For Sissy

Pequonnock River Bruce Berrien

Eran Soror cinched his bag shut, giving it a final affectionate pat before closing the trunk. She’ll love it, he thought as he buckled up and pushed his Camry into drive.

“Alright, Sis, you ready?” She wasn’t much for words lately, but Eran knew her well. He had watched his sister’s life slowly fall apart these last few years. She needed this.

It started when she met Kevin, a tall, thickset man festooned with a lucrative position at Deloitte, male pattern baldness and a fast temper. The Christmas Sis brought him to meet the family, Eran caught the looks he gave when she caught up on the latest gossip, his eyes narrowing when names of past boyfriends were mentioned. That night, Eran heard Kevin’s terse rumblings through their shared wall. Sis said nothing. The next morning, she wore her blue turtleneck, arms crossed and sullen.

A year later, Kevin forced her to move to Chicago. He picked a fully furnished apartment on North Michigan Ave., decked with driftwood floors, limestone cabinetry, and nestled into a swaying 73rdfloor. Eran knew Sis loathed heights and had dreamed of owning a ranch in Colorado. She would never admit it with Kevin around—­and he always was—but she was miserable in that noxious, thronged city.

Yesterday, Eran watched his sister weep into his mother’s chest. She had birthed a stillborn girl. Mirabella. Within a day, Kevin had shoveled her to Bridgeport to stay with us while he travelled to Curaçao under the ruse of a “mandatory” business trip. Sis was bereft and ruined. Eran knew he needed to do something.

“Sissy,” he said, “it’s all okay,” slowing to a stop beside Pequonnock River—Sis’s favorite. Eran popped the trunk and firmly kissed the bag he had prepared. “It’s all okay now,” he repeated, rolling her body gently down the riverbank.


Originally published on 308 Words, a flash fiction project from 308 Press.


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