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Brother/Sister Love And Hate

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“Abbi-Gail Sabrina Nelson, get down from that tree right now!” Jolene Dupree yelled from the park bench to her four year old daughter. She watched as her little girl stared back at her with wide disappointed eyes, frowned and then slowly descended the tree that she had already climbed halfway. Tears filled her eyes and she began crying while she pointed at her older brother who was positioned on the utmost branch in the same tree.
Jolene signaled to her daughter to stop the crying; a signal which Abbi both saw and ignored. She continued howling for her brother; her loud high pitched voice piercing the eardrums of all those who were in hearing distance.
“She’s stuck to Keith like glue,” Jolene informed her friend, Fiona Reyfield, who was seated across from her on the bench. “From she was just a baby, she always followed him everywhere. And she still does! Keith doesn’t mind though, he absolutely adores his baby sister; talks about her to his friends, brings her with him to the park on his bicycle and even puts her to bed sometimes. Remarkable behavior between my kids and that’s so very good. No hassle to break them apart because they don’t fight! Isn’t that amazing?”
Fiona nodded in agreement. “Of course, that’s good! Your kids have the best relationship I’ve ever seen. They don’t even bicker! That’s applaudable!”
“I know,” Jolene replied. She sipped the soda she had in hand before continuing, “but there’s a down side to all this though. She’s inheriting his rough behavior! She’s becoming a tomboy in the way she plays. She wants to do whatever he does so she climbs and she kicks and she plays with racecars and does whatever else it is that boys do. I don’t want my little girl to be just like my little boy, you know?” she laughed. “I mean, wow, that’s the reason why I wanted a little girl…so she could be like a little girl. I want her focusing on dolls and tea parties instead of cars and kick-balls.” She watched as Keith jumped down from the tree and landed three centimeters away from Abbi with a thud. Abbi looked down at her brother with curiousity before kicking him hard in his side. He jumped up with a playful roar, hit her firm in her back and then began running as Abbi chased him around the park.
Fiona giggled. “Well jo, it’s then your job to make sure your little girl acts like a little girl. Tell her to stop doing certain stuff; discipline her.”
“I’ll have to try, I guess.” Jolene sighed. “I really don’t want their relationship to change though. What if they grow apart if I make them stop doing exactly the same things?”
“I don’t think they will. Keith just has to understand that Abbi is his sister and not his buddy. They should be able to play together sometimes but play alone on other occasions. That’s how the sibling thing works. They’ll be fine, don’t worry about it.”
Jolene glanced at her two beautiful children who were currently engaged in the game of tag. She adored them respectively. They were her little creations and she loved them dearly. Creations indeed. She always thought it odd that they both resembled her and looked nothing like their father. That’s a great thing however, for their father, Mr. Timothy Nelson, took off when Keith was only three and Abbi just a baby, and he hasn’t been heard from since. Sadly, Jolene has been a single mother, having to raise her children all by herself. She didn’t really get a reason why Timothy just up and left; but she awoke one morning just to find Timothy absent and a note where he previously slept. She cried…Mostly because she hoped to marry him someday and live like a nice happy family with little Keith and Abbi. But obviously Tim didn’t want that; he didn’t want her…and he seemingly didn’t want his babies.
Unfortunately, Jolene was never able to foresee Timothy’s actions. He was one of those quiet guys, the mysterious type, totally unpredictable. Everything he ever did, every decision he ever made, was done and made right on the spot. Just like the times he said he wanted kids…
And now Jolene was left to suffer. No doubt that she loved her children to death, but no woman should have to bear both the struggle of carrying a baby for nine whole months and then upbringing the child for another eighteen years all by herself. Those situations are never fair.
Jolene smiled as she watched Keith pick Abbi up from the ground and brush the leaves and dirt from her clothes with his hand, then kissed her forehead lovingly. Oh how sweet they were!
Abbi resembled her the most. Strangely, she received every single one of her features; no one had any difficulty in pointing her out as her daughter. She had Jolene’s long curly dark hair, her big green eyes, her thin but pleasant lips and the same dimples in her rosy cheeks. Presently, she was dressed in the cutest outfit ever—a magenta shorts jumpsuit with a pink blouse underneath and pink sandals with a pretty pink ribbon in her hair.
Jolene’s little sweetheart.
Keith also had Jolene’s curly dark hair and green eyes. But that was just about it although he still looked a lot like his mother.
Jolene got up from the park bench and began packing up the bags she brought. “Fifi, I think I’m going to leave now. It’s getting slightly dark. I could drop you home.” She said to Fiona with a yawn.
“Oh, no thanks, Jo. I’m waiting on my brother to pick me up. He’s coming to stay with me for a few days.”
“I didn’t know you had a brother, where’s he from?” Jolene responded, placing Keith’s football into the kids’ bag.

“I didn’t tell you? He’s from Manhattan—my older brother. Haven’t seen him since forever!” Fiona answered.
Jolene beckoned to Abbi and Keith that it was time to leave. “Oh that’s cool.”
The children approached the ladies with laughter.

“Mommy I ran so fast! Did you see me?” Abbi exclaimed between breaths.
Jolene smiled and picked up her little girl. “Of course I saw you! You were the best runner in the whole park today!” she gave Abbi a big kiss on her flushed cheek. “So Fifi, this brother of yours, how long is he staying?”
“Three months,” Fiona replied, tousling Keith’s hair as he sipped his juice box.
Jolene gasped. “Three whole months? Wow that’s a lot. So how long has it been since you last saw him?”
“Well truthfully, it’s been so long! I think it was two years ago when he came for our family’s Christmas reunion.”

“You must miss him, huh? Are you two close?” Jolene questioned, sitting Abbi down on the bench and handing her her juice box.
Fiona scratched her head. “Hmm well you could call it that. We didn’t get along at all when we were younger though. We used to fight and curse a lot, especially in our teenage years. But I guess we both chose to grow up and set aside our differences…”
Fiona and her brother, Chase Reyfield, had been through a lot. Ever since they were just babies in diapers, they never really had the luck of getting along. Nonetheless, it was always perceived that their parents should be blamed for their children’s lifelong disagreements. Rosetta and Gordon Reyfield could never get along and they eventually got divorced when Fiona was just two years old, and Chase five. Rosetta got custody of Fiona and Chase went to live with his father. Apparently, Gordon grew Chase to hate both his mother and his sister. He would tell Chase ghastly things about Rosetta; things that were way too grown-up for Chase to even understand—but he told him anyway and the baby boy grew up assuming that his mother was an evil woman who rejected him and preferred his sister.
Gordon would take Chase over to his mother’s house just to show him all the toys Fiona had and he lacked. He was a very terrible man who made sure that when he was going through rough times, Chase was too. When Gordon experienced food shortages and had no dinner to enjoy, he deprived his little son of food even though there was always baby food in the refridgerator.
It is assumed therefore that Gordon was often jealous of the advantages that Rosetta had over him. She was wealthier than him hence Fiona had always received better opportunities than Chase obtained. Rosetta was also a better parent than Gordon was and this obviously affected the children’s upbringing. Fiona attended ballet, piano and violin classes while Chase was too busy working in his dad’s grocery store to even think about after school classes.
The siblings seldom saw each other and never ever desired to spend time together. When they did meet, the time together was spent cursing or just simply listening to their parents squabble. Fiona always thought of Chase as aggressive, selfish and rebellious; similarly, Chase considered his sister as a snob who saw persons as inferior to her so called sovereignty. However, it was the 4th of July when Chase encountered Fiona at a fireworks parade and they bonded over hot dogs and diet cokes, while expressing the love they had for their country. It was then and there when the kids finally realized that the impressions they had pertaining to each other were nothing but lies and assumptions. It was that moonlit night when they began to coo over each other’s traits and talents; that night when they decided to actually get to know each other despite all that their parents had poured out to them about each other. It was that night when Fiona and Chase Reyfield began acting maturely and grew up.
Jolene took the empty juice box from Keith and stuffed it into her already crammed bag. She lifted the bag and threw it over her shoulder, not pausing to realize the weight of the bag. “Tie your shoe lace Keith,” she said to her son, reaching for Abbi’s hand.
Abbi joined hands with her mother and shoved her right thumb into her mouth.

“I absolutely love when families embrace each other, it’s so cute!” Jolene exclaimed to Fiona. “It’s great that you guys communicate well now, we only have one life to live so we can at least live it good, right?” she smiled as she awaited her friend’s response, bending over to remove her daughter’s thumb from her mouth.
Fiona nodded. “Of course! That’s always the way to go. We also have to remember that family is a valuable relationship; a relationship worth cherishing.”

“That’s right girl,” Jolene agreed. She put her free arm around Keith’s shoulders. “I’ll call you later, Fifi.”
The kids said their good byes to their god mother and the family of three headed for the gates.




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