I take off my shoes without being asked, this time. I go to the bathroom and wash my hands. When I come out The Sisters are embracing M. They embrace me next. My hands are still wet.
“Come, we have wine,” they say, in unison. M, N and I follow them into the kitchen. We sit. The Sisters hand a bottle of wine to me.
“Can you open it?” They say, again, together. N raises an eyebrow at me. I open the bottle. The Sisters lay out glasses. I fill them. We all drink.
The wine bottle sits empty on the table. “Oh no!” The Sisters say at once. The Bottle begins to glow a bright purple; The Sisters lunge for it at once.
Before they reach it the bottle erupts with a woman’s voice. It is scold-toned and Russian. I understand very little. The Sisters stand back and listen to the bottle. The Sisters respond with the occasional, “Yes,” which I do understand. Eventually the bottle quiets down. The Sisters say “I love you too” in Russian. The bottle returns to its greenish hue and sits, cold and quiet. The Sisters snatch it up and throw it into the garbage.
“What the hell was that?” I exclaim.
The Sisters sigh. “If you leave an empty bottle on the table when guests are over, ghosts can speak through it.”
“Oh.” I look over at M. He nods.
“So who was that?”
“Our Babushka.” They sigh again, heavier.
“What did she want?” I ask The Sisters.
“Making sure we are still getting along.”
“Oh, are you?” Noticing the looks on their faces I add, “Not to be rude.”
The Sisters shrug. “It is not that,” they say. “We cannot help but get along. We used to fight, a lot. Our Babushka got so angry she gave us medicine to fix us. So now, we can only speak when we agree, completely.”
“That’s messed up,” I mutter to N. N tries to nod as he takes down half a glass of wine at once.
“Can you get it fixed?” I ask
The Sisters shake their heads. “Our Babushka died before giving us the medicine to fix it.”
N refills his glass, then mine. He places the bottle on the floor.
“I’m sorry,” I tell The Sisters.
“Don’t be,” they smile, “it was the first time we spoke in years.”