“You know Sharla, you’re starting to look so much like your sister these da—“
“Can you not, Mom! I told you, I don’t want to be like her!”
The car ride home was quiet again, with only the gentle thudding of raindrops being heard. It was one of the few precious times Mom was actually free from work to pick me up, but the good mood was ruined already. I knew my temper wasn’t the best, but I couldn’t help it as I huffed and jumped out of the car as soon as Mom had parked.
Zoey was home. Like always. She turned to me when I set my bag down, her blonde locks, which I’ve always been envious of, sliding off her shoulder. I turned away with a frown and opened the fridge when she stutters out, “O-o-h h-hey! H-h-ho-how w-was s-s-schoo-schoo—“
“The same as every other day.”
I didn’t want to listen to her take five minutes to force out a “school”.
Zoey was six years older than me. At twenty-one, she was an at-home college student. She couldn’t really talk to anyone in our small town because of her horrible stutter. Instead of having the cool elder sister I could rely on for any nail polish dilemmas, I had a Zoey, who thought she was my mom, trying to control everything I did. I didn’t need someone so irritating getting into my business when our actual mom was out working hard shifts for her therapy.
“Sharla, just be nice to your sister, she hasn’t done anything wrong,” says Mom tiredly as she gets into the house.
“Yup. Sure, whatever, Mom.”
Upstairs in my small bedroom, I giddily flipped open my worn out white laptop. Only a month into freshman year and I’d already been invited to a seniors’ outing!
An older girl had befriended me in the cafeteria and asked me if I wanted to go down to the mountains by ...
... middle of paper ...
...p, I tugged her reluctant arms over my shoulders, locking them there securely before heaving her up. My legs were trembling with the effort and my lungs burned, but I bit my bottom lip. Breathing harshly through my mouth, I forced the tears back and started walking.
‘I have to take care of Zoey. I will take care of her, my elder sister.’
My sister who left my breakfast on the table, always warm, who cleaned my bag after bullies threw it in a puddle. My sister who braided my hair every day in grade three, who let me watch my favourite show on tv instead of hers. My sister who was there for me, when Mom had no time for her either.’
I couldn’t feel my legs anymore, but step after trembling step I walked away from the river. I walked away with my hands stained with Zoey’s blood. I walked away with my sister’s weight resting on my back. A weight I would gladly carry.
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