“You are our brother,” Berta said, “and Rene and Claude are your brothers.”
“Come in, come in,” Danni grabbed Charles arm and pulled him up the steps to the house and led him into the kitchen.
Berta followed shoving Charles.
They entered the back door and he was quickly ushered through an enclosed porch and into the kitchen.
“Sit,” Berta said to Charles and pulled out a chair from the table for him. “Danni, make some coffee.”
“Don’t order me around in my house,” Danni said. “I want to look at him. You make the coffee.”
“This is your house,” Berta said
“If you just tell me where the coffee is I can make it,” Charles said.
They chuckled embarrassingly and bumped into one another as they dashed to the cupboard.
“I’ll make it,” Berta said. You’re coffee is always too weak. You call the boys.”.
Danni nervously dialed a wall phone. “Rene, get Claude and come to my house right now. I don’t care if you are taking a crap. Squeeze it off and get her right away and bring Claude with you… I can’t explain, just get here now.”
“No one can talk to the boys like Danni,” Berta said. “She gets results.”
Charles smiled, “But her coffee’s not so good.”
“Right,” Berta said.
Danni hung up. She looked at Charles, her face twisted into tears.
“I could really use the bathroom,” Charles said.
Danni and Berta stood motionless in sort of an admiring gaze with no words spoken, but hearts obviously full of joy.
“A bathroom,” Charles reminded.
Danni shook herself from a trance-like state and pointed, “First door down the hallway.”
Charles returned to the kitchen. “How many brothers and sisters do I have?”
“We are your sisters,” Danni said, “and your two brothers will be coming down the road in a red pickup truck in a couple of minutes.”
“Are our mother and father still living?” Charles said.
“Yes,” Berta smiled eagerly.
“May I sit again,” Charles said.
“Yes,” Danni said. “Are you hungry?”
“No,” Charles said.
“I have plenty of food,” Danni said and rushed to the refrigerator.
“Coffee will be fine,” Charles said.
“It is for you brothers,” Berta said. “They are always hungry.”
“Will it be possible for me to meet my mother and father?” Charles said.
“Oh yes,” Berta said, “but we just can’t walk in on them.”
“Are they frail?” Charles said.
“Frail!” Danni said, “ Papa still fishes and Mama goes with him sometimes.”
“Where, oh where have you been my big brother,” Berta said. “I used to dream of what kind of man you would be, but now here you are and now I know. You are strong and handsome. Do you have children and a wife?”
“I have children,” Charles said.
“Tell us about them, Andre,” Danni said.
“First of all,” Charles said. “I don’t go by the name Andre, it is Charles, Charles Abbot.”
“It is Andre,” Danni said. “From now on that is your name. I don’t care what you are my big brother, Andre!”
“Andre, it is,” Andre said, “and I can’t tell you how proud I am to finally know who I am and what my given name is, Andre Benoit, Clement.”
“The children,” Berta said, “Your children.”
“I have recently found out I have a daughter,” Andre said. “Her name is Lynn.”
Danni interrupted, “Oh my god, a playboy Casanova.”
“No,” Andre said. “It’s a long story.”
“Thank god,” Danni said. “Such news would have put Mama in the grave.”
“And Papa would fall in right after her,” Berta said.
“I have a son, Drake and another daughter, Melissa, who we call Missy,” Andre said.
“And you wife?” Danni said.
“I’m divorced from my only wife,” Andre said.
“We should be careful how we break that to Mama,” Danni said.
“Well she’s in prison,” Andre said.
“Oh, no,” Berta said, “are you a criminal and she took the rap for you?”
Andre smiled. “It’s complicated and I have a very long story tell.”
“If it involves a lot of sex don’t tell Mama,” Berta said.
Danni craned her neck and looked out the kitchen window. “Here come the boys.”