Her Secrets & Mine - Chapter Nine

November 2000

“Cover for me?” Anna whispered.

I rubbed my eyes and wondered why she was fully dressed at two o’clock in the morning. “What?” I asked as I sat up and looked around, realizing that we were in our cabin in the mountains. “Where are you going?”

“Just out.” Anna said, rolling her eyes. She was sixteen years old and had probably been sexually active for years now.

“I’m not covering for you.” I said dryly. I had no reason to play nice, she was just going to go out and get in trouble and I was going to feel guilty for not telling on her.

“Well fine then, don’t cover! Just don’t tell on me, okay?” Anna begged. She was wearing jeans, snow boots, a skin tight t-shirt, and a puffy pink coat.

“I don’t care what you do. I’m going back to sleep.” I said. I thought back to the restaurant from earlier that night, and knew that she was heading out to meet the waiter that had been making eyes at her throughout each course.

Anna climbed out the window and onto the balcony. I wanted to wake Mama, but decided against it. Instead I headed out into the kitchen for a glass of water.

“Addy?” Father asked, he was standing in the bathroom doorway.

I jumped. “Gees you scared me!”

“Sorry.” He whispered, humored by how startled I seemed. “Can’t sleep?”

“Not really.” I said, I hadn’t talked to my father in months. “Anna snuck out.”

“I know.”

“You do?” I asked, surprised.

“Yeah, I’m not as stupid as I look. The chauffer is going to follow her to be sure that she gets there safe and sound.” He said, I was surprised at how on top of things my father was. “Want to watch a movie? It’s A Wonderful Life is on.”

“Sure.” I agreed, I knew I wouldn’t be sleeping anytime soon and headed into the living area behind him.

“So why don’t you ever sneak out?” Father asked, handing me a blanket.

I curled up, trying to get warm. That wasn't a question that I needed to think about for long.“I just don’t.”

“You’ve got to live a little, Addy.” He urged, he was just giving me friendly advise, but my mind unfortunately darted back to his infidelity. You just have to live a little? Was that what he called it?

I look back on that night as a time when I almost let myself bond with my father. I was wowed by the fact that he saw through my sister’s ways, but I was also reminded of his own sneaky ways. We spent the rest of the movie in silence, both waiting up on Anna.

Instead of sneaking back in through the window, Anna walked right through the front door. I knew she probably assumed that I had told on her, but I didn’t care.

“Want a cup of cocoa?” Father asked, not even bothering to fuss at her.

“Sure!” she exclaimed, relieved that she wasn't in trouble. “It is cold out there.”

“I bet.”

I really couldn’t believe my ears. They were so much alike. I threw my blanket on the couch and headed to bed. I couldn’t take much more.

“Addy come look!” Mama called, she was standing by the window in my room. “It’s snowing!"

I jumped out of bed and joined her. “It’s only November!” I was amazed by the giant flakes that were floating through the air. The woods that surrounded the cabin were already turning white and I smiled as the birds hopped around on the balcony rail.

“Sleep well last night, honey?” Mama asked as she pushed a strand of hair away from my face as I nodded. “Looks like Anna was out late.”

“You knew?” I asked. I was surprised, I figured my father wouldn’t have bothered to tell her.

“Yes, I saw her slide the waiter a note at dinner. She’s just being sixteen, you should try it sometime!” Mama said, nudging me with her shoulder and heading out of the bedroom. “By the way, Penny is coming up to do some shopping. Want to come along?”

“Sure,” I said, smiling. I always enjoyed witnessing the funny dynamic between Mama and Penny, and headed down the hall to shower and get ready for the day.