“Look, Stevie. I gotta go. We’ve been told to evacuate, and it’s raining pretty heavy.”

“You going to be okay, Rae? I can send you cash.”

Rae looked up to her ceiling. She wondered how high the water would get. She wouldn’t be alone; there would be plenty of locals at the evacuation center. She rubbed her hand across her forehead.

“I don’t need your money, Stevie.” She bent down to pick up her back pack. “I’ll be fine.”

Rae spent two weeks at the evacuation center. She knew the people. She’d been part of the community for seven years helping out at the wildlife rescue, working in the local cafe.

Stevie rang. She didn’t want to hear her brother offer her money again. They both remembered the time all those years ago when she took money from him. And what she’d done with it, done to herself. “No, Stevie, I can’t move back yet. It needs some work. It’s not too bad though. I’ll be fine. Don’t worry.” I’ll never take another cent from you. Never make bad choices, hang out with the wrong people. Never disappoint you again, Stevie. The words were loud in her brain, just not out loud.

Rae worked on her house, but she did need help. The water stain was at least two feet up the walls. Drying out she supposed, everything inside the walls and out drying out. Like she had years ago sitting on the steps of a homeless shelter. She sat on the front steps of her home, leaning her head into her hands, elbows digging into her knees. Don’t cry, don’t cry.

A truck pulled up. Rae heard the doors bang and brushed the moisture from her cheeks. Her heart jumped looking at Stevie standing in front of her. “I figured you needed hands, not money. I brought my mates. We’ll transform the house for you so it won’t look like a flood zone. Make it even better than it was if you like.” She read his hopeful eyes. Maybe the brother sister relationship, too. Maybe make it better.

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    6 months ago

    When a disaster brings a brother-sister relationship to a crisis, the transformation is both creative and healing. An insightful portrait of family roles and the possibility for change. 

    Christer Norrlof
    Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
    6 months ago

    A nice story, Lisa, with a parallel transformation of a house and a sibling relationship. Both of them have a good heart and a willingness to help out where there is a need.
    It took me a couple of readings before I understood that they were not sharing the house as it seemed to me while reading their initial conversation.

    Carrie OLeary
    Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
    6 months ago

    Welcome to Voice.club, Lisa. I found your story very touching, the parallels between her own historic drying out and needing to dry out her house were tackled sensitively. Her shame about previously wasting money borrowed from her brother was palpable. That he understood her predicament at the end of your story was very heartwarming. Nicely done.

    Margarida Brei
    Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
    6 months ago

    Welcome, welcome to Voice.Club, Lisa. I love how you interweave/compare the relationship between a sister and her brother with conservation and her house renovation. So glad that the brother finally understood that what his sister needed most was hands-on help.

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    6 months ago

    A warm welcome to voice club, Lisa. Your story is very moving and touching. And this phrase touches my inner being, “I figured you needed hands, not money. ….” Not all times a money can fix or buy everything, but a heart can do together with helping hands. Well done. Keep on writing.

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    Reply to  Lisa Dykes
    5 months ago

    You’re welcome, Lisa.

    Thompson Emate
    Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
    6 months ago

    A lovely story, Lisa. Well done.

    6 months ago

    Hello Lisa, and welcome to Voice Club. First let me say how much I love your avatar! A stack of books, a pair of glasses, all in beautiful colors. I especially like the bookmarks hanging out of two books. You must be an avid reader as well as a very talented writer. This story is so well written. The message is lovely, and your use of intertwining meanings is special. I hope… Read more »

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