My Sister Didn’t Recognize Me


At age 22, during my first year out of college, I was backpacking around the United States. It wasn’t glamorous. I’d spend my nights in hostel bunks or pitch my tent next to the highway. Then one day I got a call from my dad.

“Listen, son. Just let me get this out, okay? Your sister Shelly and her husband have been in a really bad car accident, and she’s in the hospital.”

“Jesus Christ,” I swore. Then I realized what he hadn’t mentioned. “You said Shelly’s in the hospital. What about Greg then?”

“Greg…didn’t make it there,” my dad said, on the verge of tears.

“So how’s Shelly doing?” I asked.

“I don’t know. We’re on our way there right now, but it’s a four hour drive. Last we heard, she wasn’t conscious.”

“Oh my god,” I said. I started to feel panicky. My brother in law was already dead. My sister was in the hospital unconscious, maybe headed the same way. I needed to be there for her, as soon as possible, if there was even still time.

After that conversation, I sprung for a last minute flight. When I got there, it was disturbing to see Shelly hooked up to a respirator, an IV, the works. She was scratched up from the accident, but they said the worst was how her head had gotten bounced around. She had some brain swelling. She wasn’t about to die, but they weren’t sure when or if she’d be conscious again.

As the days turned into weeks, I kept going to the hospital every day, hoping for positive signs. Shelly was two years older than me. Growing up, we’d been pretty close, but it had been at least a decade since we really hung out. Since we each became attached to other members of the opposite sex. I was staying at Shelly and Greg’s place, to make sure it didn’t fall apart and to have somewhere to crash.

Greg’s family went ahead and buried him. They wanted him to have a traditional burial, so they couldn’t wait for Shelly to get discharged from the hospital, assuming she ever would be. It was frustrating and saddening, but we understood.

Eventually Shelly came back to us, but she was still in rough shape. She had a lot of head trauma to recover from. When she first woke up, her vision was not so good, and she couldn’t handle bright light. We also soon found that she was having some memory trouble. Sometimes when our parents or I would walk into the hospital room, she’d recognize us, and sometimes she wouldn’t. Often she’d wake up wondering where she was, why she was in the hospital. The nurses didn’t mince words reminding her. She got the news of Greg’s death so many times, and mourned him over and over, it was painful to watch.

By the time they sent her home, spending so long in a hospital bed had also done a number on her. Between her trouble getting around and her memory problems, she needed someone around, and I didn’t have anything going on, so I decided to stick around and help out. I found that I no longer had any appetite for idly backpacking around, in light of what had happened. The doctor gave me Shelly’s prescriptions to get filled, since he worried she would forget.

No one had done anything with Greg’s belongings yet, so their home looked just like it had when they’d both been living there. Or so I assumed. I actually hadn’t seen Shelly much in the years before the accident. Shelly still wasn’t in a state to do anything about that sort of thing. But it wasn’t as though the house was cluttered either; Greg and Shelly had kept the place very tidy and minimalist.

The first few weeks involved a lot of helping Shelly up, supporting her as she moved around her house. It was more contact than we’d had in years, but I thought nothing of it. She was in rough shape still, and she needed my help. Our parents were around a lot too at first, but they had jobs to get back to. They saw that I was sticking around for the long haul, and that I could handle things fine on my own. Though they sent me checks so that Shelly and I wouldn’t have to work for a little while, while I was helping her recover.

Soon with the help of PT, Shelly was back on her feet and stable. But her memory problems were taking longer to recover, and it wasn’t always clear whether she was getting better or worse.

One night, I think she must have woken up alone in the middle of the night, and not known why. I was staying in the guest room, and from down the fall I heard her calling, “Greg? Greg?” I got up and went after her, as she headed downstairs, checking the living room, the kitchen, the garage. I caught up with her as she was headed out the front door in a bathrobe. I don’t know where she would have gone from there, if I hadn’t caught up and managed to stop her. I imagined her wandering around the neighborhood, untethered from reality.

“Shelly! Wait,” I said.

She turned around and looked at me. Outside in the dark, it was hard to see. “Greg?” she asked.

“No, it’s me, James. Please, Shelly, come back inside,” I said. When we got back inside, I looked at the clock. There wasn’t really şişli grup yapan escort enough time to go back to sleep. “I’m going to make some tea, since I guess I’m starting the day early.”

She followed me, but asked, “James, where’s Greg?”

As I went to the kitchen and made tea, I started to explain to her again, what had happened. She broke into fresh tears, and I held her as she cried. She clung to my shoulder, her arms around my neck, and her chest rose and fell with her sobs.

After that night, I moved the twin bed from the guest room into the master bedroom where she slept, so that if she woke up feeling disoriented and alone, she’d find me right there. The first time I slept in the room with her, she woke up the next morning and asked me why I was there, why the guest bed was in the room. I had to explain about Greg all over again. That would happen from time to time. But some days she seemed to just roll with it unquestioningly, or maybe she remembered why I was there, from the day before. It was hard to tell, and I figured out pretty quickly that asking if she remembered things, or pointing out what she’d forgotten, could get really frustrating for her.

I took her to her followup visits with her physician. On one such visit, they gave her a full physical, and then invited me into the room with her and the doctor.

“So! I wanted your brother to join us while we discuss your future treatment. That way, you don’t have to remember it all,” he said. “Your physical recovery is going very, very well so far. I need you to stick with that physical therapy, both the visits and the home exercises. Can you handle that?”

Shelly nodded, and I chimed in, “Yeah, I’ll make sure of it.”

“And then I have updated prescriptions here. We’re going to scale back one of the meds to once a day, and I’m making a slight change to the formulation of another one.”

“I can take those,” I offered. He handed me the slips.

The doctor went on, “Then let’s set up another appointment for next month. Any questions?”

I asked, “Was there anything Shelly was on before the accident, that she needs to start up again?”

“I would like to know that too,” Shelly said.

The doctor looked through his chart. “Let’s see here. Last time you were in my office before the crash, you…” The doctor trailed off, and didn’t make eye contact with us. “You had a clean bill of health, and at your request we cancelled your Estrostep prescription. So no active medications, other than the occasional over the counter headache relief, allergy relief, that kind of thing.”

“What about the memory loss?” I asked. “Is there anything we should be doing?”

“No, you’re doing everything you can. She’s living in a familiar environment, with a regular routine. That’s the best you can do. Right now we just need to give it time.”

Some nights when Shelly woke up alone in the dark, she wouldn’t go looking for Greg. I was taking a while to fall asleep, when I started to hear her legs rustle in the sheets, her short choking, gasping breaths, the viscous squelch of her fingers dipping into her juices. I had never heard her do this before, and I didn’t want to hear it, because it was my sister, but there was no mistaking it. I turned over in the guest bed, trying to bury my head in the pillow, trying to unhear my sister masturbating. I guess that made enough noise to clue her in that she wasn’t alone. She stopped, leaving it dead silent.

“Sorry,” she said softly.

“No problem. Go to sleep, sis,” I said back. I heard her roll over in her queen bed, exhaling all the breath she’d been holding inside. I didn’t find it any easier to go to sleep after that. I felt guilty for interrupting her self-pleasure. I realized it was a good sign that Shelly was feeling healthy enough to have that kind of desire again. And pleasuring herself was completely normal and natural, and she deserved to feel good. But as her brother, I knew it’s not the kind of thing I should be listening to her do.

The next morning when she came down to breakfast, there was no awkwardness from her at all. At least it seemed like she had already completely forgotten the night before. That would be pretty normal for her, and under the circumstances, I figured it was for the best.

Sometimes when she would get up in the morning and find me making coffee, she would come up and give me a kiss on the cheek, and say, “Good morning, honey.” The first time this happened, I was confused and didn’t know what to make of it, until she started asking about my work, and I figured out that she was mistaking me for Greg. Their house was so sparse and minimal. The few pictures they had hung on the walls were all abstract art. Nothing so mundane as a photo of the two of them together. I knew Greg a bit, and I could easily see him thinking it would be pointless to decorate the place with a picture of themselves.

So anyway, I got in şişli masöz escort the habit of preemptively greeting Shelly, “Morning, sis.” Sometimes that would lead to questions from her, and I’d have to tell her about the accident all over again. Those weren’t fun days. Some days she’d seem to just roll with the new status quo. Sometimes she’d act like I was just staying over, and she’d tell me Greg must have snuck out early to hit the gym before work.

The next time Shelly started fingering herself in the middle of the night, I remembered how awkward it had been when I had interrupted her, even if she didn’t remember. And I decided to just stay still, stay quiet, and let her do what she needed to do. Though it made me wonder if this meant Greg had often left my sister alone in bed, whether it was normal for her to be left to her own devices.

Again I heard the sticky fluid sound of her touching herself, and the moans behind each shallow breath, growing more urgent over time. As she neared climax, she rustled in the sheets, her whole body moving in unison, and that sound stopped abruptly as she went rigid, a long strangled moan coming from her bitten lip as she came.

In the perfect quiet of that room, I could hear it all, entirely too clearly. Then I heard her body go slack, her arched back falling back to the surface of the bed as the wind went out of her. It wasn’t long until her breath softened, and I could tell she had returned to sleep. The room felt warmer than before, and I could faintly smell her arousal, however much I wanted not to.

Once I was sure she was asleep again, I got up and went to the bathroom. I waited patiently to lose a hard-on that I knew I shouldn’t have, so that I could take a piss before I went back to sleep. Eventually I gave in and jacked off as quickly as I could. I told myself it was just to remove that pressure in my rod and in my balls, that I wasn’t jacking off to the performance I’d just heard and couldn’t stop thinking about.

The truth is, I wasn’t getting my rocks off much either, and it was starting to get to me. It would have been so much easier if I could’ve had a girlfriend. But that would’ve been complicated. I wasn’t sure how Shelly would react if I brought someone around. I also still didn’t want to leave her alone for too long.

For her part, Shelly wasn’t done mourning her husband yet. I wasn’t sure how she ever would be. Some days she didn’t even realize he was dead, she thought he had to be on a business trip or something. Besides, what kind of relationship could she have with anyone, if she forgot who he was all the time? Yes, I realize there’s a movie about that, but in reality, I just couldn’t imagine it working out.

This is selfish to say, but it didn’t help that Shelly’s recovery was going really well. She was building her muscle mass back up, getting fit, and starting to fill in after getting really unhealthily thin during her hospital stay. She really threw herself into her exercises. It was starting to show, and I was witnessing her progress all the time.

The months got colder, and so did the bedroom of that stark, minimalist house. One night, I came out of a deep, comfortable sleep, and noticed that Shelly was in the little twin guest bed with me, pressing herself against my back. We hadn’t cuddled like that since we were young, and it was nice. Though I wasn’t sure if she had remembered who I was, when she slipped under the covers with me. I didn’t want to kick her out, so I just went back to sleep.

I awoke to the feeling of her kissing my neck, up near my ear. It sent a shiver down my spine that I knew was wrong. I rolled over on my back, which nearly forced her out of the little bed.

“Shelly?” I said, hoping that, along with seeing my face and hearing my voice, would be enough to bring her back to reality without too much cognitive dissonance.

“Hey there,” she said with a flirty smile as she leaned over to kiss me.

In that instant, I considered just going along with whatever she thought the situation was. But I felt wrong for even letting the idea occur to me, and pulled my face away from hers at the last second.

“Just like when we were little, isn’t it, sis?” I said. I saw comprehension dawning on her face. Before the moment could get any more awkward, I extricated myself from the bed, and from Shelly’s embrace. “I should get started on breakfast.”

Shelly came downstairs fully dressed, and grabbed a cup of coffee. “Sorry about that,” she said. “I…uh…mistook you for someone else for a minute.”

“Yeah, I figured,” I said, and we laughed it off. Though the rest of that day, she seemed cozier, maybe even flirtier with me. Or maybe I was reading into it. She’d flash me a smile, or put an arm around me. It was like, even after finding out I was her brother, it didn’t entirely negate whatever she’d been physically feeling before she found out.

She didn’t come cuddle with me şişli otele gelen escort every night. Sometimes when she did, I wouldn’t even notice, and it’d be innocent enough. Just like old times, I’d tell myself.

But one time she was pressing herself against my back in the dark, and reached a hand around to my front, slipping under the waistband of my boxers. I came the rest of the way to consciousness when she lustfully bit at the flesh of my shoulder.

“Shelly, it’s me, James,” I said, before things could go any further.

“Oh god,” she exclaimed, suddenly ashamed.

“It’s alright, sis. Just go back to bed, and it’ll all be fine in the morning,” I assured her. She did, and that was half true. She had no idea that she’d been fondling her brother’s cock the previous night. But I was stuck carrying that memory all by myself. It didn’t make it any easier to help her through her exercises. My touch on her body now tainted.

The next night I was up late and wanted to sleep, but it was hard to sleep while I could hear Shelly fingering herself in the other bed. I wondered to myself whether this whole process would be finished any faster if I offered a helping hand. I didn’t, not that night, and I congratulated myself on only thinking about these things, not acting upon them. My self control was slipping, and we were headed towards something bigger and more dangerous.

Another doctor’s appointment, and physically, Shelly was all but done with treatment. The barrage of pills she’d been on at first was down to just one a day.

In one of the bathroom drawers, I came across a pack of pills. I recognized the from the monthly calendar-like layout that this had to be birth control. The brand on it was Estroprep, and I remembered the doc saying Shelly had stopped her prescription of it, a while before the accident. She still had most of that pack of pills left, but they were expired already. Had she and Greg been trying to have a baby? Or at least taking their chances? I hadn’t happened upon a stash of condoms anywhere, just this unfinished pack of pills.

I was getting really weary about telling Shelly about her husband’s death every time she needed to be reminded. Since she was almost recovered from the accident, physically at least, it didn’t naturally come up quite as easily. I started trying to see how long I could go without having to tell her again, without having to upset her again. It was partly a selfish impulse, but it was also out of concern for her.

For instance, one day I just said “Good morning” instead of cueing her in that I’m her brother, which would prompt her to wonder why I was there and Greg wasn’t, which would prompt the unpleasant questions.

“Good morning, honey,” she said, giving me a smile and a peck on the lips. Even though it was based on dishonesty, it was kind of pleasant. Over breakfast, she asked if I had to go to work. At that point, I couldn’t bear to be dishonest with her, so I told her that I’d be taking to see her neurologist. She didn’t need me to refresh her on why she was seeing a neurologist. Maybe the big gaps in her memory made that obvious enough.

On the way back, Shelly said, “Hey, since you aren’t going in to work today, maybe we should try.”

The silence was palpable. She couldn’t really mean what she was implying, could she? I realized she was still assuming I was her husband. And fondling in a pitch black bedroom is one thing. Propositioning me in broad daylight meant that she had to like what she saw, or at least not dislike it. Or maybe she didn’t need to be attracted to someone all that much, so long as he was playing the role of husband. Regardless, the suggestion was also shocking because of her libidinous desire behind it.

I gulped. “Try what, sis?”

She laughed and tried to play it off. “The…uh…ice cream flavor of the day.”

So, naturally, we stopped for ice cream. Because otherwise the conversation would have been about something else that neither of us was ready to admit.

One day, after she mistook me for Greg at breakfast, I “left for work”, which really just meant going out for a walk around the block and trying to figure out what to do next. Do I come clean about the fact that her brother pretended to be her husband? Do I keep going with it?

We had a daily schedule, and Shelly’s daily meds and her first round of exercises happened at 10 AM. It was nearly 10, so I went back inside and slipped back into our routine. She gave me kind of a funny look, tilting her head to the side, but she took her meds, and did her stretches. Like she didn’t know what to make of me.

After lunch, she mentioned, “It’s awfully nice of you to come by and look after me like this.” I guess she’d already forgotten that she mistook me for her husband that morning, or wanted to pretend it didn’t happen, or at least pretend she had forgot. Regardless, now she was acting like I was some kind of personal trainer or something.

I didn’t disabuse her of the notion, even when at her insistence I ended up massaging the muscles of her back and her thighs. I felt bad about deceiving my sister, and I just wanted the day to end, so that tomorrow we could go back to being siblings again, and I wouldn’t have to massage her beautiful thighs that I was trying hard not to admire.

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