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Oh, a text from Mom, Julia thought. Great.
"Julz, we're going 2 b late. Meet ran late so we r waiting 2 c how ur sister did. -Mom"
I will never understand why my mother thinks that it's necessary for her type in "text lingo" while texting me. No one does that except 6th graders and weirdos. Also, she doesn't have to write "-Mom." What is that? I know it's you, Mom, I have you saved in the contacts.
"Okay, Mom, it's fine." I texted back.
"Luv u" she typed back.
OH MY GOD. Mom needs to just right "I LOVE YOU." It's not that hard. She thinks that's how teenagers text and we don't. Well I don't. Also, it drives me insane and who needs to do that now that we have autocorrect on the iPhone?
"I love you too, Mom" I replied.
"C u soon" she texted back.
She will be the death of me.
Anyway, of course, Mom and Dad won't be home until late... on my birthday and it's Friday and I wasn't allowed to make plans. They made me stay home on my birthday by myself. If I even thought about inviting someone over then Vincent, our grumpy old neighbor would tell them I have friends over and they aren't home. Vincent is old and bitter and doesn't want anyone else to be happy for.. well that's another story. My parents had to go to into the city for Alia's swim meet. I don't even know why my Mom went; she hates sports. She never goes to Alia's swim meets at night only the afternoon ones on weekends. I find that a little bit strange.
It was 9:45 pm when my parents finally got home, my Dad got in the shower then went to bed. Mom went to bed too because she was on call and had to head in to the hospital at 4. Alia went to spend the night at her friend's house and wouldn't be home until Sunday. So not only did my sister skip out on my birthday completely, she wouldn't be home with me at all this weekend. My Dad has to go in to the hospital Saturday at 4 p.m. to start a clinical trial which means he will be sleeping at the hospital for the next few weeks. Mom will love that and so will Alia. Poor Alia won't have anyone to cheer her on at her swim meets and soccer games with all the other Dads.
Sometimes I wish Alia would have never even come into our lives. I wish she would've just stayed out. Why was she even here? She doesn't belong here. She's not even my parent's real child. So why was she the favorite? Why does she get everything and I get alone on a Friday night, or even worse BIRTHDAY NIGHT. Do you know that your birthday will only be a Friday like ten times depending on when you die?
Seventeen years ago:
Okay, let me set the scene it's not actually seventeen years ago yet... it's twenty-four years ago. It's 1988. My parents had just gotten married. They met in med school. My Dad is a neurosurgeon while Mom is a pediatric surgeon. I guess you could say they fell in love on the operating table. They got married and things were all fun and dandy. Then they tried to have a baby for months then finally they decided to put their name on an adoption list. It took seven years just get their name looked at.
Then one day, they got a call from the adoption agency and there was a baby in Saudi Arabia whose parents were being put to death. A girl. Three months old. My parents wanted children so badly especially my mother the youngest of five. They jumped at the idea to adopt. So they flew to Saudi Arabia and met the baby, whose name was revealed to be Alia. So they stayed there for two weeks and then were finally allowed to bring her home. They finally got their happily ever after, their fairytale ending, their everything they've ever wanted.
On the plane ride home my mom started feeling queasy. She figured it was just the trip back to Westchester, but 2 months later with a now 5 month old Alia. My mom found out she was pregnant... with me.
It was a miracle, a medical miracle. She wasn't even supposed to be able to have kids; she was infertile. My parents couldn't believe it.
Then fast-forward seven months, and there was me, Julia Eve Anderson. My parents now had to two perfect daughters... except that they were both under two years old and they were both surgeons on crazy schedules. So that's when our nanny Greta was hired. There was Greta then Nancy then Kate then Dianna, then Nora. Greta worked for eight months, then Nancy for like an hour at most, Kate for four years-- bless her, then Dianna for a week (she was really young, stupid, and irresponsible. Poor judgment on Mom and Dad's part) then Nora for the next six years-- bless her as well. Nora and Kate are saints. Nora and Kate could put up with us when our parents couldn't which was 24/7. None of the others could handle the vicious partners in crime. And we were bad. Let me tell you, once we put honey all over the staircase and Greta slipped... that's why she quit. Then Nancy got mad because we replaced the sour gummy worms with actual worms. Our parents finally realized that they had already missed out on so much of our lives already and they didn't want to miss out on anymore. When Alia reached eleven and I was ten and it was bye-bye nannies. We were old enough to stay home alone... apparently though we were not.
At eleven and ten, we were extremely close. We would spend our afternoons eating out of our separate and prove junk food stashes watching Drake and Josh or the Suite Life of Zack and Cody. We were always curious why Drake and Josh weren't girls or Zack and Cody weren't girls. Why wasn't there a show about girls like that? So we decided when we were older we would write about our stories as kids and growing up in this unique situation and we would publish it. We would be best-selling authors. Alia and I would both have our different jobs. I would be a neonatal surgeon and Alia would be an Olympic swimmer/soccer player/fashion designer. She has quite the imagination, but I think she could do it all if she wanted to and if she had some sort of super power which I'm not doubting that she does.
As we grew older and became teenagers, we grew apart. She played soccer and swam. I danced for the dance team and tutored kids after school as an extra credit project for a class. That's just the way it was. We were different; I couldn't change that. We talked different, looked different, thought differently, and we were just completely different. I have medium length curly brown hair and baby blue eyes and of average height and pale skin. While Alia has tan skin with beautiful dark brown hair that hangs down to her waist and her dark nearly black mysterious eyes. She's tall, thin, and basically looks like a supermodel.
Alia always was a better athlete, more popular, funnier, and just better at life. I know I left out a lot in this, but none of the rest I can remember or it isn't imperative for anyone to know. We were just too busy to see each other. She played soccer three days a week and swam the other four. I danced every afternoon for two hours and then studied for the rest of the night. By the end of our collective sports/activities, we only saw each other in the hallway or the kitchen. We never ate actual dinner because one of our parents would always be gone and the other would be sleeping or something. We actually only ate in the dining room on Thanksgiving or Christmas, oh and birthdays... well besides this one.
As I lay here in my bed tonight, I've realized that Alia and I have done to each other what I parents did to us with the whole nanny situation. We've become way too busy for each other. So, Alia might be a better athlete and funnier and more popular, but I've got my brains and my surgeon-genes, and my dancing and my exquisite ability to find a way to blame everything on Earth on one person aka Alia.
I was almost fast asleep and I heard my door creak open. I looked up and saw Alia in the doorway, she was holding what appeared to be a cake with 16 lit candles and whisper-sang Happy Birthday to me.
That night we eat that whole cake... I feel horrible for wishing she would've stayed in Saudi Arabia and that she never even came home with my parents. If she was still there, she would be either dead, in an orphanage, or married off to some random guy just so the orphanage could get rid of her. She'd probably have kids, yes I mean multiple. I apologized to her for being so distant and other things that I felt bad about like putting tooth paste in her shampoo when I was twelve and she had minty fresh and sticky hair on the day before her first dance. Alia apologized for having Mom and Dad always to herself and made them promise to go to my stuff more and do things with me. She also said they only hang out with her because she's adopted and has to feel more smothered--l mean loved. She may be telling the truth then again she probably just wants to be able to go out and party without getting caught.
The next morning Dad found us spread out on the floor of my room with an empty cake pan and Gilmore Girls still playing on the TV.
"Girls, wake up!" Dad said. We both grunted in response.
We got up and went downstairs and my mom was home... As it turns out she traded up days with someone else at the hospital and was downstairs making me banana-chocolate chip pancakes. Have we entered some kind of alternate universe where I'm a princess or something?
We finished breakfast and went into the living room and opened up my presents which I was not expecting to have. From Alia was a Urban Outfitter's gift card and a Fossil wallet. There was also a card from Alia:
Happy Birthday little sis! The best advice I can give you is to hold on to sixteen for as long as you can! I'm sorry and I love you. -A
From Mom and Dad was a little box with purple wrapping paper and a turquoise ribbon. I opened it up and there was a set of car keys.
A set of car keys to a brand new Toyota Prius Hybrid... (I'm environmentally active.) So I ran upstairs got dressed and prepared to go get my license. Wish me luck.