I found out the serious news my parents felt it was time for me and my sister to know. We have a brother. He is six years older than me. Shortly after he was born, his mom moved them to Texas. He was raised there. And, although me and Amanda were clueless that he walked the planet until that fateful February night, he knew full good and well that me and Amanda existed.
So, why did our parents wait so long to tell us about him? Do you remember the girl that I saw at the mall and invited to the Sweetheart Banquet? Do you remember my mom about spewing Pepsi out her nose? That girl's new beau was my brother, Jim.
Jim had older brothers and sisters who had moved back to Michigan. He had recently moved back himself and was staying with one of them - on my mom's mail route. My parents knew that he was recently back. But, they really knew nothing about him. They didn't want to risk our first encounter being a complete surprise to me at the Sweetheart Banquet.
I don't think that Jim and that girl dated more than a couple of times. And I'm not sure if I ever even saw much of her again after that mall encounter. But, her brief appearance into our lives set the wheels in motion for us to become a family at last. My parents found out somehow that he was working at Cones-N-Cues, the local pool hall, where we sometimes hung out. So, my dad gathered up his courage, and his life-long best friend, and headed up there to introduce himself to my brother.
We told the family about it all. Of course, my aunts and uncles knew about me having a brother, but, it was a shocker to my cousins. Especially Richie. See, Richie hung out at the pool hall quite a bit and was friends with lots of the guys that worked there. When he found out that Jim worked there, he said he probably knew him and wanted to know who he was. I remember Richie literally falling off of the couch onto the floor when he found out. My brother, Jim, was Richie's friend, "Tex". Then it all started coming together for Richie. He started thinking about how "Tex's" mannerisms and expressions were so much like my dad's. He said that "Tex" was one of the nicest guys he had ever met and that there couldn't be a mean bone in his body. "Tex" had been to Richie's house. He was actually the ONLY friend of Richie's that I had never met and had never been to our house. Go figure.
So, Dad had met with Jim a couple of times and started to get to know one another. We started finding out more about our brother. My mom said that he even looked just like my Uncle Terry. I found that to be true soon enough...