Home > The Sometimes Sisters(8)

The Sometimes Sisters(8)
Author: Carolyn Brown

Damn that Harper for pushing her to the limits like that. Worn out from emotion, she fell asleep and didn’t wake until she heard a gentle knock on the door.

“Who is it?” she yelled.

“It’s me, Zed. I’ve got all this computer stuff ready for you to set up.”

She bounced off the bed, grabbed a washcloth from the bathroom, and quickly ran it over her face before she answered the door. “Holy smoke, Uncle Zed. What is all that? I was expecting a laptop.” The back of his old pickup truck was loaded with a desk, a desktop computer, a file cabinet, and boxes with dates marked on the ends.

“It’s the office. These past few years she kept it all in the corner of my little place at the back of the store. I’m glad to get it out of there, because she spent most of the time cussin’ the machinery when she had to deal with it. I need help bringin’ the desk in. Harper helped me load it, but she’s gettin’ the dining room ready for tomorrow right now. And the file cabinets are full of what Annie called hard copy. I reckon you’ll learn a lot when you go through it.”

Tawny got a firm grip on one end of an old oak desk. “Did this thing come over here on the Mayflower?”

“Naw, honey, but they used the wood from the Mayflower to build it.” Zed’s weak smile was a welcome sight for Tawny’s red eyes. “It actually come out of the little country school that’s out there in the middle of the lake these days. Not long before they dammed up the Neches River to make it, they had a big sale at the school. Annie’s mama bought it and the office chair because they knew they were going to build this place. When Annie got the computer, I fixed a slide-out drawer for the keyboard. She was about your height, so it should be a comfortable fit.”

“Where are we putting it?” Tawny asked as they maneuvered it through the door.

“Here by the door. That’s where she put the special phone line in for the Internet stuff for this whole operation,” Zed answered.

“Dial-up is so slow,” Tawny groaned.

“Don’t know nothin’ about that. Just know that Annie didn’t want no Wi-Fi crap out here because it ruins her idea of gettin’ away from it all. That phone line is for the computer. Your regular phone is over there. Folks that bring cell phones can’t get no reception, so they have to use the plain old telephones in their rooms for whatever they want. Most of them bring charge cards if they want to call home,” Zed said on his way out the door to get the chair. “Come on, girl. This stuff ain’t goin’ to unload itself. You got to run an office out of this room tomorrow mornin’. That means the folks check in and out through here.”

“That also means I have to keep it clean, I suppose?” She groaned again.

“Exactly.” Zed grinned. “You’ve got the cushiest job in the business, so you need a little responsibility. I’ll be bringin’ you all the receipts from the café, and Dana will close out each day and bring you a money bag. You’ll take care of it all and put any cash in the safe that’s in your closet over there. Annie did it that way, too. Then on Saturday mornin’ before noon, you take a deposit to the bank in Tyler.”

“Y’all got things all planned out to the letter. Was she sick a long time?”

Zed shook his head. “Three months from the time the doctor said she had a brain tumor. He wanted to do some chemo and radiation, but she said three months was enough time to get her affairs in order and she wasn’t dyin’ with no hair on her head.”

“Why didn’t you call us?” Tawny whispered.

“Wanted to. She said y’all had your own lives to live. Now let’s get things done so I can get back to the café. Don’t want y’all’s supper to burn up,” he said.

Despite what Zed implied, Dana was fairly familiar with the convenience store. She’d been to see her grandmother more than the other two sisters through the years. But not as often as she should have or she wouldn’t feel so guilty when she stepped into the store and caught a whiff of the minnow tank and the slight smell of smoke coming from the back room where Zed lived.

She’d been the only grandchild for ten years. She’d been excited the first summer that Harper came to the resort. She had a sister, a baby to play with. Then a couple of years later they added Tawny and, in her young ignorance, she’d thought they were a family.

Dana had only seen her father’s wife, Retha, twice. Both times it had been when Retha brought the younger sisters to the lake for their month in the summer. The woman had looked at Dana like she was less than the dirt on the bottom of her fancy shoes, and Dana had learned early on to steer clear of Retha Harper-Clancy.

Anger filled her heart when she thought of anyone ever making Brook feel that way, and then it was suddenly replaced with sadness when she envisioned her grandmother standing behind that cash register for so many years.

“What’s goin’ on with Harper and Tawny and you? I don’t remember much about them except that they always played with me and made me laugh. But y’all act like you hate each other,” Brook asked as she checked out the place.

Dana quickly wiped her eyes and pasted on a smile. “Hate is a strong word. Maybe dislike is better, or indifferent is even better than that. They have a different mama than I do, and I’m quite a bit older than they are. It’s always been a little crazy,” Dana said. “I think we’ve seen enough of the store. You ready to go to the house?”

“I’d rather go back to the kitchen and snatch that chocolate cake. I was serious about wanting to take it home. That’s the best icing I’ve ever eaten,” Brook said.

Dana inhaled deeply. Granny Annie and Zed had been family. The two sisters? They were related to Dana by blood, but not much else other than snatches of memories. Some of them good—some not so much.

“Mama?” Brook jerked her back to the present.

She blinked away the past and sighed. “I was kind of eyeballing that pan of cinnamon rolls, but we’ll have to leave a little bit of stuff for Uncle Zed.”

Harper was busy mopping the floors when they got to the café. She looked up at them and then down at her clean floor. “The part right inside the door is dry. What do you need?”

“Thought we’d take some desserts home with us,” Dana answered.

“Take all you want. Ain’t no use in keepin’ them.” Zed raised his voice from the kitchen. “Doctor said it was best for me to watch my sweets so I don’t have to take pills or shots.”

“Leave the banana pudding for me, or at least part of it. And a piece of pecan pie,” Harper said and went back to mopping.

“How long has it been since you three sisters were together?” Brook asked.

Harper stopped and leaned on the mop. “I was here at Easter last year, but only for the afternoon.”

“Brook and I came for Mother’s Day,” Dana said. “I remember that year well. It was the last time that we were all here together. Let’s see, you were about fifteen, right, Harper? Tawny was almost twelve and Brook was four. It was right after my divorce and just before Brook and I moved to Houston.”

“And you go by Clancy now?” Tawny asked.

“The only benefit of my divorce. Brook and I got to be Clancys again.”

“So have y’all changed much?” Brook asked.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
» One Night series
Most Popular
» The Sometimes Sisters
» All the Little Lights
» The Hardest Fall
» To Hate Adam Connor
» To Love Jason Thorn
» A Beautiful Funeral (The Maddox Brothers #5
» Beautiful Burn (The Maddox Brothers #4)
» Beautiful Sacrifice (The Maddox Brothers #3