Everyone who has a sister knows that she can be your best friend and your worst enemy, usually the latter. It took me losing my sister (for a week) to learn how to be a best friend and not an enemy.
The day began like any other. I sat on top of my bed my face buried in my phone screen. I clicked back and forth, from Instagram to Netflix to Snapchat to IMessage completely oblivious to the outside world. Suddenly I heard the thud of feet coming up the stairs followed by the sound of my squeaky door. I smirked and turned, looking up from my phone frowning as I saw Naomi, my sister, march into my bedroom as I had suspected. She turned to meet my frowning face a single focus evident in her eyes.
“I’m bored,” She whined. ”Let’s do something,” She continued, trying and failing to sound less annoyed than she was. I turned an equally determined look of annoyance settling on my face. I took a second to try to shake the annoyance of my face and out of my voice before I responded.
“Maybe later,” I said, my attempt not to sound annoyed failing.
“That’s what you always say.” She responded. She turned around defeated yet exasperated and walked out. Finally, I thought and returned to my phone. About one episode and an hour later she walked back into my room, somehow her look even more determined than earlier.
“It’s later,” she said. I turned to her again even more annoyed and this time clearly showing it.
“I know... I'm just... can’t you see I'm doing something,” I stuttered back.
“No, you’re not!” My sister yelled back this time no attempt to cover her clear anger and annoyance. “You never want to do anything with me. I’m going to camp tomorrow and you’re not going to see me for a week and all you want to do is watch Netflix. You always do this and I'm tired of it!”
“I get it, okay? But can you please just leave me alone,” I whispered, shame evident in my voice, but not enough to convince me to change, my ways.
“Yeah, whatever,” she muttered to herself as she walked away equally angry and disappointed. She left me with nothing but the thought, I can’t wait until tomorrow when she’s gone, it’s gonna be great. Boy, was I wrong.
The next day went by in a blur. One second my 7:00 am alarm went off starting a daily battle between me and my alarm clock. (I was forced to finally surrender once my 7:15 alarm joined the battle.) The next I was at the gym suffering through another day of what seemed like an endless four and a half hours of gymnastics. Then I was bored at home on Netflix again, but this time it wasn’t quite the same. I’ll head downstairs and finally do something with Naomi, I thought. It wasn’t until I was halfway down the stairs that I realized she was gone. I slowly turned and moped back up the stairs into my bedroom. Maybe I’ll cook something, it took all but five seconds for me to decide that was too much work, and instead surrender to another day of endless wasted hours spent on my phone. The next day went pretty much the same. I woke up, went to practice, got home and went on my phone. It felt like an endless cycle of boredom basked in misery. Every day I thought, I’ll do something, today I’ll have fun, today won’t be boring, and every day I had no idea what to do and I was miserable, it seemed like without my sister to do it with every idea was useless, uninspiring, or simply unrealistic.
Finally, on the third day, I decided to succumb to my boredom and shuffled downstairs to see if there was anything good on the tv. I went into the living room and absently flipped through the channels trying to find something to fill me with joy... or just a decent show. A few moments later my mom walked into the room.
"What's wrong?” She asked. “You look absolutely miserable."
"I'm not miserable… just bored," I lied back.
"Hmpph," my mom grunted.
"What!" I whined back.
"You’re lying, you ARE miserable and it's because you miss your sister. You never want to do anything when she’s here and now that she’s gone you have no idea how to function."
"You’re wrong," I said. Further expanding my lie.
“Ok, whatever you say,” she conceded. On the outside, I was completely dismissive, but on the inside, I was beginning to think maybe she’s right. About an hour later, not full of joy as I had hoped went back up to my room and tried to continue my show, but all I could think about what my mom said. I couldn't be missing my sister... could I? When she was here she just annoyed me, but now that she was gone I was immensely lonely without her. I didn't know what to do and I didn't know if I could last the next two days all alone. I finally realized what it would've been like to not have a sister and I was suddenly aware how lucky I was.
The next day after practice, I was on top of my bed again when my mom came in.
"I'm going to pick up your sister. Do you want to come with me?" My mom asked.
"Sure!" I responded, trying not to sound too excited. The car ride went by in a blur and before I knew it we were at the camp. We came to the camp about an hour early, so we could watch my sister doing her gymnastics. I stared through the window in awe watching her twist and turn, it never got old. After that, she performed her dance and then it was time to go home. She walked out the door and before she even had time to say hello I encased her in a huge bear hug. After a couple seconds, she pushed me off
I missed you too," she laughed.
The next day it was back to normal. We woke up, went to practice, came home, and did absolutely nothing. A couple hours after she got home from practice my sister walked into my bedroom again.
"Let's do something,” she said. A flash of Deja vu flowed through me.
"Maybe...”, I started. But then I thought about the last few days in turmoil. I had realized that I needed to appreciate my sister. I couldn’t take advantage while she's here because eventually she would leave and I would regret not spending all the time I had with her. I had learned the hard the way the true meaning of the old saying: you don't know what you have until it's gone. "How about Cluedo?” I finished.