July, 1982


“Purchasing, this is Willie.”

* crying * “MOM! Patrick just punched and scratched me and now I’m bleeding…*crying*  All I wanted was to watch Gilligan’s Island and he’s making me watch that stupid M*A*S*H. I hate that show. I hate him. Why couldn’t I have a sister?

“Well, who’s day is it?”

“It’s Rich’s, but he’s not here, and last time he wasn’t here Pat got to watch what he wanted, so it’s my turn.”

*sigh* “Put him on the phone.”


“I can’t.”


“He’s outside.”

“What do you mean he’s outside?”

“He’s outside and I’m not letting him back in.”

“Did you lock him outside again? He better have clothes on! If I get one more call from the neighbors, I swear to God….  Open that door, right now, Heather!”

“Fine, but if he kills me, it’s your fault.”

*muffled noise, door opening, enraged pre-teen brother storming into the house*

* sassy, sing-songy voice * “Mom wants to talk to you.”

“What the hell is wrong with you kids? You can’t be home for an hour without fighting?”

“MOM, it’s not her turn. It’s not fair. Why do you always take her side?”

* Whispered between gritted teeth * “I’m telling you BOTH to knock it off. Get away from her. Go to your room. I’ll be home in an hour and that house better not be a mess. And don’t call me again. I’m at work, and I don’t have time for this.”


vtech phone

32 years later………..


“Marketing, this is Heather.”

(whisper) “Mom, it’s Kelly. They locked me in the shed and I only get one phone call.”

“Who locked you in the shed?”

“Lauren and Becca.”

“Kelly, you’re bigger than them and you’re the older sister, and the shed doesn’t really lock. Open the door.”

“Mom, I’m telling you they won’t let me out. And they said I only get this one phone call.”

“Let me talk to Lauren.”

* shuffling, muffled talk *

“Mom, she keeps taking our whale!” Lauren wails. “She has her own, but she’s taking ours just to be a brat. I hate her. I don’t want a sister. I never wanted a sister.”

* shaking my head, rubbing my eyes *

“I’m at work, and I really don’t have time for this, Lauren.”

“Well, I didn’t call you. She did.”

“Put Kelly back on the phone.”

“Kelly, why are you taking the whale? You’re starting this fight.”

“I just want to play. She’s so mean and selfish. She’s been kicking and scratching me and she swored at me… *crying*

“Where’s Eliza?”

“By the pool.”

“Go sit by her. Get away from them and stop taking their stuff. Leave them alone.”

“Why do you always take her side? You always believe her! She’s the worst sister ever.”

* sigh *

“I have to go. We’ll talk about this when I get home.”

“Fine, but if they kill me, it’s your fault.”

About Just Write
“What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.”