I used to share a room with my sister when I was younger. That was before we remodeled the house. My sister was three years ahead of me in school, but only two years older than me. My mom always told me because of the birthday cut off she was one of the youngest in her grade and I was one of the oldest in mine, but that doesn’t matter much. When I look at pictures of when we were younger I don’t know how my parents managed to have us pose together in our strawberry sundresses on my Grandpa’s old green couch. Something happened before we reached our teen years that changed everything.
The first memory I have of my sister involve a lock, a dark closet, and a vicious cat named Tigger, that my sister named, who had white and orange soft fur. The closet was in the bedroom we shared together when we were younger. The cat was in the closet with me. And the lock was obviously locked. On the other side of the closet'”safe from the vicious cat was my laughing older sister. I don’t remember how I got out of that closet. I don’t remember if my sister received punishment and I don’t remember what I did to deserve getting locked into that closet. I do, however, have a scar on my right eyelid. It’s a small scar and no one can notice, but I know it’s there because my sister locked me in a closet when I was a kid. I feel like that’s the way I should introduce my sister if anyone asks if I have one. “Yeah, she locked me in a closet when I was young with a cat that attacked me and almost took out my right eye. I have a scar. Do you want to see it?” Then they would proceed to get really close to me, but I’ll flinch because I don’t like people invading my territory.
The gaming years
My sister and I were both extremely into video games, too. This might have been the main turning point in our relationship. My dad would always buy games for us since we were too young to have any real money. One year my dad bought my sister a PlayStation for her birthday, but he said that she would have to share it with me. He was going to buy it for the both of us anyway, but since her birthday was in May and mine was in July, she came first every year. We would share the system though and take turns playing games. Sometimes, but rarely, we’d even play together competition games to see who was better.
My favorite game that my dad bought us was Final Fantasy 8, which came out in 1999 and is impossible to find now for a decent price. Squall Leonhart and Rinoa Heartilly were the main characters of this game. I loved the graphics, although they don’t compare to games now. Each time the Guardian Forces would come out my controller would uncontrollably shake in my hands. Shiva’s entrance was the best, in my opinion; the entire screen would turn into a frozen fantasy for her Diamond Dust attack.
Final Fantasy 8 was all about destiny. Rinoa and Squall originally met each other when they shared a dance together in a ballroom. They never exchanged names though and went their separate ways. Rinoa was the princess of a group called the “Forest Owls” and later, she hired a group of SeeD members to help her with a mission. The leader of the group happened to be Squall. The two of them eventually fell in love. When they did I also fell in love with Final Fantasy 8. I could play Final Fantasy 8 over and over again and never touch another game. She never played it.
One day my sister whacked me over the head with a yellow plastic baseball bat we had to play waffle ball with because I was playing a game when she wanted to. She could have just told me.
My sister was in Science Olympia all throughout her schooling career. She won prizes at the fourth and fifth grade science fairs. I got into a brawl with Pam Guerrero over McDonald’s french-fries so we didn’t get to demonstrate our experiment, which one of our dad’s thought of. I should mention my sister and I are complete opposites about nearly everything. When we were in elementary up until college she was always “smarter” than me. Whatever that meant. My sister would always get A’s in school. I remember I got an F in the first grade on my first ever spelling test. How someone bombs a test with words such as DOOR, CAT, DOG, or LOOK is beyond my comprehension now that I’m in my twenties.
All my teachers would mistakenly call me by my sister’s name. I used to correct them in elementary school. “I’m not my sister,” I’d squeak at them since I was timid. They would apologize and say how much we looked alike. I don’t want to look like my sister. In high school I dyed my hair black so I’d look different. My sister got mad at my mom for letting me dye my hair. Apparently she wanted to color hers.
My family always gossiped about my sister. My uncles and aunts would ask how she was doing in Science Olympia and they’d all be so interested. My sister also had a talent I could not measure up to. She drew all the time before she dropped out of art school. Everyone would always want her to sketch portraits for them since she was so good at it. Family friends wanted her to come over and paint mosaics and murals on their walls. I couldn’t draw.
The only thing I could do better than my sister was sports. My dad played a lot of basketball when he was younger, but he was the shortest kid in his grade so he wasn’t taken very seriously. I wanted my dad to take me seriously in something if school wasn’t my thing. In the fourth grade I joined a basketball camp so I could learn how to play and impress my dad someday. I sucked. I also joined a volleyball camp though since that’s what everyone else was doing. I was pretty good at volleyball. I liked spiking the ball. I once hit Mrs. Core, our instructor, in the face. I was satisfied. My dad wasn’t.
Once I got to middle school I joined every sport I could fit into my schedule. I was running cross-country in the fall and cheerleading. In the winter I played basketball even though I sat on the cold, wooden bench the majority of games. In the spring I ran track. My sister tried to join track once and couldn’t even jog an 800. I was jogging four miles a day in middle school, an 800 was nothing. That was the one thing I was better than my sister at.
When I was a freshman in high school my sister was a senior. She told all of her older 17-18 year old friends to harass me. I had older people at school shoving me in the busy hallways. People I didn’t even know would make jokes about me being a lesbian or a “poser.” I wondered what a poser was. I once had a girl named Melanie Johnson stalk me at school and tell me that she wanted to tear my throat out and stomp on it in the hall way. That was lovely considering I never talked to Melanie Johnson before in my life or even knew who she was at the time.
My sister also turned my best friend, Stacina Walter, against me. We were friends since elementary school because we were the only two girls on the chess team and were both into the same activities. Stacina came over one day to see me, or I thought, but instead went to my sister’s room and lingered there the entire day. I didn’t know what I did wrong. After a few months Staci started only hanging out with my sister and I was too embarrassed to ask why. Stacina later went to a different high school and we talked about getting together a few times and catching up. We never did. Stacina goes to the same university now as me, but every time I see her I stare at the ground because of what my sister did.
After my sister graduated high school things got better for me. I didn’t join anymore sports. I’m not sure why I didn’t. I was good enough. Instead, I got involved with the student government and a program called Natural Helpers. My senior year of high school I was president of our entire class. My teachers still commented on my sister, but not as much. Probably because she was in mostly honors classes. Somehow I always ended up in the classes that the school looked down upon even though I was getting decent grades.
After high school my sister went to an art school in Chicago to pursue her ambitions'”we thought'”of working for Disney. Years later she revealed to my mom that my grandma and dad forced her to go there. I don’t know how someone can be forced to get in a car and be driven to a train station everyday to go to school in Chicago. My sister dropped out after a year or two and went to Purdue University Calumet, which is where I am now. Now when my family got together for holidays and birthdays they didn’t talk about how successful my sister will be one day. They would talk in concern about what my sister is going to do with her life.
Purdue University Calumet
When I graduated from high school my sister was still at Purdue. I didn’t really want to go to college since I wasn’t naturally talented like my sister. I had to put in a lot of effort to just get B’s in school. I applied to Purdue since I didn’t know what else to do and got accepted. I also got a scholarship that paid for my tuition completely. The only expense my family had to pay for was my books for the first few semesters. My sister already wasted over a hundred thousand dollars of my parent’s money in tuition and expenses in Chicago. They had to drive her everyday to and from the train station. They had to pay for her ticket everyday to and from Chicago. My sister never got her license and still doesn’t know how to drive. I didn’t want to put more stress on my parents since I saw what my sister did to them already. I got my license before I graduated high school and was lucky to get a scholarship.
At Purdue I had to drive my sister everyday to school even when I didn’t have class. She was always running late in the morning and I had an eight o-clock class. She didn’t realize that we had to cross three train tracks to get to school, if we got caught once I would be late. One morning when the roads were really slick from rain and ice she made a comment about my driving. “Are you going to go through any more red lights on the way to school?” she asked me.
I felt the blood rush to my head. “Do you want to die? I can slam on my brakes and we’ll go sliding into a tree.”
“No. Maybe you should learn how to drive.” I should learn how to drive? She didn’t even have her license! Her little sister was giving her a ride to school.
“Maybe you should walk to school,” I told her. We didn’t talk the rest of the trip.
After a year of taxiing my sister to and from Purdue she decided she didn’t want to be in northwest Indiana anymore and told my parents she wanted to go to the University of Wisconsin in River Falls. My parents couldn’t figure out why, but I knew why. She met someone online who lived in that area and wanted to be with him. There’s nothing wrong with meeting people online, but I knew this guy and he was a douche bag. I talked to him a few times and he told me how much he hated my sister because she was a self-centered bitch. I guess things have changed.
My dad ended up paying more tuition for my sister again. He paid for her room and board. Every time she wanted to come home he would drive a total of sixteen hours to make sure his daughter got what she wanted. She never offered him gas money or said thank you. He drove the entire time while she slept. When she did come home for Christmas my family would be interested in her schooling since she was now away from Indiana. They were all so interested.
Last summer was when my sister and I really fell apart. Her boyfriend was coming to stay with my family for the entire summer because his mom didn’t want him in her house or something. That should be a clear enough sign for my parents to say no. My sister was working at a job she had gotten from a friend a few years ago. Whenever she had to be at work my mom or me would stop whatever we were doing and give her a ride. My mom would have to clock out of her own job some days just to take her eldest daughter to her minimum wage job. Sometimes when I had work my sister would want me to go in late so she could get a ride from me. Every time I gave her a ride her boyfriend would tag along. They wouldn’t talk to me the entire time. She wouldn’t say thank you. She wouldn’t offer me gas money even though her job was about twenty miles away from our town. I stopped giving her rides.
My mom got my sister’s boyfriend a job at the place she works. It wasn’t a nice job. Just stocking and cleaning from four to eight on the weekdays. He said he was going to give the money to my parents as a way of showing his thanks for letting his stay here for the summer. He only wanted one day a week though. That’s about thirty-five dollars a week. He only worked for three weeks and my parents never saw a check.
My sister’s boyfriend then offered to clean around the house as a way of showing his thanks. Every day when I came home from work in the afternoon I would look around to see what was done in the house. Nothing. Every night when I came home from community service I would look around the house again to see if anything was done. Nothing. My parents stopped expecting anything from him.
Toward the end of the summer my parents and I were looking forward to my sister and her boyfriend leaving for Wisconsin. We would do really crappy things like go out to eat and not invite them. We would devour all of our dinner so we didn’t have any leftovers. Sometimes we’d leave all day to the mall and not tell them where we were going. Every time my mom tried to talk to my sister her boyfriend would be right there. Whenever my dad would take my sister to work he would follow along. It was like he didn’t trust my parents to be alone with my sister. My mom was upset that her first daughter didn’t want to spend any time with her unless her boyfriend was there. I don’t blame her.
The day before they left, my mom told me that my sister wanted to take Final Fantasy 8 with her back to Wisconsin. I told my mom that she never played Final Fantasy 8 so I didn’t understand why she would want it. She didn’t know either. This happened in our kitchen.
My sister came downstairs while my mom and I were talking. I asked her why she wanted the video game since she never showed any interest in it before.
She crossed her arms across her chest covering up her pajama’s she was still wearing although it was two in the afternoon. “Because it’s my game,” she said.
I hesitated and wished my sister still had braces so I could smash her face in, “I don’t understand how it’s your game if dad bought it for us when we were too young to even have a job?”
“Well, it’s mine,” she said as if that clarified anything I asked.
After talking turned into screaming between my sister and me, my mom got involved and took my side. My sister began yelling at both my mom and me over a game that she had never played, but it was my favorite game. I knew why she wanted the game, but my mom didn’t. She wanted the game because her douche bag boyfriend wanted it. I eventually threw the game at her and told her to never ask me for anything anymore. I also told her that she wasn’t my sister. Since the summer of 2009, I was pretty much an only child.
Once my parents dropped off my sister and her boyfriend to their new apartment they weren’t offered to stay the night. My parents had to drive the entire 16 hours back to Indiana after they dropped off their first daughter. She didn’t call much either once she was gone. Well, she didn’t call at all. She messaged my mom a few times over the internet to ask for money. My sister also wanted her boyfriend to be put on our family plan so that he didn’t have to pay for his cell phone bill. My dad agreed. I didn’t understand why.
Two months later on Halloween, my sister messaged my mom again asking for more money. My mom finally stood up for herself for the past five years of her daughter being ungrateful for the things she has received. My mom told my sister how much money she wasted in Chicago for art school. My mom told my sister she was lucky to be able to go to China for a month. My mom told my sister she was even luckier to go to Colorado for an archaeology class. She explained to my sister how much money she spent at Purdue and now in Wisconsin. My sister didn’t understand why my mom was hurt. Instead, my sister told my mom that she was three months pregnant. Douche bag’s mom already knew and was planning the baby shower, but my sister wanted money. I wonder who my family will talk about this Christmas.