The doorbell rang. “I’ll get it.” said Laura to her sister. “Wonder who it could be this morning hour? she queried. It was 10 a.m. and they were just setting up for coffee in their modest sunroom. Both were retired and widowed. They had joined forces to cut their expenses, as well the little house had been willed to them by their father. It needed paint and upgrading, which neither could afford but it was comfortable enough for them.
The doorbell rang again. Laura opened the main wooden door, leaving the locked screen door between herself and the person standing there. He was a well-dressed man wearing an expensive suit and tie. He appeared to be in his late 60’s, with reddish gray hair, vivid blue eyes and a smile. Laura is wondering where she had seen that smile before.
“Can I help you?” she asked him.
“Hi.” he responded. “There is no easy way to say this, my name is Brian and I am your brother.”
“I’m afraid you have the wrong address. My sister and I live here, but we never had a brother, just the two of us growing up- Linda,” she called out for support.
“It is rather awkward,” he said. “May I come in? We have lots to talk about.”
Linda was there with her cell phone ready to call the police if need be. “What do you want?” she questioned.
“Does the name Blanche Baxter mean anything to you?” he asked.
The women exchanged glances. They knew the name all right but it was a distant memory.
“She was biological mother to all of us. I have the cold hard facts at my disposal. Now, may I come in?”
Laura glanced at her sister, who nodded whilst keeping a tight grip on the cell phone. “We have coffee made. Will you join us?” asked Linda while Laura unlocked and opened the screen door.
Brian stepped into the tiny foyer and followed the women to their sun room. The three of them sat with the women gazing expectantly at Brian. He began with, “I was born in Saskatoon and adopted at birth. They were loving parents and I never questioned that any others were involved. They were proud when I graduated from university but thought it was time to tell me some facts. Blanche Baxter was married to your dad during the war years.
While your father was stationed in England, with the RCAF, she had an affair with an American soldier, my biological father. When your dad returned home to Edmonton after the war, she was gone and you two were in a Salvation Army care home for children.”
Laura had vague memories of a big building, which housed many children. She recalled their father arriving one day with suitcases and driving away with him. They were moving to Vancouver to be with his parents.
“How do you know all this?” questioned Linda.
“My parents did extensive research. They found the name of the American man and kept it for me. They also located Blanche back in Edmonton but she had re-married and had another male child. She kept that one,” he said ruefully. “I did not want contact with her or the American, but my adoptive parents thought I should know. They were honest, loyal people and because of them, I have done well in business. I live in Toronto now and am very involved with my real estate holdings. In fact, I’m here in Vancouver on business but checking on you two is part of my business. ”
Laura and Linda sat quietly absorbing this new information. They told Brian that their
father had eventually re-married and a step-mother had raised them. She was strict but did what she considered obligatory duty towards them. As children they had wondered where their birth mother was but it was not up for discussion, so they just talked to each other about her and what she could possibly be like. Why had she left them? Did either of them look like her? Did she ever love or miss them? Would she come back for them one day?
The years rolled on and they left their childish questions behind. And now here was Brian, the brother they had never met or even dreamed about, bringing some answers to their long ago queries.
Brian spoke, “This is a lot for you to take in and I’m going to leave you with it for now. I’ve got to get back downtown regarding one of my holdings but would like to have dinner with you. I’m staying at the Bayshore and they have an excellent restaurant there. I can arrange for a quiet, ocean view table. We can get to know each other a bit. I have to leave to-morrow but how about to-night? I’ll send a car to pick you up and return you home later.”
The women looked at each other. Despite living in Vancouver most of their lives, they had never been to the Bayshore or had car service like this offered. Laura spoke for both of them. “We accept your generous offer and can be ready by 5 or 6 o’clock.”
A chauffer driven car arrived promptly at 5pm. Laura and Linda had dressed with care and were excited. Brian met them at the restaurant doors and personally escorted them to an elaborately set table.
“I’m so glad we can do this,” said Brian. “I’ve thought about it for years.”
“Well,” laughed Linda. “We can’t say the same, as we never knew about you. I’m glad you made the connection and gave us some answers to our long ago questions.”
Brian ordered champagne and the three of them toasted to finding and liking each other. They exchanged as much as possible about their life histories over an excellent meal. It was soon time to call it a night. The car had been ordered and was waiting. They all hugged tightly, with tears in their eyes. He handed them an envelope saying his business card and home address were inside. He told them they were welcome to stay with him if they were ever in Toronto, that he had a large condo on the 31st floor, with a great view of the city. “I’m so glad to have met both of you. My life jigsaw pieces coming together,” he said.
The next morning the sisters were having coffee in their sunroom. Laura opened up the envelope saying we should put Brian’s cards somewhere handy just in case. One never knows. The cards fell out on the table, along with a brief note, which was attached to a $100,000 bank draft.
They both gasped. The note read:
” Hope this helps a bit with some of your upgrades or maybe even a cruise. I remain, your ever loving brother, Brian “.