On December 2nd, I arrived at Mr. Brennan’s office promptly at 8: a. m. to begin my six months of lockdown. Bernice was next to arrive with her two Moncler and Rimowa carry-ons. Dorothy came minutes later with her two Fendi carry-ons. And our baby girl Monica arrived last with her two Gucci carry-ons. I looked at my sisters and asked myself why am I the only one whose luggage came from Walmart?
Still unsure about each other, we had little to say as we entered the elevator. Mr. Brennan’s escorted us down to his 2020 Excursion. The driver took our bags, and we sat in the back with Mr. Brennan. The two back seats faced each other with a mini table in between. Under the mini table was a mini bar.
Dorothy said, “may I,” pointing at the bar. Mr. Brennan told her to help herself. She grabbed four mini bottles of Silver Patron and attempted to pass them around. Bernice passed. Monica passed. I didn’t. Instead, I grabbed two bottles. Dorothy and I tapped our bottles together. “Here’s to new beginnings,” Dorothy said. “Isn’t it a bit early for that,” Bernice said, pointing at our Patron. Dorothy said, “well, it’s happy hour somewhere. Even Mr. Brennan had to laugh at that one.
I began to feel a little tipsy after the first bottle of Tequila, but it did not stop me from downing the second one. Bernice looked at Dorothy and me as though we had just vomited on ourselves. I could tell Bernice was going to be my least favorite. Monica was staring out of the window taking in the sights of New Orleans. She had never been.
The driver drove across a draw bridge into a different world. In all my years of residing in Louisiana, I had never seen homes so beautiful and huge. It was like this part of New Orleans was kept a secret from us commoners–middle class and under. As the driver turned into a driveway, Dorothy and I rolled down our windows to get a better look.
“Damn! Dorothy said, pulling down her shades. Is this the house?” Mr. Brennan nodded yes with a smile. Monica could hardly control her excitement. Monica jumped out of the SUV before it came to a complete stop. The four of us stood in front of this modern-day castle-like home in awe.
“I got the largest bedroom,” I claimed, raising my hand. Bernice asked, “why do you get the largest bedroom?” “Because I’m the oldest, and I called it first,” I replied. Bernice sucked her teeth and gave me a death look. Hmm, hmm, Mr. Brennan cleared his throat to get our attention. Your father died in the largest bedroom. Dorothy leaned close to my ear and said, “let her have it.” “It’s all yours, Bernie,” I said.
“It’s Bernice,” she replied with a superior and not so pleasant tone. The first impression of a person is a lasting one, or so I’ve been told. Well, my first impression of Bernice was snob, then the second was bitch, then the third was arrogant, then the fourth was self-aggrandizing, and now it’s right back to bitch.
Mr. Brennan escorted us up a gazillion stairs and opened the front door to my sperm donor's four-story home. Dorothy and I walked in first and froze at the beauty of it all. Monica walked in, not looking where she was going, and tripped over one of Dorothy’s Fendi bags.