I waited with the little girl that was my half sister - because I had one of those. She was eleven and just like any other girl at that age, not quite on the verge of puberty, still holding on to childish tendencies she showed me her mess of a room - a tornado of pink chaos. Dolls, toys, bits from toys, all mangled and dashed together on the floor combined and recombined seemingly to never be torn apart.
I wondered what her mind was like for her to live like this? What chaos happened in her home life? Though when I peaked in her mother's room briefly to go to the bathroom, it was the same way. I wondered if one day they might drown in those things.
Among the wreckage, she showed me something that her "Grandma Barbara" - Thomas's mother - gave her, though I can't remember what. Something too fancy to be valued by a girl her age.
I had these sentiments because I remember the same sort of gift from the same woman once in my life.
A bath set on a silver tray lined with bath bombs shaped to look exactly like pearls, soaps crafted to look like roses, paper wrapping them with pictures of English cottages.
I read the words 'toilet soap' on one of the wrapped bars and at an age similar to this girl before me - I dropped it in the toilet. Similar to the 'I miss you' cards, I had no attachment.
Soon, an old car pulled up and there he stood just as I remembered him: well over six feet tall with dark brown eyes with matching skin and hair that he constantly straightened. He was thin which gave the illusion he was even taller than he actually was - something that I took from him.
He didn't emphatically hug me in the way that Sherilynn did, but he stared at me in awe. The last I saw him face to face I was eleven. Now, I stood before him with no barriers between us. I made the journey myself. There were no more binding legal contracts. I stood free.
"Wow," was all he could say upon seeing my face.
I looked on awkwardly, my mouth screwing into something that wasn't quite a smile nor a frown. A graceless smirk. The closest I came to matching his awe and enthusiasm. He gave me a very slow hug which I stiffened at, but slowly obliged.
Sherilynn was much more overjoyed than the two of us combined. She eagerly grabbed her camera and took pictures of the three of us.
The father and the two daughters that he couldn't bother to bring up. Though one of us he tried more than the other.
We didn't stay long at that place, long enough for pictures to be taken before deciding that there was catching up to be done. I thanked Sherilynn for her hospitality and my half sister - Karlee.
Sherilynn gave me her information and said that we should stay in touch for her daughter's sake, for her daughter to have a sister. I smiled and said my line was always free.
I sent one email a few weeks later. I never heard anything back, I never received any calls.
Thomas gave me his address before hopping into his car and I hopped into mine.
Soon, we were on the way to his apartment for us to talk, and given the chaos from earlier that day, I rather looked forward to it.