Sissi and Me

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A story of sibling ribaldry

© 2017 by Don José Alondra

All rights reserved. No portion of this story may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning or otherwise—save in short quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the express permission of the author.

All characters engaged in sexual activity are 18 years of age or older.

This story is based upon real people and real events.

I suppose I have always been in love with her.

My older half-sister, Elisabeth, is my goddess, and I adore her more than I can possibly express. My very earliest memories are of her: Sissi smiling in the sun, laughing with me; her gamely trying to help wash my hair, the two of us splashing about the tub as toddlers; Sissi and I curled to-gether like kittens, fast asleep on the built-in bench beneath the picture window.

Westermarck be damned. Growing up in such close proximity has not produced in us the famous Finn’s fabled effect he described so well. Oh, it may have served to slow things down until we were older, mature enough to know bloody well what we were doing, I suppose. But only just. There were most unexpected precipitating factors that would conspire to throw us happily into each other’s arms at last. And thereby hangs a tale.

My name is Franz Josef von Eberstein, and Elisabeth von Eberstein is my sister. We are respectively 18 and 19 years of age. We are German, though we were born in the States, and English is our first language. We reflexively pronounce our surname correctly as AY-ber-shtine, and we never Anglicise it. And yes, our father, Hans von Eberstein, really did name us after the penultimate Austrian kaiser and his lovely wife. Just as the kaiserin was called, my sweet sister is known to everyone as Sissi, though I sometimes call her Liesl as well. She calls me Joey or, if she feels playful or is teasing me affectionately, Josey. Our father calls me Sepp.

Sissi’s mother was actually Welsh, and she worked in the London financial district, which is where she met our father. My mother was from the little Bavarian spa town of Bad Griesbach on the Austrian border, and she taught at the university in Heidelberg.

From her, I inherited my mop of blond hair, piercing blue eyes and angular features. For most of my teens, I was very thin, weighing in at less than 120 pounds dripping wet, due in part to a passionate penchant for running and cycling. With my lanky frame, just under six feet tall, my sister thought for some years that I strongly resembled David Bowie, circa 1979 and his “Look Back in Anger” period. She would kid me that it was me, not Bowie, in the video! (Like many young people these days, we despise modern “music” and prefer the real music of one or even two generations ago.)

But recently, in my 17th year, I undertook a bit of weight training. And with a doctor’s dietary advice, I managed to get up to about 150 pounds—-more muscular now but still trim. I think I like this look better.

As for Sissi, she is more gorgeous than ever I could possibly describe. Perhaps because she is my half-sister and thus genetically more like a cousin, we are as different physically as night and day. She is five-two and perhaps between 130 and 140 pounds. As no one could fail to notice, she is also very busty and curvy in all the right places. She looks very Welsh, like her mother, and she is possessed of the most beautiful brown eyes that ever I’ve seen. Her smile dazzles; her teeth are perfect and gleaming white.

And her hair is positively mediaeval, being nearly as long as she is tall. It is a deep brown in its lustrous colour, thick and more or less straightish to somewhat wavy (depending on the weather), and it plummets to her dainty feet in a cascading wave. She resembles no one so much as a combination of a young Crystal Gayle and someone famous called Lorna Morgan, apparently from Wales, according to an acquaintance that made the observation to me at a soirée once. I don’t know who Miss Morgan is. But if she resembles my sexy sister, she must be truly special.

Dad is a prominent businessman, with many responsibilities scattered throughout German-speaking Europe and here in America, including a German company here in North Carolina. We grew up on Dad’s mountainous, heavily forested estate near Asheville, not far from the Biltmore House. I can’t say that our house and land rival that magnificent palace down the road, of course. But Dad is from Gernsbach, and he designed our home himself. As an in-joke, he named the mansion and estate Triebschen, after the district of Luzern where Wagner’s famed three-storey villa is now a museum. Our home rather resembles a smaller version of some of the castles in Dad’s native Black Forest. It’s surrounded by thick woods, and it features a donjon with turrets and that distinctively Germanic half-timbered ankara escort style on both storeys. There is a cosy library and study and an excellent wine cellar (more on that later). There is a small lake, full of fish, and it’s completed by a very nice pier that Dad had built some years ago.

It’s a marvellous place, where any kid would be happy and never bored. Sissi and I spent countless hours and indeed years running through and playing in those woods, playing hide-and-seek all over the house and occasionally playfully torturing the maid with our antics. In short, the place was our glorified playpen, truly a paradise.

It still is.

Dad is an older man, though he maintains a driven, dogged energy, and by virtue of his work, we don’t see much of him. He has amply provided for us, and he wants what is best for us. And we know he loves us. But yes, he is distant, and I’m certain he still carries the pain of losing two young wives—-Sissi’s to a drunken driver; mine to cancer—-close to his heart.

It was a cruel fate for our father and us, losing them both within several short years of each other, to the result that my sister and I both grew up motherless. We have no memories of them at all. Instead, it was always just the two of us: me and Sissi, Sissi and me; we two and a string of nannies, nurses and governesses over the years. We did everything to-gether, and we were rarely apart. And almost like twins, we didn’t like it on the brief occasions when we were apart.

Even now, I can close my eyes and easily transport myself back to our early childhood, so many years ago.

“What would you like to play, Joey?”

“Anything you’d like to play, Sissi.”

Her big, brown eyes would shine back at my own blue ones.

“I love you, little brother.”

“I love you, too, big Sis!”

She would embrace me and kiss me upon the cheek, and I would reciprocate. It was as natural as breathing, for us, and it never occurred to us that so many siblings fought or even hated each other, however briefly. I do not remember a time that we ever fought about anything.

“When I grow up,” I would proclaim in all childlike innocence, “I’m going to marry Sissi!”

The maids, upon hearing this, would smile indulgently, knowing this to be a childhood folly. They thought it was cute.

But for me, certainly years later, it was not a childish wish at all. It was a thing I meant with all my heart.

I didn’t always tower over her, of course. Whilst I may be the better part of a foot taller than she is now, so often, when we were little, it was Sissi who was bigger than I. And so, she affectionately called me “little brother” or “little boy,” and I called her “big Sis” of simply “Sissi,” with its double meaning. But I think perhaps I liked it best when she just said my name. With others, of course, it meant nothing. But from Sissi’s sweet lips, it was positively an incantation.


She had but to whisper my name. She could say it so softly, so prettily. When we were small, she could summon me to look at a butterfly or a tadpole, or when we were older, to ride through the woods astride Siegmund and Sieglinde, the two retired racehorses Dad adopted.

Obviously I cannot speak for my sister in this, of course: but perhaps I imprinted on a maid, a governess or a tutoress, seeing them all, at one time or another, as surrogate mothers. Sissi and I were home-schooled, and we owe so very much to these dedicated women. But maybe my familiarity with them kept me from being attracted to them, even later as an adolescent. We saw few children our own age, but we didn’t care. You can’t miss what you don’t know. And when you have a built-in best friend, who needs them?

No, the Westermarck effect was not very effective for us, as it turned out. Indeed, we were impervious. You’d think we might have been too familiar with each other, Sissi and I. But we didn’t believe such a thing was possible. We were more than brother and sister; we were friends—-pals, buddies. We had the agape love down pat.

Little did I dream it would ever grow into more—-so much more.


But the idyll of childhood didn’t last for ever. Once we were inseparable. But soon we would be parted and for painfully long.

I can remember Sissi teaching me how to finger-paint, when we were little. Messy fun! But out of such a seemingly inconsequential beginning, there grew a love for painting and indeed for all the arts. By the time I was 12, I was quite an accomplished painter, winning awards and exhibiting in Asheville art galleries.

Being home-schooled (our last tutoress was amazing), we had easily leapfrogged over the usual American academic requirements, passed the necessary state tests and were preparing to leave for university by the time early adolescence hit us. I wanted to attend London’s Royal College of Art, the greatest art school in the world, and I was mad-keen on this.

Sissi escort ankara wanted to attend Harvard to study English. We both love language and literature, but I think her love is even deeper than mine. So this course of study and action seemed a natural fit.

But when we received our acceptance notices, the realisation hit us like a load of bricks. This meant we would be headed off for opposite ends of the earth, separated for God only knew how long.

One summer afternoon when I was nearly 13, Sissi and I were in my studio. I had converted a section of Dad’s old greenhouse into a place to paint, and it really worked quite well. There was a sink with a huge basin, where I could wash my hands and dirty brushes. The various flowers and plants were readymade models for my still-life works in water colours, oils or acrylics. And the light that poured in was fantastic. It was ideal.

I was painting Sissi. She was my favourite model, of course. I had painted our various teachers and even the maids in the past, often giving away my creations as Christmas presents. But the paintings of Sissi we framed and hung in our bedrooms. These images were ours and ours alone. Ours was a private world, and no one on earth could enter it.

For long years, we’d finished each other’s sentences. We spoke something like the private language of twins, often a combination of English and German. Sometimes we even thought the same thoughts, at the same time. Others would have thought it spooky. But to us, it was simply natural. It was who we were.

It is who we are.

Sissi smiled sweetly at me and was the soul of patience as I worked upon the canvas with furious strokes. She wore a modest blouse and a peasant skirt (she never wore trousers). She sat upon her stool and seemed not to weary at all.

“You sure you wouldn’t prefer the chair?” I asked, my brush fairly flying in my fingers.

“No. This is fine, little brother.”

At 14, she was physically a grown woman. I would soon be 13, and I had begun to notice that my sister’s beauty was something more than a merely aesthetically pleasing subject for a painting. Sissi was causing feelings to stir within me, sensations unfamiliar in more ways than one. I compared it, perhaps blasphemously, to Saul on the road to Damascus, knocked from his horse by his encounter with God. That was the only thing to which I could really liken it. My sister was not merely beautiful. She was empirically, easily demonstrably and without the shadow of any doubt the most beautiful woman on the broad face of the earth.

I had studied Bouguereau very carefully. The Impressionists were second nature to me. I knew Draper and Waterhouse. I even knew the movie stars of the good, old days, from the 1950’s to the ’80’s. But no further; I hated modern films and shared my father’s assessment of the modern world: “Always remember, my boy, nothing real has happened since 1989.”

But Sissi surpassed them all.

I was labouring over her hair, trying to ensure that I caught the light just right as it fell upon her five-foot mane. Painting Sissi’s hair was always a highlight in capturing her beautiful image. And her complexion—-not too fair, not too tan and always bereft of blemishes—-was simply flawless.

“Sis,” I whispered in awe, “you’re perfect.”

I placed my brush upon the easel and stood up.

“And you’re perfectly sweet, little boy,” she replied, standing as well and stretching her arms over her head.

Our tutoress had recently introduced us to Dad’s wine cellar (“You’re German,” she said sensibly, “so none of that silly, unrealistic, wait-till-you’re-21 nonsense for you!”). Really is some excellent stuff down there. And sitting now before us on my work table was an opened bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, accompanied by two lovely glasses of Austrian crystal. I washed my hands thoroughly, drying them on a plush towel on a nearby rack. I then spritzed myself with a bit of German cologne to mitigate the smell of paint, before finally pouring two generous glasses of wine.

“Lovely fragrance,” said Sissi, smiling and closing her eyes for a second. “Dad pick that up for you in Munich?”

“Yes,” I replied, handing her a glass. “Glad you like it. Here’s to you, Sis. Zum Wohl.”

“Back atcha, Rembrandt.”

We gazed into each other’s eyes. Something unspoken passed between us, as it seemed to me. I reached down and brought her soft, delicate hand to my lips. As I did so, revelling in the glorious scent of her own delicious perfume, my eyes closed involuntarily, and I frowned slightly, betraying perhaps the true depth of my feeling. Sissi surely knew, for she could always read my thoughts.

“You are the perfect model, Mme Monet,” I said, smiling.

She laughed lightly at my joking reference that nevertheless told the truth.

“Let me see,” she said, her arm round my waist as she turned to look at my still-wet work. “Oh! Oh, Joey! It’s wonderful. ankara escort bayan This is surely your best work yet. Oh, little brother, you’ve outdone yourself! Thank you. Thank you so much. This—-this is beautiful.”

And there was that word again: beautiful. When it comes to my beloved sister, it’s a word that cannot be used enough.

She kissed my cheek tenderly, and I blushed. I thanked her for the compliment and downed two large gulps of the Cabernet, draining half the glass. The wine of late had become something of a solace. It helped to somewhat, however temporarily, quench the growing flames of an awesome ardour, a fire I feared was wrong. It helped keep at bay a desire that could not, should not be expressed. It helped me live with the realisation…

That I was in love—-falling hard, head over heels in love—-with my sister.


On my 13th birthday that September, my bags were packed into a taxi. Soon I would be at the aeroport in Charlotte, flying to London.

Tears stained our eyes as we said our goodbyes. Sissi was due to leave for Harvard the next day. She looked up at me, a tremble in her voice.

“Whatever shall I do without you, little boy?”

I smiled through my tears, brushing them away with the back of my hand.

“You’ll be fine. Just fine. But I won’t! What am I to do without you, Sis?”

“E-mail. Air mail. I shall require a stack of your letters every week. And your letters read like poetry, Joey. And there’s always the ‘phone, and of course there’s Skype. It’ll be—-it’ll be as if we’re not even apart!”

“Yes. Of course. You’re right. You’re always right, Sis.”

She reached up and flung her arms round me. I returned her embrace, and we held each other tight for a long moment that felt like an eternity. At last we kissed each other’s cheeks, our love still pure and chaste.

She whispered in my ear:

“I’m as close as the next ‘phone call, Josey, my love.”

“Yes. I know, Liesl, meine Schwester und Liebchen. And your ‘phone will be ringing off the hook, and I’ll melt your computer with Skype chatting!”

“Master Josef! Master Josef!”

It was Marthe, our old German maid. She was running down the steps, trailing a scarf behind her. I smiled at her.

“Marthe, my dear! Have I forgotten something?”

“You need zis scarf,” she said, frowning slightly. “I know. Is varm now, nicht wahr? But in England, soon comes de cold, und you vill need zis.”

She reached up to me and hung the thing round my neck. It was multi-coloured and perhaps 12 feet long, a wraparound muffler, very like the one Tom Baker used as “Dr Who.”

“Danke schön, Liebling,” I told her, my arm round her back, and then casting a look at Sissi, I added, “Take care of my helpless sister, won’t you?”

“Ja, natürlich,” the old woman replied, her grey eyes disappearing into the wrinkles of her craggy, weathered face. “I love both you kinder!”

Sissi reached out, flung her arms tight round me and whispered:

“Don’t go. Stay with me.”

I smiled at her, trying to be strong.

“I love you, Sissi,” I whispered softly in her ear.

“I love you more,” she replied, her voice still hushed and delicate.

I felt her trembling as she wept, her little body, petite but already long voluptuous, shaking in my arms. For a moment, I didn’t want to leave; I wanted only to remain like that, my sister and me both frozen like statues in an eternal embrace.

But in another moment, I was waving goodbye to Sissi and Marthe, gazing at them from the taxi’s rear window. Soon I would be flying over the Atlantic, on the way to my future.

I had no idea just how my life was about to change.


Over the next five years, I saw Sissi in person only thrice.

Our lives now were simply headed in completely different directions. The trajectories of education, new experiences and new friends took us into dizzyingly rapid changes, to which I suppose we adapted well enough. We kept in touch as best we could, but living half a world away from each other didn’t help.

Twice she came to London, as of course she had never been there. Once I came to Cambridge, Mass., and she enjoyed showing me Harvard. And on all three occasions, Dad was able to join us as well. Shopping, dinners and of course all the touristic stuff were very nice; all fun. Our reunions were short and sweet, and it was always so good to catch up. But we never seemed to have enough time.

It was just rotten, bloody luck. Our schedules never seemed to work out properly. Sissi and I were now seeing more people than ever we had before in our lives. There were new professors, new demands, new goals—-new lives. It was hard, and there were so many challenges. Oh, yes, we e-mailed each other every day. We wrote real letters, delivered by air mail. Sissi’s penmanship was positively calligraphic, and I returned the favour by including sketches of London life, sometimes by themselves, sometimes in the margins of my letters; sometimes I would simply enclose a large drawing and write a brief note at the bottom. We talked on the telephone on a regular basis, and Skype was always especially nice.

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