Excerpt from "...Are Your Dirty Little Secrets"

Darrin & Reece


“Yeah, Darrin?”

“Don’t you ever wonder that maybe we might be cursed? We got bad genes? That our father was so screwed up, he screwed us up, and no matter how hard we try we can’t beat it?”

It was a brisk New England afternoon and Darrin had met his sister, Reece on the river walk for mid-morning coffee at the Rodriguez’s bookstore/coffee shop. Ever since his upsetting dream a few months ago, he had been dwelling on this thought that regardless, bad things would happen to him because it was in his blood. And he was especially worried because today Kristina had a monthly checkup and the doctor was going to try and determine the sex of their baby. Kristina was now up to twenty weeks and Darrin couldn’t help but worry that something was wrong with the baby.

Reece sipped the warm beverage as she looked out onto the rushing river and finally turned to her brother after giving her brother’s question some thought.

“I think, Darrin,” she paused so as to make her words match her thoughts, “there’s a little bit of our father in all of us. Including Sarah, all though she’d deny it tooth and nail. But he’s gone, Darrin and we’re all adults now. We’re living our lives, not his or any lives you think we have to live.”

“But Reece…!”

“Look, Darrin, relax. I know you told me about that dream you had, but Kristina’s having a great pregnancy. She’s taking really good care of herself. I think you should be aware of the fact that you’re a Banning for better or worse and that you’re only human. You’re going to make mistakes but unlike me, you’ve got a family who loves you…”

“I love you, Reece!” interjected Darrin. “I’m your family!”

“Darrin, you have a wife. Get my drift? I’m still searching for you know, for that unconditional, idealistic love only a man can give me. What you have with Kristina,” finished Reece.

Darrin stared at her and it got silent as he let her words sink in.

“Maybe that’s Dad’s thing,” said Darrin finally. “Maybe his curse to you was to make sure you never found a guy like me.”

Reece playfully reached over and slugged his arm.

“My brother, the dick,” she teased. “You know, tonight’s the state’s media awards at the Wayfarer. Are you going to be there?”

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world,” grinned Darrin. “Besides, I think my sis is picking up an award for her radio station.”

“Damn skippy I am!” gloated Reece. “I’ve got the number one radio station in New Hampshire and it’s high time Reece Banning got some credit for it. Besides…”

Darrin sipped his coffee.

“Besides, what?” he prompted his sister.

“I think tonight’s awards show – it’s going to be like a turning point,” she added softly. “Something’s going to happen. I dunno. Me, you, Sarah, something’s going to happen to all of us.”

“Is this something good or bad?” asked Darrin nervously.

“It’s whatever we make of it dear brother but something is going to effect all our lives,” she concluded.

“And I thought I was psychic,” said Darrin.

“Hola, Darrin. I just got done signing for a shipment out back,” said Jorge Rodriguez walking up to the Banning table. Darrin was Jorge’s nephew by marriage. “Hi,” said Darrin looking up. Reece smiled.

“Hola, Ms. Banning. So how’s Kristina? We haven’t seen her lately,” remarked Jorge wiping his hands on a tablecloth. He was proud man, proud of his work and his family and while Darrin was an unusual addition, he had come to respect the very different man in front of him.

“She’s doing good. We’ve got a doctor’s appointment this afternoon,” said Darrin. “I’ll tell Kristina to bring over a pic of the sonogram. He’s doing it today.” Darrin couldn’t help but feel nervous around his uncle. There was an unspoken vibe between them.

“Any luck on Kristina’s project?”

“Not yet,” said Darrin. “You know lawyers. And the courts. It’s slow…”

“Okay. I have to go…” said Jorge motioning to the back and slowly walking off.

“Project?” queried Reece.

Darrin sighed. “Look, Reece, The Rodrigues are in on the fact Kristina’s trying to open her daughter’s adoption papers. Not too many people know. Kristina wants it like that. That’s what she’s working on this afternoon. She knows you know and trusts you…”

Reece softly smiled, “Yeah. I know. I won’t let the Rodrigues know I know.”

“God, we sound pathetic. I feel like I’m making an alliance on Survivor,” quipped Darrin. He glanced at his watch. “I have to go.”

“Okay. I’ll see you tonight. And…good luck,” said Reece watching her brother stand up. Darrin smiled at her and walked out. Reece sat there for a minute just staring out the window. She felt as if she was on the verge of something special, something big happening to her and she hoped she was up to the challenge it was going to bring.

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