Linda was the first to figure it out.
And, like everything in the family, even that was a lie. Deborah was the first to figure it out, and James was next.
But they were intimately involved; they had all the information ahead of time. The rest of the family only thought they were intimately involved.
Except Cherie; Cherie had the only reasonable expectation of involvement. But the family had never been known to be reasonable about anything, especially where The Aunt was concerned.
“How could you?”
Linda opened with that before she even said hello or “mind if I come in?” She was pushy but not stupid; she didn’t enter the Aunt House without an invitation; she just stood in the doorway and shouted.
There was no use denying it or asking what she meant. Deborah brewed up a pot of tea and stared at her sister. “Well, when a man and a woman lie together, and he experiences pleasure known as orgasm inside of her…”
“Nobody said anything when James came around. You’re entitled to a little bit of romance in your life. But we thought you’d be responsible. You wanted this, Deborah.”
“That’s an assumption.”
“You never… You didn’t…” She sputtered it, as if uncomfortable saying what they all knew: of the four sisters, Deborah hadn’t gotten married early or pregnant even earlier.
“I understand how the family works.”
“Then how could you…”
“I can only assume by the annoyed ghost of an ancestor. I took all reasonable precautions and some unreasonable ones.”
“I did say some unreasonable precautions.”
“So now what?” Linda had come down from the anger and was looking worried. It made it easier for Deborah to sympathize with her sister; it wasn’t as if she didn’t feel worried as well.
She poured two cups of coffee and passed one through the open door.
“I really don’t know.”
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