“I promise to spend your money on exactly what I say I’ll spend it on. This will allow us to build a strong trust between each other, just like mom wants us to.”
“And why should I believe anything you’re saying to me? You almost pushed me down the stairs, nearly set my hair on fire because you refused to listen to mom, and you’re always hiding my teddy bears from me! Every day, one disappears off of my bed. When do you even find the time to hide them? We go to the same school and we’re in the same classes.”
“Woah, hold on. I almost pushed you down the stairs. I didn’t actually push you down, and mom told me to turn on the stove and I told you to move twice. You didn’t listen, so I just turned it on and you’re hair is fine so stop crying about it. Lastly, you don’t have any proof that I’m hiding your stupid bears, and what’re gonna do if I am?”
“I’ll rip out your spine and use it as a xylophone.”
“Okay, it’s not that serious. All that I’m trying to tell you is that if you give me ten dollars, then I’ll buy us both a fair share of ice cream. I’ll get three ice cream sandwiches and you’ll get three. Everyone wins!”
“Ice cream sandwiches cost one dollar. What’re you doing with those extra three dollars?”
“As ten-year-olds, we owe the government our hard-earned allowance, so the extra three dollars will be going straight to the taxes that we owe.”
My eyes start to twitch rapidly as the grin on Selly’s face gets wider and wider.
“I—I know what you’re thinking and I promise that there won’t be a single cent wasted on anything you didn’t ask for.”
“I’m not giving you my money, Selly. Now get out of my room.”
“What, but your eyes are twitching, and when your eyes are twitching that means you’re conflicted about something.”
“I’m not conflicted about anything. Now get out.”
“Don’t you want a nice cold treat to cool off on this warm Saturday afternoon? All you have to do is give me your money, and I’ll take care of everything else.”
“Because I don’t trust with my money. I can barely trust you with your own money.”
“Well, if you can’t trust me with your money, then why don’t you come down to the store with me? Then you can ensure that your hard-earned cash is spent on exactly what you want. It’ll be a win for both of us.”
“If I go then I’m not buying anything for you. You have an entire tub of rocky road ice cream only for you. No one else touches it.”
“So? I don’t want rocky road; I want an ice cream sandwich.”
“You’re spoiled. Please get out of my room.”
“Oh, now it’s, please? What happened to using my spine as a xylophone?”
I take a deep breath, trying to keep myself calm.
“I’ll say it again. You have an entire tub of ice cream that no one else likes in this house. I suggest you start eating it before mom notices it’s not going anywhere and throws it out in the trash.”
“What? She’s not going to throw it out. She knows that it’s my favorite ice cream flavor.”
“Yeah, but you’re not eating it. You’re in my room begging for my money for ice cream that you don’t need.”
“Well… I wouldn’t say that I’m begging. I’m asking my older sister to lend me some money. Shouldn’t the older sibling provide for their younger sibling when they’re in need?”
“We’re the same age.”
“Yeah, but according to mom, you were born first, making you the oldest, making you the responsible one, making you the smarter one, making you the more likely to succeed one, making you the richer one!”
“Can I have ten dollars?”
“No! Now get out of my room!”
“Uck, why’re you always so uptight about things? You’re too old to be acting like an adult. Just be normal and spend money on ice cream. What’re you trying to save up for anyways?”
“Selly, get out of my room.”
“What’re gonna do if I don’t? You’ve been glued to your bed all day and nothings gonna get you out of it. Why can’t you just buy me an ice cream sandwich, huh? What’s the big deal about it?”
“I already told you it’s my money and I don’t want to spend it on ice cream. Now go away.”
“Tell me the real reason why you won’t buy it. We both know that I have nothing to do with the money.”
“If you want me to list everything I hate about you again, then I’ll be happy to do so. You’re obnoxious, you’re spoiled, you’re always in other people’s personal space and you can never take no as an answer, even if it means harassing someone to get what you want. This is the last time I’m going to tell you, get out of my room!”
“Whatever, be a loser but watch who you’re threatening. If you keep talking like that, then I’m gonna expect you to live up to your words one day, and we both know that day will never come. Go to sleep, or whatever it was that you were doing.” Selly walks out of my room and slams the door on her way out.
I let out a deep breath, relieved that the situation didn’t escalate. I lay down in my bed and pull my blanket over my body, hoping to fall asleep quickly. If I don’t, then all sorts of stupid thoughts will keep me up.
“By the way,” Selly barges back in. “Only losers go to bed when the sun is still up. Why don’t you go outside and get some sun, instead of hiding from it like a vampire?”
“I hate you so much…”
“Whatever. Goodnight!” Selly screams, slamming the door again.
I wake up to see the sun beaming into my eyes. Sometimes I hate how close my bed is to the window, but when the sun comes up it acts as a noiseless alarm so it’s much more of a blessing than a curse.
“Wakey, wakey,” Selly screams, barging into my room yet again. I sit myself up on my bed, rubbing the back of my hand into my eyes. “You’re breakfast is ready! Well, it’s been ready for a couple of hours now but since you love sleeping so much, it’s cold. There might’ve been a roach or two that crawled on it but you’d probably like that. It would add flavor for you.”
I throw my blanket off my body and walk towards my door, as soon as I get near Selly and she steps out of my way and starts following me down the hallway.
“Oh, that’s strange. It seems that you just walked past the bathroom! You’re not going to fix that messy bedhead or brush your teeth? Is this really how you want to start your Sunday morning? Well, actually we just hit the afternoon. You were asleep, for like, ten hours.”
Ignoring her bickering, I turn left into the kitchen. Low and behold, there it is, my breakfast. Bacon, eggs, and pancakes covered up with a plastic food cover on the countertop. I walk towards it, Selly still looming behind me.
“Mom thought you were gonna be up earlier so she put syrup on the pancakes, but then you didn’t get up earlier so now the syrup is awkwardly flooding the plate. You know how she is with syrup. I hope you like your eggs and bacon drenched in cold syrup.”
I pick up my plate and jump up to open the microwave that’s above the counter, tippy-toeing to put the plate inside it.
“You really want to microwave your breakfast? Everything is gonna get all soggy. I don’t even know what happens to syrup when you microwave it but I guess I’m about to find it out.” I set the microwave for two minutes and hit start.
I turn to Selly and she’s flashing me the most exaggerated smile I’ve ever seen her pull off. We stare at each other as the microwave’s radiation fries whatever’s left in Selly’s brain.
“Are you going to keep staring at me,” I ask, my discomfort growing like mold.
“Are you going to keep staring at me? I’m pretty sure you turned around to look at me first.”
“I turned around and saw you staring at me, now I’m staring back at you in self-defense.”
“I wasn’t staring at you; I was looking at your food get all soggy in the microwave.”
“Do I need a reason to look at a microwave?”
“No. I know you’re attracted to bright lights because you’re no smarter than a fly.”
“Whatever. Have fun with that soggy breakfast of yours.”
“Why’re you so obsessed with my breakfast? If you don’t like me microwaving it then go away and stop looking at it so much.”
The microwave comes to a stop, sounding its alarm in my ears.
“I’m not looking at your stupid breakfast, I’m looking at the microwave.”
“For what!? Do you want to see how many brain cells you can fry by standing in front of it?”
“Woah, Sierra! Calm down. There’s no need to get so aggressive on this peaceful afternoon.”
I bring my arms back and plant my hands on Selly’s shoulders, shoving her to the floor. She slams against the hardwood and grimaces, staring at me with her eyes squinting.
“Uck, what’s your problem, Sierra!? What’d you do that for?”
“Why can’t you leave me alone? I just woke up and you’re already harassing me for no reason! I haven’t even gotten the chance to provoke you yet, so why’re you bothering me? Why!?”
Selly, stands up looking ready to push me back.
“How am harassing you? I didn’t even touch you.”
“You’re following me around, making stupid comments on every little thing that I’m doing. Every. Little. Thing! If I did the same thing too, you’d be up in arms screaming to mom about like the loser that you are.”
“W—Well, if you want me to leave you alone then all you had to was ask. I don’t know who you think you are pushing people for no reason.”
“That’s all I ever ask of you and you never do it! Remember yesterday with that ice cream nonsense? I kept asking you to get out my room and you wouldn’t. I don’t understand why you do this to me, Selly.”
“And I don’t get why you can’t walk two blocks with me just so we can get some ice cream,” Selly shrieks, her voice reaching a painful pitch. “Is that so much to ask of you!? I just wanted to do something simple with you but you never want to do anything!”
“So? If I don’t want to do anything, then just let me not do anything. Do you think annoying me all the time is going to make me want to hang out with you? You’re an idiot if that’s what you think.”
“Well, it’s not my fault my insults are the only things you respond to. If I asked how your day was, you’d just stare at me with your freaky eyes! Now that I think about it, that’s all you’re good at, being a freak!”
“Well, which is it, Selly? Am I a loser or a freak?”
“Girls? What’re you two yelling about now?” I hear my mother call to us from upstairs but I’m too upset to respond to her.
“You’re a loser Sierra, that’s what you are, and because you’re such a loser you skulk around all day which has turned you into the massive freak you are now. And don’t you ever think of putting your hands on me again!” Selly, pushes me into the counter, causing a stupid to slide onto her face. I lunge back at her, knocking her to the floor as she struggles to get me off of her.
“Sierra, get off of me! Stop it!” Selly screams at the top of her lungs as I try to force my way past her hands.
Before I can do any real damage, I hear loud footsteps smashing down the stairs. I try to move Selly’s hands from blocking her face, but just as I get a good grip on her wrists, I’m dragged off of her body.
“I’ve had it with you two! I’m trying to get my work done, and you’re both down here brawling with each other. Since you two can’t get along, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to sit here and talk things out until we get to the bottom of why you two can’t stand each other!”
Me and my sister are both seated across from each other at our dining room table. Our mother paces around the table, her arms crossed and her breath huffing loudly.
Selly and I refuse to look at each other, awkwardly eyeing the shiny brown of the table. I start to look for any interesting patterns in the table’s wood so I can keep my mind occupied. I’d rather stare at a table all day than talk things out with Selly.
“Well? Are either of you going to say anything?” I keep my eyes glued to the table, imagining that it’s actually made out of chocolate. “If neither of you are going to speak up then I’ll just have to punish both of you.”
“Okay, okay,” Selly says, breaking the silence. “I didn’t want to say this but, I guess I’m going to have to tell the truth for the greater good. I walked into Sierra’s room and wished her the most genuine good morning—”
“Really!? What’s wrong with you, Selly?”
“Sierra, let your sister talk.”
“No! She’s already lying about what happened. When I woke up she started following me around and kept bothering me. I kept telling her to leave me alone but she never did.”
“Selly. Is that true,” My mother asks, her eyes focusing on Selly’s. “We’ve talked about this before. The more you keep lying, the less people will trust you. Soon, your own family won’t be able to trust you.”
“Okay fine, whatever! I didn’t actually wish her a good morning.” Selly groans, tossing her head back and forth.
My mother kneels down in front of Selly, keeping her eyes focused on her. “Then what is it that you said to her?”
Selly crosses her arms as her lips start to quiver. She keeps her head slightly bent down towards the table.
“I was… I was… just asking her questions. That’s all.”
“Okay. What type of questions were you asking her?”
“I was asking her if she was going to brush her teeth or fix her bedhead. She walked straight out of her room and into the kitchen, so I was just… curious.”
“Why were you so curious about what Sierra is doing with her day? It’s the weekend, isn’t it? You’ve both got school tomorrow so you should be enjoying your day how you want to, not bothering Sierra.”
“I—I wasn’t bothering her; I was only curious about what she was doing.”
“She wasn’t curious about anything; she was only bullying me. She said a bunch of stuff about my breakfast being soggy and how I’m a loser and a freak.”
“Selly… I don’t understand,” my mother shakes her head and rubs her hands across her face. “Why do you always feel the need to make fun of Sierra? She’s your own sister.”
“Well, it’s true so I didn’t see anything wrong with saying it. She stays in her room all the time and no one at school really talks to her. People say she’s scary too.”
“So that justifies you calling your sister those names?”
“Sierra said that she would rip out my spine and play it like a xylophone yesterday, so yes. I think what I said was justified.”
“Sierra is that true,” my mother asks, standing up and turning her head to me.
I tilt my head up, only responding by shaking my head and up and down.
“I don’t understand. Why do you always say such violent things to Selly? I know it’s not right of her to bother you all day, but saying such hostile things isn’t okay either.”
“I say it because she’s annoying.”
“Do you think threatening her makes her any less annoying?”
“And you Selly, you’re complaining about Sierra’s threats but you’re the one constantly egging her on to say something to you. I told you to be nicer to her, so why’re you still bullying her?”
“Because mom, when I try to be nice to her she doesn’t say anything or scowls at me. Like yesterday, I was asking her if she wanted to go to the store to buy ice cream with me, and she kept telling me to get out of her room.”
“You came in when I was trying to go to sleep, and you wanted to pay for the ice cream with my money and I told you no, but then you kept asking me.”
“I was only asking for ten dollars and I asked you to come with me so you can spend the money yourself. I wanted both of us to have ice cream too, but you wanted to go to sleep in the middle of the day for some reason.”
“Girls, girls, stop! Selly, if Sierra already told you no, then you need to accept that and leave her alone when she asks you to. And Sierra, I know you’ve been tired lately but maybe it wouldn’t hurt to spend more time with Selly. There’s plenty of ways to spend time with each other without having to spend any money, and you need to stop with all of those threats, Sierra.”
“Why should I spend time with Selly at all? I don’t like being around her.”
“Because she’s your sister and you’re going to live with each other for a very long time. It would be a lot easier for the both of you if you just got along.”
“Why would anyone want to hang out with me? Just like Selly said, I’m a loser freak that only sits inside of her room all day!”
“Sierra, you know she doesn’t really mean it.”
“Yes, she does! That’s how she treats me every day, she doesn’t even need to say it,” I pick my head and look at Selly. She looks slightly nervous but is keeping herself together. “She hates having me as a sister and I hate having her as a sister! I don’t know why you want me to get closer to an awful person like her.”
I push myself away from the table and storm off to my room. My mother screams my name but I ignore her.
She can ground me for the rest of my life for all I care. Nothing is going to change between me and Selly.