Chapter 5

My parents, Iris and Rain, or “The Parents” as they later became known, loved the wealthy, carefree lifestyle that only piles of money can buy.   Apparently, “The Great Gatsby” had made a big impression on both of them when they were young and…well…impressionable.

Lucky for them, many dazzling but solid investments made by Rain’s father and grandfather, assured The Parents they would never, ever have to work…but must always give generously to worthy charities…which they did quite happily.

They loved me and my sister very much.  There was never any doubt about that and of course, we adored them.

However, they just didn’t like the idea of ‘parenting’…and unfortunately did not quite realize that until about 5 hours after Karlie was born.

Grandma Sylvia moved in before the next sunset and when I accidentally (go figure) appeared two years later…well…no worries.

Grandma  Sylvia drank red wine during the week and whiskey sours on the weekends.  She was also fond of those little sweet-smelling cigars and Maria Callas.

She was beyond brilliant, spoke French, Spanish and Chinese and most importantly loved Karlie and me to the moon and back.  She took pretty good care of The Parents as well.

Sadly, she died when I was thirteen.

The Parents could not find one other adult relative they could trust or entice with large sums of money to become a “foster” parent to us, so they rashly decided “what the hell, let’s give it a go.”

“What could go wrong?” they told us confidently.

What indeed.