"I know that you're as unhappy as me, Andy. I can see it every time that I look in your eyes. There's no love in there for me. You pull away from me when I try to touch you. You don't return my kiss anymore. We've been engaged for a while now and yet we still haven't made love. Which would be fine if it was to make our wedding day more special. But I know that isn't the reason. We tried. We really tried, or at least I did. But I can't spend the rest of my life with a woman who shudders away from my touch instead of under it. That wouldn't be fair to either one of us. So I'm canceling the wedding. I'll take care of it all myself. Because the truth is that I've been seeing someone else, someone who does love my touch. And that isn't fair to any of us."
Andrea Michelle Ebans sat in her car in front of her mother's farm house. It had been three years since her wedding to Bryan had been canceled. She had left within hours of their conversation. And Bryan had married her sister Chloe instead. Chloe, her affectionate older sister who looked so much like their mother. Her sister was a slim 5'7" with an always perfectly coiffed blonde bob hair cut and big green eyes. She was America's picture of the beautiful woman. And honestly, most likely a perfect match for Bryan. But it had been hard to admit that back then.
Andy was built more like the women in her father's family. She stood 5'3" and was as curvy as they came. Her breasts were a large 38DD, and, although her stomach was flat, her ass was quite a handful. She had long brown hair that was prone to curls no matter how much she longed for her sister's straight hair. In fact, the only thing that they shared was their green eyes.
She had only been twenty-one three years ago when she had run from home, and this was her first trip back. Her father was ill. He wanted to see his Raggedy Andy, the name he had called Andy since she was a little girl. Her mother had called and informed her that it was her duty to come home and see her father. Her mother, Claire, had despaired of her youngest daughter long ago, choosing to spend her time and effort on Chloe, who was always the perfect lady. Andy was more likely to be outside causing trouble. She had refused to wear dresses or kerb her wild ways, and eventually her mother had left her alone. Something she had always thought she wanted until she got it.
Her father, though, had always babied her. He was fond of telling her that only a dog wanted a bone. He said that a real man wanted a real woman, which is a woman with curves built for a man to embrace. When she had left, he had sent her to his sister, Carmen. Through Carmen she had learned all about what made her tick as a woman. And she was a woman, with a real woman's needs, regardless of what had failed to happen with Bryan. However, she had received quite the education in the past three years.
Andy took a deep breath and opened the car door. This was the moment that she had both looked forward to and dreaded, coming home. Her mother stood framed in the doorway. Andy was more than aware that she had always been a disappointment to her mother, and she was sure that wouldn't change. Her mother wouldn't like her sex kitten image any more than she had the tomboy one. She still wore her jeans, but now they rode low on her hips showing all of her belly, including the red ruby ring that pierced her belly button. She wore a peasant style black shirt that tied just below her full breasts and left a lot of her creamy flesh exposed above her bra. She only prayed that her mother wouldn't look hard enough to notice the faint outline of the tattoo she had on her left lower shoulder. Then again, wasn't that part of the reason she had dressed this way? If she and her mother were sniping at each other then they wouldn't have to face the bigger issues that they had been hiding from for years.
On her feet were 3" black ankle boots which matched perfectly with the cowboy hat she perched on her head. Why, it was almost a given that a girl needed a hat in Texas. She wore long gold hoops in her ears, and her hair hung in curling waves to her rear. She had almost put it up but decided at the last minute that she wanted to feel the wind blowing in it as she drove. With another weary sigh, she slammed the door to her shiny red convertible and headed to the stone walkway that led to the front porch.
She was still a good three feet away when she heard her mother's gasp of probable horror. She couldn't keep the grin from her lips.
"Why hello, Momma, it's so good to see you." Andy smiled at her mother as she came into the house. Her mother just looked at her with wide eyes trying to take in everything at once.
"Good Lord! What in the world have you done to yourself, Andrea?"
"I've grown up. I've lived. I'm very happy with my life, Momma. I'm so glad that you asked." Andrea was waiting for her mother to make a sassy comeback just like she always did. But it didn't come.
"Well, it's good to see you anyway." Claire said and for the first time Andy snapped out of her own perceptions and really took note of her mother. Claire had aged, and her once perfect hair now looked as if she ran her fingers through it constantly. She had always seemed thin, but now she was almost frail with it, as if a good wind would blow her away. It seemed that more than just Andy had changed in the last few years.
"Your father is on the back porch resting."
Andy relaxed and smiled with ease for the first time since her arrival back home. She couldn't wait to see him and tell him about how she was. He knew what Carmen was and exactly what lifestyle she led. He was the one that encouraged Andy to go to her. At the time, all he had said was that Aunt Carmen would help her find herself. She most definitely had. Still smiling at her mother, she moved through the kitchen and out the back door to the porch that wrapped around the entire house.
Her father sat on the porch swing. He looked older than she had ever imagined him looking and worn out. He was thinner and his hair was all grey now. She had only been gone for three years. It was amazing how much a person could change in that amount of time. He must have heard the screen door close, because he looked up at her before she even took a step towards him. His eyes were bright with tears and the sight of them made hers tear up as well.
"My own little Raggedy Andy. I've missed you, baby girl," Joseph said.
"Daddy," Andy hurried to him and fell into his arms on the swing. He held her close, and she was frightened by the lack of strength in his arms.
"Daddy, what's wrong? Why didn't you let Aunt Carmen and I know that you were sick?"
"I wanted you to enjoy yourself, Andy. I know what you think of this town and the people in it. I know the memories that coming back here will bring. I couldn't, no I wouldn't ask it of you unless I had to."
"Nothing is more important than you, Daddy. I would face anything for you. And this town holds no power over me now. I know who I am, and I'm okay with that."
"You look beautiful, Andy, absolutely beautiful. You remind me so much of your Aunt Carmen."
"She misses you too. I still don't understand why she wouldn't come with me."
"Carmen has more of a reason to hate this town than you do, Andy." Her mother spoke quietly from the doorway, and there was sadness in her eyes that Andy had never seen before. "Your room is ready for you. We're having company for dinner in an hour, so perhaps you would like to change."
"I already have a room in town. And I'm fine with how I'm dressed now, Momma."
"What do you mean that you have a room in town?" Her mother looked hurt at Andy's words. "You're welcome to stay here, of course. Tell me where you're booked at and I'll take care of it for you."
"No, Mother, I've already taken care of it. Aunt Carmen still owns a house here in town. Since the previous renters moved out several months ago, I plan to stay there while I'm in town. It has an office that I can use for my work."
Her mother gave another weary sigh and shook her head. "My daughter the writer. When do you plan on getting your head out of the make believe and actually living your life? You need to grow up, Andy. You should be more like your sister. She and Bryan have been married for three years now. Bryson started pre-school this year, and little Amanda Rose is just the most perfect little girl. Only two years old and already such a perfect little lady."
Oh, yes, Bryson, the child that her sister was already pregnant with when Andy was supposed to be the one marrying Bryan. Little had she known that the woman he had been seeing was her sister. But did her mother blame Chloe or even Bryan for that? No, somehow that was all Andy's fault as well. And hell, maybe it was Andy's fault. But bottom line was that her sister and Bryan seemed happy and Andy had moved on.