once again, still at the wedding...last wedding "scene"
The sun was beginning to set as the reception started to die down and the guest began to leave.
"Billy, is Syd still here?" Brenda inquired.
"I don't know. Last time I saw her, she was walking towards the cliffs." Billy answered as Brenda pulled him in the direction of Syd. As they were walking, Brenda gave out a sigh of relief "She's still here!"
"How do you know? I don't see her anywhere?" questioned Billy.
"Trust me. She's still here. She's waiting for us." As they approached the cliff, with the sunset painting the horizon, they saw a figure sitting on a rock, smoking a cigarette, staring at the sky.
"See I told you" Brenda whispered, as they sat down next to their sister. For a few moments, the Chenowith siblings were silent, taking in the setting sun.
"Do you guys remember the night that we ran away from home and spent the night on the beach?" asked Syd, finally breaking the silence, never taking her eyes off the horizon.
"Yeah, the cops found us sleeping on the beach, under the dock." Chimed in Brenda.
"That was a good night. It was right before you left the first time Syd." Billy said, scanning the faces of his older sisters.
"I kept thinking about that night the entire time I was gone. It's what made me come home."
"I thought it was Billy's fire incident that made you come home?" Asked Brenda.
"Nope. That's just the excuse I gave to Maggie and Bernie. I really came for you guys." Syd explained, lighting another cigarette. Brenda and Billy took one too.
"God, do you remember all the nights we used to spend in the tree house, smoking cigarettes and pot, and drinking whatever cheap shit we could get our hands on? All the while Maggie and Bernie thought we were in bed asleep." Remembered Brenda.
"I remember those times. Back in the day when things were simpler. We spent so much time, hiding from the parents in that tree house." Remembered Syd.
"They tore that down when you ran away Syd. They told me it was because I was getting too old for it. I knew it was because you ran away." Chimed in Billy.
"Why did you come back?" Brenda finally asked.
"For you two and for myself. I've been gone too long and I feel like I've lost the only people who matter at all in this world. I missed my father's funeral for Christ's sake. I wasn't around when my brother needed me the most. My sister's husband didn't even know I existed because my sister was too ashamed of me to tell him. I screwed up big time. I need to start my life over."
"You didn't screw up with us Syd." Brenda answered, putting her hand on Syd's shoulder.
"Yes I did. I left you. I walked out on my family. I screwed up my life, in ways that can not be discussed on my sisters wedding day."
"Syd, why did you leave five years ago?" asked Billy, hoping to finally know the truth of his older sister's disappearance.
"Because I couldn't take it any more. I couldn't take my life. I needed to walk away from it all and disappear." Syd explained.
"It wasn't because of me, was it?" asked Billy.
"Of course not, Billy. It was just something I needed to do."
"How long are you staying this time?" Asked Brenda. "I want Maya to know you."
"I don't know. I still have some things to take care of, and if all goes well, I'll be back for good soon." Answered Syd.
"And if everything doesn't?" asked Billy.
"Let's just hope it does." Answers Syd. She becomes quiet now, and lowers her head. Brenda notices she is crying.
"I really love you guys. It's because of you that I've been able to get through my life. We've been though so much in our lives, both together and individually, and we are still standing, because we had each other. You guys are my rocks, without which I would fall. I really and truly could not live without you guys." The three hug for the first time since that thanksgiving five years ago, and for that moment, all three were invincible.
"I can hear the headlines now. 'Chenowith children become a lifetime movie.'" Billy jokes, while all three wipe their eyes and laugh.
"MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY!" Maya screams, as she runs up to the group, followed by Nate and Ruth.
"Maya wanted to find her mommy and tell her something." Nate said.
"Mommy looks pretty today" the three year old said, as she jumped up into Brenda's lap. Seeing Brenda with Maya made Syd smile.
"Thank you Maya!"
"Mommy, have you and Uncle Bully been crying? Your eyes look like Grandma Ruth's did this morning when you and daddy were standing in front of us. Are you sad?" Maya asked innocently.
"No honey. These are tears of happiness. I want you to meet someone special. This is your Aunt Syd, Mommy and Uncle Billy's sister. Mommy and Uncle Billy haven't seen Aunt Syd in a very long time." Explained Brenda.
"Hi Maya, it's nice to meet you. You look pretty today!"
"Thank you" Maya said in her cute innocent voice, as she jumped up and ran back to Nate, who picked her up, her little body fitting with his like a puzzle piece, her little head resting on her father's shoulder.
"She's beautiful Nate."
"Yeah! She's our little sunshine girl. Bren, we should probably get going. My mom wants to go home and we need to pack Maya's things. And Bill, my sister is looking for you; I think she wants to leave too."
"Yeah, she wanted to get some of those pictures developed tonight." Billy said as he got up and walked away, followed by Nate, Brenda, and Maya, arm and arm, with Maya now falling asleep in Brenda's arms.
"Bye guys. See you soon...hopefully" Syd whispers and lights another cigarette.