If you think about it, a family of nine, in the 60's, was a big family. If the pill had been out, would she have taken it? Who knows...only her. He knew she loved them. He used to wonder why she didn't stop him. She couldn't.
Growing up, he watched. Deciding he would never become a man like this, their secrets were secure. Probably, with the exception of a few neighbors and some cousins.
He remembers bits, in the Winnebago, driving thru Chicago. They had been visiting her aunt. Downtown, a blinding snow storm, a stop light. The kids were sleeping or supposed to be. They were fighting and drinking, as usual. Suddenly he stopped the huge vehicle and shoved her out. His mom was in her nightgown, bathrobe and slippers. She was crying as they drove off, back to New York. She appeared home a few days later. He's ten, they are all sitting on the couch, side by side. He is smacking her, punching her, making them watch. If you cried, tried to run off, he would reach out and punch you too.
She thought it was their childhood secret. That is, until she would hear the story repeated each time they partied or a laugh was needed.
Her friend woke up in the middle of the night and could not find her. She always chose to do it by herself. She would hide. In the trailer, you could close the doors and sit on the washing machine.
Then, in the middle, the doors flew open. Her friend had heard. She had no time. The juice was still dripping off her lips. Her friend began laughing as she saw her eating the last piece of strawberry shortcake. She simply did not want to share. It took her twenty years to shout, "QUIT, I HATE THAT STORY!"
She took the walk everyday. Her dog was fun. At thirteen, she took every opportunity to get away from her parents. He had a neat red dog, with long flowing hair. She loved his dog. Usually, they talked at the park. One day, he pointed to his house across the street and said, "Come over." She did. She felt so grown up.
She remembered him showing her the baby in the crib. He said his wife was at work. He would tell her he needed help with the baby. The baby reminded her of her little sister. He said the dog was sick. Could she tell him what was wrong with the beautiful puppy? He beckons from the door.
She's proud of it. She used it a hundred times. The detailed lettering, the perfect match. She got the supplies from an art store. He says, "Wait, don't put that away. I have to put it under the black light." She hears the words, "I'm calling the police, it's fake." She is crying, "No, I'm dating a cop. I'm eighteen. Please."
Secrets. Or not?