Jay didn't want to have any regrets about the holidays. As far as he was concerned, it was best each to his own. Yet, he knew his younger sister Jody was a mess and no one could really help her.
"Let's hope she doesn't turn in to mom," Jared said over the phone.
"Don't say that," Jay snapped back. "That'll never happen."
They'd learned their mom was seeing someone younger and a co-worker of their step-dads. "She's higher than kite these days," were Jared's very words. After all, he worked with the woman.
"Not surprised," Jay said. Even he was a little down these days. He and Amanda didn't even share Christmas presents. They'd done nothing. It was as if the holiday didn't even exist. She said she was OK with it, but he could sense this was not true. She was in a slump of some sort. He didn't dare want to tell her about his mother.
"And what did you do for Christmas?" Jay asked.
"Oh, nothing much," Jared said, but Sal made ham and turkey and then delivered dinners to Jody and even their mother.
"Well, I could have used some of that," Jay shot back. "Why wasn't I on the list?"
"You didn't call. You sounded as if you wanted to be left alone," Jared barked back as if he didn't really care what his brother wanted.
"And you're still at Sal's?" Jay found that kind of funny. He didn't know his brother could stay that long anywhere. Wasn't he a roaming cowboy of some sort?
"And what might be keeping you there, dear brother?" There had to be a female involved, somewhere. Obviously, she was taking the bait with him. Jay smirked then, wondering what kind of Christmas miracle it was.
"Sal's daughter is here." It was plain and simple.
"I see. Obviously, she knows nothing about you," Jay found himself laughing. He was alone. Amanda went to her mother's for the weekend. "Should I come over and tell her the truth."
"Don't!" Jay knew he'd hit a nerve.
"Oh, so are you being good this new year?" Jay kept smiling.
"Yeah, of course, I am," Jared said, but Jay doubted it. His little brother always loved a challenge when it came to women.
"Well, you better behave yourself," Jay said he had his eyes on him now.