There was something about the way he looked at me that disturbed me. He was sitting cross-legged on the floor playing the sitar. I sat in a frilly dress on the piano bench next to my sister, my family around me. I was eleven years old.
His eyes bore into mine. He stared. Really stared at me. I wondered why. I hadn’t done anything I could think of. We had only just met.
I looked down at my hands. The piano bench had no back and my sister and I were supposed to sit there in our best dresses and not fidget. At that age, I couldn’t appreciate the beauties of the sitar because it seemed just too…well, strange. So I sat there thinking. The man playing the sitar was now related to me in some way since my mother’s second marriage. He was my stepfather’s eldest son. So what did that make him? He was about the same age as my uncle, so that’s what I decided he should be. I don’t think it occurred to me that he was actually my step-brother. I would have recoiled at that notion: He was making me feel uncomfortable as it was.
I sat there politely until he finished, staring at my hands. Then, as soon as I saw that everyone was distracted, I quietly slipped away and went upstairs to the sanctuary of my bedroom. I softly shut the door, threw myself on the bed, and read a novel.
–Cynthia Haggard writes short stories, novels and poetry. During the day, she is a medical writer and owns her own business. For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories. For more about her medical writing services, go to clarifyingconcepts. (c) 2009. All rights reserved.