Counting Sheep

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The bright lights were shut off in my cousin’s dingy, smelly room. I describe it as that because he was a dingy, smelly boy. One who played football and left all of his dirty clothes and socks on the nasty, food stained floor. His room was covered in half ripped wallpaper representing his favorite team, the Chicago Bulls, and as I laid there on his bed bundled up underneath the blanket with the giant, cartoon bull’s face on it, my sister slid her foot over and shoved me hard to the right of the mattress.
“OUCH! Stooooop, Ash!” I whined and groaned.
“Well move over and stop touching my side,” she began griping and pushing me over again. Apparently I was putting my left foot onto her half of our cousin’s bed. That was typical of Ashlee. Being seven years old, she was still very picky when it came to “her things”.
I moved over without arguing back because I didn’t want her yelling at me and waking up my Nanna, who was kind of mean back in those days. Instead, I just rolled over and gripped my favorite teddy bear into a choke hold around his flimsy, furry little neck. Feppy was his name, and at the time I thought he was my best friend. I just curled up on my side with my back turned to my sister, thinking of what I should do to get myself to fall asleep. I could feel my long, silky hair grazing across her arm and quickly getting flicked off with her fingers like it was some kind of bug. I tried to dream in my head what that would be like. Me being a bug with a thousand feet of hair, crawling around and pestering people. But that didn’t work. Sometimes I hummed out loud to myself, but Ash would’ve yelled at me for that. So now, I tried to do that thing where people counted sheep in their head, but every time my sheep jumped over the hurdle-like fence, it’d trip and fall over until finally, all of my sheep had toppled into a pile that was full to the ceiling of my brain. Seeing all of those fluffy little sheep fall kind of made me giggle out loud, and by that point you’d think it was the end of the world for my sister.
“STOP! I’m trying to sleep here. Gosh, why do you act like such a baby?”
“Shut up,” I said with a whimper, “I am not a baby.” By now I think my sister could hear the sadness in my voice. Normally I don’t think I would’ve gotten that upset, but since my parents had been out of town for a few days I was sort of starting to miss them. As much as I tried to hide it, I hated when my parents left me. This time they went on vacation to Lake Tahoe and decided to have my sister and I stay at my grandparent’s house while they were gone. I didn’t mind it all too much at first, because I had my older cousin to play with, but after a few nights, I just started to get more and more homesick.
“Well why do you always have to be annoying?” my sister sassed while her back was facing mine.
“I just miss Mommy and Daddy. Don’t you?” I turned and faced in the direction that my sister was laying. I could see her almost black eyes turning to face mine.
“Yeah, but you don’t see me being a baby,” Ashlee said as her face met mine.
“I’m sorry, Sissy. I didn’t mean to,” I apologized as pathetically as possible. “I just really miss them and I want them to come home right now. Tonight. So please don’t get mad. ” I really didn’t want her to be mad at me for this. I always wanted to cry when my sister got mad at me, and the more I laid there, the more the tears were building up in my worn out, groggy eyes.
“SHH! You’ll wake up Nanna. She’s right across the hall, you dummy! And I miss them too, Sis. But they’ll be back here soon, okay? So don’t cry, really. I promise, the time will fly by really fast and they’ll be her before you know it,” my sister said as she rested her hand onto my yellow fleece pajamas. All I can remember was that I was slightly speechless. She instantly made me feel so much better just my saying that. Not because of the thought that my parents would coming back soon, but because that was the first time my sister actually tried to comfort me. It was the first time she ever really acted like a sister towards me, and because of that I felt like I didn’t need to say anything else. It’s sort of one of those feelings that only people with siblings can relate to I think. So I just scooted my little self more towards her and closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep while my sister kept her arm around me the whole time. Nothing was said and everything in the pitch black room was finally silent.

I woke up to my parents coming into my cousin’s room. The rickety, wooden, door coved in posters opened and the smell of Nanna’s biscuits and gravy flooded the room and struck my nose like a bolt of lightning. Usually, I’d hop out of bed and follow the scent right to the kitchen table, but instead, I flew to my feet and ran towards my mother and father, who were already waiting with their arms opened wide.





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