Karen walked to take a seat next to me.

"Everything alright?" she asked kindly.

"Yeah, all is fine," I replied, relieved to have been saved from Calvin's drunken humour.

"Glad that you could come," she said earnestly.

"Yeah, no problem."

"Already thought of what you might want to sing?" she said with a mischievous, dimpled smile on her face.

"I haven't even seen the list," I admitted.

In response she handed me a booklet filled with songs to choose from.

"Here you go," she beamed. Her blue eyes shone in the darkness like shallow lakes.

I awkwardly returned a smile and began looking though the song book aimlessly. It wasn't that I was intending to sing any of the songs featured. I had no skill or voice.

It's weird how wrong I could be proven by a couple of drinks. Karen bought most of my drinks, for I know I wasn't asking for them.

Before I knew it, I was singing Dire Straits' Romeo and Juliet on stage without back up or know-how. As I finished my miserably mooing, there were only a few people cheering; most of them were out of pity.

"How'd I do?" I laughed as I sat back at the table, our party having been reduced significantly at this point.

"You know what," Calvin began, "You went out there and did your best!"

We all laughed and I felt Karen swaying contently by my side, her arm rubbing against mine. I could smell the spicy perfume on her, the sweet cinnamon that was both feminine and urbanite.

"I suppose it's my turn to pay a round," I said after I had finished my beer.

After a quick count of what everyone would be having, I walked up to the bar only to notice that Karen had followed in my steps.

"You won't be able to carry it all alone," she explained. "And I kind of want to know if they have any half-decent cocktails."

She flipped through the pages of the drinks menu at the bar for a moment before settling for a glass of Tempranillo.

"...and one glass of cola, please."

She looked at me dismayed. "What are you doing? You haven't had almost anything at all."

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