I stood at the entrance to the house, realizing that it was becoming my time to take over the primary female role. I did not want to take it, I was not ready to line up for the confession and the holy water with the rest of my relatives, but I did not want to dishonor my recently deceased grandmother either.
We were all gathered here for that reason. Suddenly called up from the ends of the earth to arrive here. My two sisters joining my Mother and Father, and little brother in this house of our youth. Other relatives were here as well, but they were in the guest homes on the property. Father, I was told, was staying in Grandmother's house and preparing her estate. It was summer, Father rarely spent time with the family in the summer either. We had to join him in his jaunts around the outdoors, on the property or otherwise, if we wanted to see him. Erykann usually did. I remained home with Mother.
While pondering this position I suddenly found myself thrust into, our old butler, and my good friend, came up. Seeing me surveying the holy water, he said, "Let us have a drink," and disappeared into the back for some unopened wine. When he returned, he toasted, "Here's to always remaining true to ourselves." I replied, "Thank you."
I decided I should look upon the home, the one that Father built for Mother when I was still very young. I stepped in the front door, and surveyed the magnificent Grand Foyer. It was the two stories tall of the house, with a sun light at the top for brightness during the day. The entire house was Maple wood with Cherry highlights, and nowhere was that more incredible than in this room where the narrow beams of Cherry just came out of the moulding to extend towards the ceiling in a display of beautiful geometry. Below and behind these were the windows from the circular staircase, built into the polished maple walls, surrounding the room, and transporting feet to the second floor. I started up one of these, and suddenly realized...
I am not this person. I am gwen. Somehow I am in someone else's body. I remember what she remembers in a sort of way that I would remember stories. But, I can walk up these stairs of polished maple, and it feels so real. This foyer too, had I the money to build what I wanted to build myself, it would look like this. Why am I here? Perhaps I should investigate, let this person I am in the body of (I do not even know her name) carry me forward.
We reached the grand bedroom, and I looked sadly at the joined matresses of Mother and Father. Mother's side was clearly used, Father's not. It has been this way for as long as I can remember now; fleeting memories of happiness between them exist in the deepest of my memories. Back when this house was first built, certainly.
I then go into Kaerynn's room. She follows me by 4 years, but was always darker, more brooding. Born Erykann, Father liked to call her "Erik". He'd wanted a boy, she was not, so he spent many years teaching her to be. When she was older, she asked us all to stop calling her Erykann, but rather she'd figured how to change the letters around to Kaerynn. She would be called that now.
There was a pile of mail in her room, I idly looked at it, and found a letter to me, (in the dreamlike fashion, I knew it was for me, but my name was somehow obscured when I looked directly at it). The next one was for Susan Lynne, our youngest sister (trailing her by another 4 years, she ws still in college trying to make up her mind as to what she wanted to be). I realized she'd just picked up the mail, had not sorted through it. So I started to.
More mail for us, some for her (in both Kaeryn and Erykann forms), then at the bottom a long cartoon of a snowman discussing strange things. This snowman was hanving an identity crisis, near as I could tell. Then I found the letters she was sending off; clearly to one of her golf buddies, about her stay here. See, she was a resort bum, ski instructer by winter season, golf instructer by summer season. We always found this odd, given her dark and brooding nature, but not so odd given her time with Father growing up. Looking at these letters, I sensed that there was more to it. She was keeping her secrets from the Family as well.
That's when I started to wake up. I tried to remain within this dream for longer, but it was slipping away. I could only tell as far as the person I had inhabited had just broken up with the man her family wished her to marry, because she had forsaken the heavy Catholicism of the family. She thought this a big deal, and didn't want to burden the family with it, but given that she was expected (as second oldest female in the direct line) to take over the role of Mother, the one who shares the Wisdom of Mary with the rest of the family, she would have to confess to it soon. I also figured out just before the dream slipped that Kaeryn was returning to Erik... and was the youngest's mother. After his birth, he was adopted by Mother and Father to save the family's face; Kaeryn was already introspective at that point, but turned truly dark and brooding. The father of the child was unknown, but suspected to be.... well, that'd be too terrible to even guess at. Then I was awake.