With the Tape?

May 8, 2008
By Kallie Siscoe, Kewanee, IL

I really have to go to the bathroom. But there’s a definite problem.
For one, my little brother is using the restroom. For another, he’s been in there for half an hour. No joke.
It doesn’t make any sense. I mean, he’s twelve, for heaven’s sake! How much time does he need?
So over the last half hour, the floorboards have become my friends. (And, no, I don’t sit on the floor for fun. It’s called “waiting my turn.”)
At the exact moment that I was going to spontaneously combust, he opened the door. Very slowly…
I was off the floor and through the door before he could stop me.
“Hey! Cam, stop!” He grabbed my shirt and tried to pull me back out, but I twisted free and turn to shove him out the door.
Then I saw his face, my potty break forgotten.
“Ew, it’s so ugly! What the heck did you do?”
His mouth was twisted to the side, held back by masking tape that pulled his lip up from his teeth. The other end of the tape was attached to his eyebrow.
“You’ve gotta help me. If mom sees, she’ll kill me.”
“Just take it off.”
“I can’t.”
“It’ll pull of the hairs on my eyebrow, duh!”
“Oh.” What I was really wondering was how he got it on his face like that in the first place.
Just shut up and walk away . . . just walk away . . .
“Um . . . mind me asking—“
“Yes. Don’t ask. Now help me!” He glared and pushed me from where I stood in the doorway.
“What the heck, Jason?”
“Come on!” He was holding a pair of scissors as he leaned way over the sink to peer at himself in the mirror.
“It isn’t that bad . . . just pull it off.”
I grabbed the edge of the tape on his cheek and ripped it off.
Well, sort of.
As soon as I’d “ripped” at the tape in the hope that I’d show him that it wouldn’t hurt anything, he started howling. What’s more, the tape jerked, as in, it didn’t come off.
Jason let out a yelp to wake the dead and slapped at my hand. “I told you not to do that!”
“Well sorriieee . . . like I knew it was stuck . . .”
He whimpered and rubbed at his cheek. “Ouch.” Tears had appeared in his eyes.
“How’d you manage that?”
“Manage what?” He stared at me, dumb.
“How’d you get it stuck!”
“Oh.” He smiled sheepishly. “Promise not to laugh?
“Sure, whatever.”
“Well, okay. You know that model airplane I was working on?”
“Yeah . . .” Not too sure of where he was going with this, I raised an eyebrow at him. “Why?”
“Um . . .” He shifted from one foot, then to the other. “I sorta kinda got some glue on my face.”
“Glue. As in superglue?”
There was a pause and he tugged at the tape that so annoyingly pulled his lip away from his teeth in a classic sneer. To say the least, it was hideous.
“But how’d the tape get stuck?”
Jason grinned, only increasing his hideousness. “The glue got all over my fingers and I accidentally wiped my face. So I tried to get it off.”
“With the tape?!” Seriously . . . the brains this kid has . . .
He threw his hands in the air in exasperation. “Well, obviously—“
“But tape?!”
“There wasn’t a towel, okay? And now the glue burns.”
“Ack! Get it off, hurry!” I reached for the tape again, but he jerked back.
“No, get away! You’ll take the skin off—“
“Oh, hush. It’ll grow back—“
“Phooey. You know what I mean. Now just let me—“
“Stop it, Cam!” He grabbed my hand and held it away from his face.
We stood there for about a minute, with me half-leaning over as he held my hand above his head and sneered at me with his taped-up mouth.
Fed up, I jerked my wrist away from him and turned to leave.
“Where are you going?”
“Away from here.”
He howled again and tackled me from behind. “But I need your help!”
“Then let me help you, munchkin! Hand over those scissors.”
He did, if ever so reluctantly.
“Okay, here.” I took hold of his ear and pulled him closer so I could get a better angle.
“Gah! Don’t poke my eye out!”
“I’m not gonna poke anything but the tape. Now stop yelling.”
He did and was still for a fraction of a second.
I managed to cut the thick strip that connected his cheek and eyebrow.
He promptly screamed and fell to the floor. “You cut out my eyeball! OWWIE!!”
“I did not. Get up and let me see.”
Honestly, the things I do for this kid . . .
Jason stood, sulking. “Well you cut the tape—“
“—and it’s still stuck to your face,” I finished for him.
It was true. His face was back to normal except for the tape that was attached (with superglue, mind you) to his cheek and eyebrow. I couldn’t help but laugh.
That’s when we both heard the car door from outside. Mom was home.
“Snap! Tell her . . . I’m not home!” He shoved me from where I stood and I ended up sitting in the hall.
He slammed the door in my face and yelled from inside, “better yet, don’t tell her anything at all!”
I sighed. So much for helping him . . .
He would most likely be in there for the next hour as he attempted to prevent the inevitable.
And I still had to go to the bathroom.

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