After The Fire

English: Photo showing some of the aspects of ...

English: Photo showing some of the aspects of a traditional US Thanksgiving day dinner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dishes remain piled in the sink, bottles tipped over on the counter, and two chairs stay on their backs in the dining room. Ashley has only had the wherewithal to put the Thanksgiving left overs in the fridge and has been staring at a now warm glass of beer for three hours. The perfect holiday get together ruined because her little sister cannot get her act together.

Why Shawna thought she would just keep her mouth shut is a mystery to her. Ashley has always been the one to tell anyone, no matter how much she loves them, exactly what is on her mind. It is tough love and if you cannot handle it, tough luck. The truth hurts sometime, but it will also set you free. So when Shawna said she was quitting her steady gig in market research to go back to school and get her masters in nutritional anthropology, whatever the hell that is, she had to say something.

She could not just let her sister, the one she has been taking care of since they were put in foster care together, throw away another promising career. Shawna has always done this. She has always been impulsive and irresponsible, never just settling down and settling in the way Ashley has. It was for her own good, but the poor kid, if you can call a thirty-three year old woman a kid, just cannot see it that way.

So she exploded, right there at the dinner table. In front of everyone. She did not swear, and Ashley is grateful for that. Shawna is a bad enough example without doing that in front of the kids. She did, however, scream, and slam the table and said many cruel things about Ashley. She insinuated that her older sister lived a shallow and meaningless life, and Ashley returned fire with more observations about her kid sister’s choices.

No one else said a word. They were all to afraid, and once Shawna was out the door, Craig sat their, jaw dropped, while Ashley cleared the table. None of them get her, or the sacrifices she makes to keep them happy, but she will keep on doing it, and keep on speaking her mind, consequences be damned.


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