After the reception, my sister and I left together. We walked outside and down the streets. While walking I felt my sister wanted to talk. She kept looking at me and then turning away.
"Let's go to a bar. You seem like you want to unwind. There's this place down the street…" my sister started after more silence.
"Ugh, no. I quit alcohol months ago. The stuff makes me sick anymore," I replied.
"Why?" my sister gave me a puzzled look.
"I just don't like it anymore. Let's go to Benny's instead. I haven't had a hot cocoa in forever and this cold weather is good for it," I replied, lying slightly.
I didn't want to tell her that I become a heavy drinker in Ciudad Juárez after the second funeral and had almost died. But thanks to the medical team in Ciudad Juárez I had survived, barely. I spent months in rehab and got off alcohol. Then when I got out I found myself at a third funeral. I had hated myself for not being able to drink that one off.
"Ok," my sister replied simply.
We continued to walk the brightly lit New York City streets. I squinted hard. I was starting to miss my home. I shivered uncontrollably as I saw pedestrians walk by in light jackets; some were in light sweatpants, and others were even in shorts.
"You okay? It's only about sixty-five degrees out," my sister states.
"Yeah, well, I'm still used to eighty-five and one hundred degree weather and I miss it," I growled.
"You don't have to be rude. You also didn't have to move so far away. Daddy was really worried about you," my sister retorted.
"I doubt it. The old goat just wanted someone to turn his monopoly-like business when he croaked. I wanted my own life and instead he was forcing his on me. So I moved as far away as I could without spending long hours on a plane," I growled louder.
She gave me a whimpering face and looked like she was going to yell at me but instead she said, "Yes, he was worried. He even told me how much he missed you. Like Aunt Annie said you and dad used to be close. He was the one who taught you baseball to begin with."
I could feel my heart beating faster and faster. I was pulling my fingers on both of my hands in and out of fists, trying not to hit my sister.
"So what! Then he told me on my high school graduation day that I'd been accepted to a business college when I didn't even apply. I wanted to be a professional player," I shouted and stopped dead.