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My Childhood Roommate MAG
Eight Years To Go
I was five when I began counting down the years until my sister would move out. Don’t get me wrong – I love her. I love her like I love the winter coat crammed in my closet; it’s great when the temperature is below freezing and I need it to keep me warm, but every other day it takes up half the space in my closet and I’m tempted to slash it into a million pieces.
Since my sister is four years older, as a child, I thought she was the wisest person I knew. She took full advantage of this. Any story she told (like the one about the cat who gave birth to a chicken) was 100 percent true: the boogeyman really would kidnap me if I didn’t sleep under the covers, and when we played Scrabble, the word that scored her 36 points, confuzzled, was actually in the dictionary (just the newer edition we didn’t have).
Along with the stories of me being adopted and all our relatives being able to do magic except me, my sister convinced me of another reason why I didn’t belong in the family. I had always been perplexed why my sister and mom both had striking strawberry blond hair while mine was dark.
“That’s because Mom had an accident on your head when you were born,” my lovely sister reasoned.
I washed my hair 100 times that week.
Six Years To Go
As a younger sister, I never once received first dibs on the chocolate cake batter spoon; I never got to be teacher when we played school, or be Beauty when we acted out our favorite Disney movie; riding shotgun was completely out of the question. Sharing a room, however, caused the most problems.
My sister must have failed basic math because the tape that separated our room clearly did not split it in half. It was more like 90/10. Guess who had the bigger slice. My “half,” however, included the closet. I assumed this gave me full reign over the clothes inside. Wrong.
One day while my sister was gone (most likely torturing some other innocent person), I decided to try on her new Old Navy overalls with the rhinestone straps. I slipped into the two-sizes-too-big outfit and ran into the bathroom where I admired myself in the mirror, pretending to be flirting with Josh, the love of my life (that week, anyway). Far from my daydreaming mind, footsteps echoed down the hall.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
The words tingled down my spine like a spider. My heart stopped. My hands trembled. I had been caught.
Please don’t kill me in my sleep. Dear God, please don’t let my sister kill me in my sleep.
Four Years To Go
The sounds weren’t unfamiliar; the slamming doors, the screaming voices, the shattering dishes. Mom was fighting with the boyfriend again. I had stopped remembering their names. My sister and I tiptoed into our room. Ignoring the tape on the floor, I crawled into bed with her and she handed me her CD player. Everything we had fought about that day didn’t matter anymore. She was the warm coat I needed. And I remembered why I love her.
The next day, when we watched “Aladdin,” she let me be Princess Jasmine.
Two Years To Go
Tonight was yet another night with my head under my pillow, attempting to drown out the music that felt like an earthquake through the walls of our house. Tonight I hated my sister and her thunderous parties. I hated her for keeping me up until 3 a.m. when I told her I had an important test the next day. It was nights like these that reminded me why I couldn’t wait for my sister to move out.
I walked downstairs and was disgusted by the teenagers drinking out of red plastic cups and groping each other as if they were checking for ticks. However, the worst sight of all was discovering my sister in the middle of it. No longer was she the wise, beautiful girl I had looked up to, but instead just another person who had let me down.
It’s hard to remember why you love someone when all you can think about is how much you hate them.
0 Years To Go
I had two Christmases the year my sister left for college. Finally I was free – no more sharing a room, no more being harassed, and best of all, no more nights of only four hours of sleep. After counting down for nine years, I was finally an only child. I thought I would be the happiest girl ever. And I was, at first.
No longer did I have to take a three-minute ice-cold shower or share an entrée at an expensive restaurant. I was living the life of an only child and loving it. But after a few weeks I began to feel lonely. No one was around to give me advice about boys or fashion. Sure, my sister and I had our clashes, but we always had each other when we were in need. Now, separated by 500 miles and a string of mountains, I feel like I am missing my other half.