Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Microstory 1833: Younger Sister

My sister and I were never really close growing up. She was seven years older than me, so we didn’t have very much in common. Our parents tried to get her to help take care of me, because they were so old and tired, but she had an excuse for everything. Before quite recently, she thought the world of herself, and didn’t give too much thought to anyone else. She needed to get away from the two of them, and be free of the burden, and it wasn’t relevant that I couldn’t leave. I had to grow up fast after that. I started driving them around even though I was nowhere near old enough to have my license. I’m just talking about the bread store and the pharmacy, but I got caught by the cops a couple of times, and suddenly I’m the bad sister. The judge went easy on me, because she understood that I wasn’t just going out for joyrides. Still, if I let it happen again, she would contact family services, and then we would be in a real mess. I continued to care for them even after that, though I no longer drive. I started to hustle, because we needed money for all the rides we were sourcing. Don’t worry, I didn’t get caught from one of my schemes, and I put those old habits in the rearview mirror when I was old enough to get a job and start driving again; legally, this time. I didn’t do great in school, but it didn’t really matter. I just needed to graduate so I could be taken at least a little bit seriously. Not going to college is a very normal thing that a lot of people do, and you often don’t even have to tell them why it never happened. It could be money, it could be grades, it could be having to stay home with family. Anyone who judges you for it can go suck a—anyway, all of those reasons were mine. I had to focus on holding down a decent job with flexible hours, and upward mobility. I didn’t need to become the owner of my own franchise, but some kind of manager would suffice. That was my goal.

I busted my ass. I was still taking care of the parents, who weren’t getting any better—mind you—but taking as many shifts at the department store as I could. My co-workers liked me, the customers loved me, and the bosses were impressed with me. I had that promotion in the bag. It should have been mine. When they told me they gave it to someone else just because he had a dick, I lost it. Okay, so that wasn’t exactly their reason, but it sure felt that way. I started rampaging through the store, throwing clothes around and...well that’s all I did. It was an inconvenience to clean up, and I was super fired for it, but they didn’t even call the cops. I realized then that this was all my big sister’s fault. She left me here to deal with all this crap, and now she was living the high life out in Vegas, or whatever. I was literally in the car, having just turned in my badge when I got the call that my father’s medical bill was overdue. So I lost it again. I called my sister to complain, but a volcano erupted inside me, and I started to scream. She was cool about it, to her credit, and after a few more conversations, she agreed to come back and finally pitch in. While she was helping, we got to know each other better, and learned that we had more in common than we realized. For instance, we both wanted to try mountain hiking. We didn’t want to do big long backpacking treks, but we wanted to admire the view. Now that the parents are dead and buried, we’ve decided to go on a trip to Whiteside Mountain with a family friend. It’s great, and we’re having a lot of fun, so we want to commemorate our newfound relationship with a selfie. The edge of that cliff just comes out of nowhere. Someone really should have put up a sign on the fence.

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