Sisters

Everybody says your sister is supposed to be your best friend. I think that is a load of tosh.

I love my sister. Of course. I don’t want anything bad to happen to her. I just want the best for her and I want her to do well and be successful.

But we don’t get along very well, my sister and I.

I know she looks up to me. I am not being arrogant here. What I say to her really matters, she listens to my advice and tries to follow it. I see her following in my footsteps and she would never admit it in a million years but I know it.

She turns to me when she needs help, and nowadays, what with being married and living far away and having a tonne of new responsibilities and a job, I cannot always be there for her, I know she feels the bite of that.

Being a sister is being in a complicated relationship. Many sisters have it easy, they get along and find it so easy to express emotions to each other. My sister and I don’t. We never tell each other we love each other. But we show it in the way we begrudgingly make each other a cup of tea. Or in the way my sister tidies up the room we used to share when she knows I am coming home. Or in the way I will give her my jacket even though we quarrel abominably about giving each other our clothes.

My sister and I tell each other we hate each other. But I don’t hate her. She annoys me greatly and I know I annoy her like hell too but we don’t hate each other.

I might give my sister a cup of tea and she will smile at me and say, ‘I hate you.’

As children we got along relatively well. We played lots of imaginary games together and devoured the same books. I wouldn’t say we were inspired by the same people. In our early teens we had similar tastes in dress and music, but hers took a darker turn. We are similar, but also very very different. How can that be possible? I don’t know. People say we look nothing like each other. Together we can be quite

My sister is struggling in the early throes of adulthood. She can’t relinquish the child within her and she wears adulthood like an uncomfortable gown that her mother forced her to wear. She is unconfident and hesitant, but oh so desperate to be where she thinks she ought to be.

Her aspirations are low, much like mine were at that age. Her associates are weaklings whose words are louder than their actions, and she projects their opinions disguised as her own. And it breaks my heart when she does that because she thinks she is so right and everybody else is so wrong and she is just mindlessly crashing through life and one day, like me, she will wake up with so many regrets.

Silly little girl.

But I know my sister. She can be feisty and fiery. She can be confident. She just doesn’t know how. And she is spaced out and needs a lot of prompting. She will come to me to prod her every step of the way in everything that she does. She needs to be handheld and it is frustrating, given that she is nineteen years old.

But I love her.

A secret part of me might be jealous of her. I don’t know why. I certainly wouldn’t want to be her, but I might be a little jealous of what she could become. Maybe? I don’t know.

I am an insecure person. I push myself and push myself to my furthest limits because I don’t want anybody to surpass me. I am in competition with everybody, even my husband. Some would say it is unhealthy. Who knows.

Do you have a sister? What is your relationship with her like?

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Sisters

‘I really like your watch Len can you give it to me?’

‘Um, no, it’s mine.’

‘You’re so selfish! I hate you.’

 

‘Ellie, honestly, you can borrow it sometimes maybe, but you can’t have it.’

‘Borrow it?! Huh. Like you’re ever here for me to borrow it.’

It’s true, I’m not, mostly because I always have to study/work, so I don’t see my real family much, even though they live like five minutes away. Is that horrible? I don’t know. I feel guilty now.

‘Ok’

‘You never let me borrow anything.’

‘Huh?! That’s not true, you wear all my clothes and ruin them with stains. Don’t even go there.’

‘You’re wearing my shoes right now, so you should give me your watch.’

‘YOU’RE WEARING MY SHOES TOO!!?!?!?’

-pause-

‘AND my jeans, Ellie, and that long T-shirt? Mine.’

‘So? I still want your watch.’

Actual real conversation I had with my sister this weekend.

 

First World Problems

“I’m coolldd!” my sister chattered after a shower, as she walked into the bedroom we used to share, a towel draped around her shoulders and reaching her wet knees.

She carried on complaining as she got into her clothes, her movements rickety and exaggerated.

I rolled my eyes.

“First world problems” I murmured.

She didn’t like that.

“Ok but it’s a genuine problem” she argued, “and so what if I’m not starving to death, I’m cold and I’m allowed to express it!”

“So get into bed then,” I said meanly, “other people can’t just get into their nice comfy beds with clean sheets and get warm, but you can!”

“I don’t want to get into bed.”

“Then stop complaining.”

 

We carried on like this (as we do), back and forth, back and forth. It wasn’t serious. It was lighthearted with an underlay of years of sisterly resentment.

Later on, after I’d scrubbed a few things and my sister ceremoniously broomed the kitchen floor, she was sitting on her bed and me on mine.

“I have the worst headache,” I told her.

“First world problems.” she was quick to say, folding her legs and scrolling down her phone. She glanced smugly up at me, as I got up to go to the bathroom.

“I know, right?” I said, “Thank goodness that’s the heaviest of my problems today.”

“At least you have a head!” she called out, as I shut the bathroom door.

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