A Little Help

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Author’s Note : Greetings. As always, thanks for reading. The brother and sister in this story are both consenting adults, and the whole thing is purely fictional. There’s not a lot of sex, but there is some, just to let you know. Enjoy. -Tyzmartar


I was getting settled in at my parents’ house (I guess it was my house, too, since I still lived there) to watch the Superbowl. Football was always a family affair, and though our beloved Bills hadn’t made it, the Superbowl was always worth watching. New England versus Atlanta. Seemed like it could be a pretty good game. My father and I were trying to hammer out terms on what would be a fair bet to make when my mother came into the room with her phone in her hand.

“Darren, do you think you could go pick up your sister?” she asked.

“What? Is Bryant afraid to drive in the snow or something?” I asked back. Bryant was my sister’s boyfriend. He was some sort of metrosexual dink as far as I was concerned. He probably cared as much about football as I did about transgender bathroom policy. Not much, in other words.

“Bryant got called in to work and Cin doesn’t want to watch the game alone,” my mother told me.

I looked at the time. It would take thirty minutes to get there, thirty minutes back, add ten minutes because of the weather, we’d be cutting kick-off pretty close. “Ugh. He works in a mail room for an insurance company. How could he get called in on a Sunday night? He have to lick somebody’s stamps or something? Tell her to get a cab.”

Dear old Mom stared daggers into my soul. “Darren, get your ass out of that chair and go get your sister.”

I looked over at my father for support. There was none. He nodded toward the door. “Fine. She couldn’t have called two hours ago? If I don’t come back, you can look for me in the ditches in the spring when the snow melts,” I said. I trudged over to the door and began to lace up my boots.

“Be careful. I know it’s coming down, but it won’t get real bad ’til later. I wouldn’t have you go, but Cynthia’s been sounding down lately, and she hasn’t been able to get out and about much because of her ankle. And I miss her,” my mother said.

“I know, I know. I’ll be careful, I’ll call you when I get there,” I said. I figured that it was my sister’s own problem that she had broken her ankle and lived in a second floor apartment. It was also hard to believe that it would be my responsibility to chauffeur her around and try and cheer her up. I wasn’t totally against trying to do something nice for Cynthia, it was just the inconvenience of the timing.

About five miles out from my house, I had my Blazer in four-wheel drive and was crawling along at about fifteen miles per hour. I had driven from some fairly nasty weather into a fucking horrible storm. At that point, I probably should have just turned around and tried to explain myself to my mother as to why I didn’t have my sister with me. For some reason, I kept going, thinking that things would get better. They didn’t. There were times that I wasn’t even sure where the road was because of the wind and blowing snow. When I managed to break free of the rural route I had to travel to reach town, I could see that the city streets weren’t a hell of a lot better. I could at least tell where I was going, though. By the time that I pulled up in front of Cynthia’s apartment, I had some real doubts about getting back out again. I had to get my shovel out of the back of my vehicle just to get up the steps to knock on her door.

“It’s open!” I heard Cynthia call out.

I went in and pushed the door shut behind me, feeling lucky to make it. Cin was sitting on the couch in her shorts and tee shirt, sipping something in a mug with her bad ankle resting atop a pillow on her coffee table.

“Where’ve you been? You’re late.”

“Are you kidding me? I almost died like fifty times on my way over here. None of the roads have been plowed or anything, it’s a fucking mess out there. Let’s go before it’s impossible,” I said.

“Well, I have to change my clothes and stuff. It’ll only be a minute,” she said.

“You were just bitching about me being late and you’re not even ready to go? Unbelievable,” I just about screamed. I examined my sister while she gave me the evil eye and slowly rose on her crutches. It looked like it may have been a week since she had last changed her clothes or brushed her hair. Maybe two. I would have thought that she would have wanted a fresh outfit just out of general principles.

“I wanted to make sure that you actually got here before I got ready. It’s a pain in the ass to go anywhere,” Cynthia said.

“You don’t think it was a pain in the ass driving here? We’re gonna miss the first quarter, at least, so hurry up,” I told her. Just then, my mother called me, wondering if I had frozen to death or not.

“Well, if it’s that bad, maybe you should stay there tonight,” my mother suggested.

“Are you kidding me? Why’d you send me out here in the first place, are you canlı bahis trying to get me killed or something?” I wondered.

“Don’t be foolish…wait a minute, your father’s trying to tell me something,” she began. I waited impatiently while I heard the two mumbling to each other across the connection. “You there? Your father says the roads are closed. It’s a state of emergency.”

“Are you kidding me?” I asked again. I walked into my sister’s living room and changed her television over to the local news. There was some dork telling me that this was the first of an expected two feet of snow that had come swirling in from the Great Lakes. The State Police and the Sheriff’s Office forbid travel by anything other than emergency vehicles. “This is awful.”

“You can watch the game with your sister, can’t you?” my mother had asked.

“I guess. I’ll see you tomorrow,” I said. I slid my phone back into my pocket while my sister crutched by in the hall carrying the clothes she was about to put on.

“Who were you talking to?” she asked.

“Mom. Look,” I said, pointing at the TV. “Don’t bother getting dressed.”

“What? It’s really that bad?” Cynthia asked, crutching over to join me. At the pace that she was moving at I figured that by the time she got dressed and down to the street that the game would have been over, anyway.

“Yeah. I told you how bad it was on the way over. Can I crash here or are you going to make me sleep in my car?” I asked.

“Depends on your attitude. You’re dripping all over the floor, go take your boots off,” Cynthia ordered.

I went and deposited my boots by the door in the kitchen and hung my coat over the back of a chair. It was then that I really took note of what a disaster the place was. Clutter everywhere, dirty dishes in the sink, it smelled like the litter box needed to be changed and she didn’t even have a cat. I imagined that would be how my place would look if I ever got one, but then again, I was a lazy slob. Cynthia really wasn’t.

Walking back to the living room, I took a seat next to my sister on her sofa while she arranged herself to be comfortable. “Can’t you get your bitch Bryant to clean the place up, or what? It’s gross around here.”

“He’s not my bitch, and he’s not here,” Cynthia said, turning the channel back to game coverage. At least I wasn’t going to miss any of it.

“Well, I can see that he’s not here. Did he really have to work, or is he just hiding in a closet somewhere so he didn’t have to watch a football game? I know it would probably be traumatic for him if he started to produce testosterone,” I said, not wanting to hide my feelings about the jellyfish that my sister was dating.

“Just drop it, Darren.”

Shrugging my shoulders, I did. We watched the pregame show for a while before it finally was about time for kickoff. I thought maybe Cynthia would offer me some kind of refreshments or something, but she didn’t and I was hungry. There was a massive blizzard standing between me and my chicken wings back at home.

“You got anything to eat?” I asked.

Cynthia snorted. “I doubt it, go look.”

I gave my sister a funny look and went out in the kitchen to snoop through her fridge and cupboards. I thought that I’d at least find some crackers or stale pretzels or something. There was a couple of cans of soup and some pasta, but I’d have to cook that so I left it where it sat. I ended up grabbing a few carrots out of her refrigerator after passing on a bunch of stuff that looked like it needed to graduate to the compost heap.

I was going to ask my sister how she got so fat without having any food in the house, but I decided against it. For one thing, we’d never really been that mean to each other, and for another, she wasn’t really that fat. She possibly carried a few pounds more than what she needed, but nothing I could actually pick on her about. I took an unsatisfying bite out of my carrot and sat back down.

“Looks like you need to get some groceries,” I said.

“Tell me about it,” Cynthia replied.

“I just did. What, is Bryant allergic to grocery stores? Have him pick something up on the way home,” I suggested.

“Bryant’s not coming back, Sherlock. He left me two weeks ago.”

“What?” I asked. It was taking me a moment to process. Made sense. Place was a mess, Cynthia was a mess. No trace of a man’s presence anywhere, not that it would have been that easy to find even if Bryant had still lived there. I felt sorry for her for about ten seconds before I remembered the reason that I was there to begin with. “Why didn’t you let us know earlier? Now I’m stuck here.”

“I don’t know,” Cynthia began. “I didn’t want to tell Mom and have her ask me if I’m okay every thirty seconds, but then at the last minute I wanted to come home. I’m sorry.”

I wanted to be angry, but it was difficult at the moment. Poor Cin was going through some sort of deep depression, and I was still going to get to see the game. It wasn’t like I had a hot date to bahis siteleri go on afterwards or anything. All of a sudden, I was on our mother’s side and wanted to cheer her up.

“Well, you still could have called me. Besides, Bryant leaving is probably the best thing that ever happened to you. He was turning you into a sissy,” I said.

“You just didn’t like him because he was different,” Cynthia said.

“Yeah, he was different, that’s for sure. How could I get along with a guy that sang show tunes and would rather die of malaria than swat a mosquito? What did you ever see in him?” I wondered.

“Well, he was nice. And he was smart, you know? He spoke Spanish and French, and he knew all about art and stuff. He was like exotic or something. It’s hard to explain. He’s from Canada you know,” Cynthia asked.

“Hmm. Not really. Canada doesn’t seem all that exotic. But what do I know?” I asked. The Canadian border was about fifty miles away, it wasn’t like Bryant came from the Far East or anything.

“More than I do, apparently. At least you knew enough not to like him right away. I fell in love with him,” Cynthia whined. I was doing a great job at cheering her up so far, she sounded about ready to cry.

“It’s not like he could do any better than you. What was his problem?”

“He wanted someone that wanted to change the world. Wanted me to have an opinion on everything and go protest over furs and pipelines and god knows what else. I care about a lot of shit, but some of it just doesn’t interest me, you know? I don’t want to change the world. I want to get this boot off my foot and get a walking cast. I want to decide what movie to watch on a Friday night, or what kind of toppings I want on my pizza. That’s all the thinking that I really want to do. It doesn’t bother me to be part of the mindless proletariat or whatever he called it,” she told me.

“Oh, I see. I think he was just disappointed when he found out that you didn’t have a penis,” I said, eating more of the carrot.

That, at least, made Cin laugh a little. “Do I look like I have a penis?” she asked.

“I never checked, but I’m pretty sure you don’t. Honestly, do you think Bryant ever saw a woman naked before you? He probably didn’t even know.”

Cynthia chuckled a little more before growing solemn again. “I miss him a little. I think I drove him crazy because of my ankle.”

“If he left you because of that, then he didn’t deserve to stick around anyway. He could have at least waited until you could walk down the steps so you wouldn’t starve to death. What an asshole,” I said. The game was starting, so I was hoping we could kind of wind the conversation up.

“I can make it down the steps, and I have money. I just can’t shovel snow or drive,” Cynthia told me.

“Another reason you should have called me. I could spend your money for you,” I told her.

“Yeah, I bet.”

I was kind of hoping for Atlanta to win since the Patriots always seem to have a powerhouse team, and I figured they had won enough Superbowls lately. So, when half time came and Atlanta had a huge lead, I was feeling pretty good. Cin seemed to be in love with Tom Brady for some reason.

“Looks like old Tom might not make it back on the field for the second half,” I said.

“Why’s that?” Cynthia asked.

“I imagine that he’s in the locker room drowning in his own tears.”

“Oh, you wanna bet?” she asked.

“On the game? It’s 28-3, what kind of bet do you want to make? I’d feel kind of guilty taking your money,” I said.

“It’s not over ’til it’s over, punk. How about if the Pats come back, you wash my dishes?”

“Heh, if the Pats come back I’ll wash your dishes and clean your kitchen. Hell, I’ll even throw in taking you shopping if they ever plow the streets,” I said. “What do I get if the Falcons win?”

“You’ve got a pretty big advantage. What do you want? I’m not gonna give you any money, and you’re already eating my food,” she pointed out.

“Alright. If the Falcons win, why don’t you go take a bath so I don’t have to sit here and smell you?” I thought it was a fair bet. Cynthia seemed to think that it was mean.

“I don’t smell. If you think you can smell me, then go sleep out in your Blazer. I’m sure that smells like a rose garden.”

“Oh come on. I’m just kidding. I know you’ll probably melt if you get wet,” I said.

“Because I’m so sweet, right? Not because I’m the wicked witch of the West?” Cynthia asked.

“Yeah, that’s it.”

We sat through the half-time show and watched Lady Gaga dance around. It wasn’t too bad, I suppose, but I was never really a big fan. I was still feeling pretty confident throughout the third quarter, but deep in the fourth, I was starting to get scared. When the Patriots tied the game and it went into overtime, I was in shock. My sister was laughing so hard that she was in danger of wetting herself and actually had to go use the bathroom. When the Pats then won the coin toss and got the ball first in the overtime bahis şirketleri period, I had the feeling that it was all over for me. The behemoth of a mess in the adjoining room had my name on it. Cynthia celebrated with New England when they broke into the end zone and earned the victory.

“I can’t freaking believe it,” I said, hands on the side of my head as if to keep my brain from exploding.

“You have to, Darren. You can’t bet against Tom Brady, what’s wrong with you?” Cynthia asked, poking me in the hip with a crutch. She was clearly delighted.

“What the hell happened? Did you call Matt Ryan and blackmail him or something? Tell him he had to throw the game? I feel cheated.”

“The detergent’s under the sink,” she said.

“You’re kidding me. You’re really gonna make me do it?” I asked.

“Damn right, I’m gonna make you do it. You were laughing at me like I was stupid a little while ago. Maybe you should have thought about it before you made the bet. Besides, it hurts my armpits when I have to stand there at the sink. It sucks to wash dishes,” she told me.

“I know it sucks to wash dishes, that’s why I don’t want to do it,” I whined. Still, I did feel a semblance of sympathy for Cynthia, and a bet was a bet. I walked out to the disaster that was a kitchen and started clearing out the sink so I’d be able to use it.

Cynthia eventually joined me in the kitchen, snailing out to the table and taking a seat. “You’re really gonna wash my dishes?” she asked.

“Well, yeah, I lost, didn’t I? Besides, I don’t want to hear you crying about your armpits being sore.”

“You don’t have to do it right now if you don’t want, you know. It’s getting late.”

“Eh, might as well get it over with. When are you gonna be able to lose the crutches anyway?” I asked.

“Next week, I hope. Be able to go back to work. You can’t imagine how bored I’ve been,” she told me.

“What have you been doing? Just sitting around here by yourself?”

“Yeah, basically,” she replied.

“Didn’t you have any friends or anything you could call? I mean, it seems like someone would have dropped by to see if you were alive or not. I would have, but I thought, you know, that Bryant was still slinking around,” I said.

“‘Prolly could have, I guess,” she paused a moment before continuing. “I think I made a lot of them mad when Bryant and I broke up. I’m not like them, and they know it. We know all the same circle of people from school, you know? They’re more like Bryant than me, he’s like their hero or something.”

“Byrant’s their hero? What kind of a loser crowd do you hang with? Screw them.”

I was about to scrape some stuff out of the bowl that it was growing in when I discovered that Cynthia’s trash can was full. I changed out bags, setting the full one on the porch. I hadn’t looked outside for a while, and found it a bit shocking. I had shoveled the steps off and a path to the door, and I could clearly see that there was at least eight inches of new snow that had fallen since then.

“Christ, it’s scary out there. You see that?” I asked, holding the door open so that Cynthia could get a good look outside and to the street below.

“Wow, I’ve never seen it like that out there. There’s like twice as much snow out there than when you first got here,” she said.

“I know. Crazy, huh? Do you have any towels?”

“In that drawer down there,” Cynthia pointed out. “I’m glad you made it okay.”

“Yeah, ’cause I’m washing your filthy stack of dishes,” I said.

“Well, yeah, but it’s nice to see you. Sorry for being such a mess. Thanks for talking to me,” she said.

“What’d you think I was gonna do, just sit in the corner and ignore you?” I asked.

“No. You know what I mean. I didn’t expect you being here, I thought I’d end up having to talk to Mom about it. She’s fine and all, but I don’t know. I just really wasn’t looking forward to it,” Cynthia said.

“You’re probably gonna have to let her know sometime, but I guess I know what you mean. She asks a lot of questions. Sometimes you just don’t need that,” I said.

I finished washing the dishes while we talked. Cynthia started hobbling around, trying to pick up a bit, but it was just too painful for me to watch. Not only was she amazingly slow and clumsy, the only thing I could picture was her falling and breaking another bone. If I hadn’t had been feeling so generous I would have let her clean up her own mess, but at the moment, it just didn’t seem worth it.

“There. That’s one room, anyway. Maybe tomorrow I’ll run the vacuum and we’ll get you some groceries,” I said, feeling as though I’d done enough for one night.

“Thanks, Darren. Maybe we can pick up something that you like and we could have dinner or something,” Cynthia suggested.



My campus was closed because of the snow the next day, which I thought was bogus since I didn’t have classes on Mondays anyway. That was the first time that I could every remember classes being canceled because of weather, we were used to getting snow in those parts, it was just that we got such a shit load of it at once that it overwhelmed the system. It was almost noon before I even saw a plow go by.

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