Gemma- The Sister
I was glad to hear from Ryan again. At the time when mother died I was in Washington DC, becoming a recognised lawyer as my last six cases that I'd defended or accused were a success. I understood that after she'd died Ryan had had a fight with dad and he had moved out to the next county. We always kept in close contact after that, partly because I missed my little bro and for him I guess it was because I was the only family member he had left to talk to. When I was living at home with mum and dad and Ryan, I remember he used to be a little prick. He used to be rude and popular and dismissive but ever since the fight with dad, he had become a lot more sombre and guilty about everything he said or did. I have the feeling that Ryan frequently tried to make things up with him, but knowing dad that would probably never happen since he was good at holding a grudge, especially if he was at least partly-justifiable. I never asked either of them what words were sprung over the table, but quite frankly, I didn't want to.
I was back in England for a few weeks for my first international trial and the first thing I did was call Ryan. We met up in a café, had a chat and caught up with all the gossip having on either side of the globe. The thing that surprised me was when he described what he'd done after university. He told me he was dedicating his life to curing cancer. I asked him why and he told me that it was to better the lives of everyone with cancer who deserves it, like mum did. Secretly I think it was to prove to dad that he was doing the right thing with his life, but I didn't mention our dad, that was still a touchy subject.
When he told me about his fundraiser idea I decided to tag along, mainly to see what he was doing with his life. He discussed the whole cancer thing very vaguely, and I was curious, mainly to see how he managed to get by in life. I mean at the end of it he had only raised a meagre 2 grand! Then I realised, I recognised his friend Angus from school, clearly from his clothes and his scruffy hair he was loaded and didn't care about it. He was cute, but not my type, clearly he had no drive for success or family, I on the other hand had my life on a schedule where I regularly managed to tick the boxes.
"So what is your case over hear then?" Ryan asked me as we walked over to the newsagents around the corner from his apartment, clearly he didn't watch the news often enough.
"You haven't heard have you? You know the Victor Grady case? The guy who's raped 1 woman from almost half of the UN's member states? This guy has been one of the craftiest, sick villains I have ever heard of, and I am the one who has the pressure of accusing him." Ryan's eyes widened up.
"No! That's amazing! That's, that's incredible! How did you get so high so fast? So you’re already like a barrister then, or at least the equivalent?" He grinned with pride, which made me feel good. At least he- unlike my boyfriend- was acknowledging my achievements.
"Well I did a few things I'm not proud of to get where I am today so, I'd think it'd be best if I didn't mention them. I wouldn't want you to think badly of me."
"Oh, OK." He answered. He kept his expression calm and blank, but I knew somewhere inside his head he was formulating a list of the things I might have done.
“Um, the reason why I came here- besides to see my favourite brother-“
“I’m your only brother!” He said, smiling.
“Well, about that…” I purposely left the end of that sentence blank. I watched his expression as the clogs in his brain worked it out.
“No!” I nodded, grinning with happiness. “You’re married?! I’m so happy for you!” He hugged me tight and I enjoyed the moment, it didn’t matter so much now if dad didn’t approve of my fiancée.
“Wait, it still is Mike right?” He asked worriedly, I wasn’t sure what to make of that.
“Yes…” I replied suspiciously, raising my eyebrow.
“No I mean, I wouldn’t want to be happy about your marriage if I didn’t know the guy.” Hmm, nice save little brother. I knew now that father wasn’t the only one who wasn’t so sure about the man I was in love with. We got to the end of the street and Ryan signalled his hand for a taxi to stop.
“Well, I’ll have to go now, meeting Angus in town. Love you sis, and good luck with the trial! You nail that case!” I sighed at that (while putting on a smile), clearly he had already forgotten about the trial I was involved with.
“Bye Ryan!” I waved as the taxi drove off. As I was about to phone for my own my phone started ringing. It was father.
“Hello father.” I said with an added cheery tone. All I could hear on the other end of the line was a lot of sobbing. My feelings had turned from uncaring to completely concerned.
“What’s wrong? Tell me.”
“I think, I mean… I’ve got cancer.” My heart dropped like a hammer. No. Impossible. Tears started streaming down my face. What was I going to do? Would Ryan help?
“Gem, please say something, are you still there?”
“Yeah, I’m still here.” The rest of the conversation just ran over my mind, I didn’t want to listen anymore. My father could die. I turned my head to the direction in which Ryan had just left, running and screaming his name. There was no point, he had just turned round on to a crowded roundabout. I sank on to my knees on the curb of the pavement and started bawling tears like Niagra falls. The trial was starting in forty minutes, and my dad had heard me screaming his name.