Author's note: This piece isn't quite finished yet, but I hope that I'll complete it soon, especially since I've... Show full author's note »
SaturdayI open my eyes, slowly, and blink several times. Then I stretch out so that I am as long as I can possibly be, which is long. My toes are at the end of the bed, grazing the footboard. I pull my feet back in towards me and sit up, yawning. Then I look at my clock. A slow smile spreads over my face. It is ten o’clock. I love sleeping in.
I fall back down on my bed and roll over, thinking maybe I could sleep just a little bit longer. After all I could think of nothing I had to do… today could just be a special relax day. I close my eyes. I literally feel myself drifting back to sleep and subconscious-ness when I somehow think of something that might change my supposed-to-be perfect Saturday. My eyes are open before I even have time to process my thought and by the time I am sitting up again I realize that I could be wrong. So I look at my calendar, praying in my head that I am wrong, because I kind of need my relax day. But I am too late with my prayers. Fate or karma or maybe just my life is already in action at that point and there is nothing I can do about it. My proof is right in front of me on my calendar. It’s highlighted in yellow, and right beside it is a big pink frown-face sticker, I’d stuck on to mark the occasion.
I groaned and yawned at the same time, making a sound like a dying cow. I don’t want to get up. And I definitely don’t want to get up if I have to do… this. I don’t need this. Nobody needs this, or deserves this, but does that change anything? No. I groan again.
“This is going to be a long day” I murmur under my breath. Because, today, I have to look after my three year old sister Ella.
My little sister is some sort of a three-year-old devil. She’s a living nightmare and she’s been that way since she was born when I was almost eleven. I hated her from the very first night that I couldn’t sleep because of her baby- screaming. For weeks after that Ella screamed thru the nights, louder and louder each and every time. And then she learned to actually talk and it was so much worse that I honestly don’t know how I lived. It was obvious to me, even then, that she was only going to get worse as she got older. Somehow, though I was the only person who was aware of this problem.
My parents adored their ‘baby’ Ella. I lose it every time they overlook her sins and blame me for things that she does. I’m grounded all the time because of ‘their’ Ella. And, I guess it makes sense that they don’t know so much about Ella because of their busy jobs. However, I still feel like they should think some more about me to. When your parents are always gone though, there’s not much you can do.
My mom is a district attorney and is almost always at the courthouse. When she isn’t, she’s either on a business trip or at home but super busy. The rare occasions that she can be around Ella and me she’s so exhausted that she doesn’t even know our names. Like that, she wouldn’t be the slightest bit of help, nor would she notice Ella’s true personality.
Dad is a physician’s assistant. He is the newest employee at his medical practice, meaning he goes to work every day of the week, and a lot of times he has to work over holidays to. I don’t see how he does it, getting up at 5:30 a.m. every day of the week. At least I get to sleep in on weekends, and I have a 6 am wakeup call during the week. He’s an adult though, so he doesn’t need my sympathy. He can face his problems on his own. Before he took his new job, he was in college for the full eight years that future doctors have to do.
So of course, when they are home they drool over their ‘precious’ Ella.
I do admit that Ella looks like a cherub, which bugs me because she is anything but that. Somehow her A+ looks hide her attitude, which in a way makes sense. However, it does not make me happy. It honestly just makes me mad how pretty Ella is. She seriously does not deserve her looks. She has chubby, always rosy cheeks that I can only get with blush, and curly auburn hair that always seem to glow and shine. I need multiple deep conditions and treatments to make my hair like hers, plus hours with a hair-damaging curling iron. And her bright blue eyes look like the oceans in the Bahamas, which is just completely impossible to achieve, and believe me, I have tried. She also has the best tan complexion that makes her look like she hangs around the oceans in the Bahamas too. I’m kind of surprised that no one has come up to her in the grocery store, or something and asked her to model for Pampers.
I’m not saying that I look horrible though.
I’ve got some good qualities- my heart shaped face, my semi-nice figure, and my bright white, never-needed-braces smile, which is probably my sexiest quality. But Ella will look better when she’s a teenager than I do now. I guess it sounds weird that I’m jealous of a three-year old, but if you could see her you’d understand. You’d understand more if you could see her next to me. It’s like comparing, or at least, trying to compare, Cinderella and Anastasia, from Cinderella, which was my favorite movie as a little kid. The thing is, though that no matter how angelic looking she is, her soul is one that’s a little more she-devil. She’s crazy. She’s heartless. And when she’s mad or scared or even extremely happy I know that I need to run for cover.
Today, though I can’t run for cover. Watching Ella is basically my job. I had to be her sitter once each month, and there was nothing I could do about it. I had tried to get out of it- believe me, I had. I whined and complained and yelled until I had a sore throat. But my parents are pretty firm when they make a decision. Besides, it often got to the point where they’d threaten me, and I never felt like being grounded again. So one Saturday a month I suffered my little sister, who was somehow on her worst behavior every time she was my responsibility.
The other Saturday’s she would have other babysitters, and never the same one. My mom said we were trying to find the perfect fit for Ella. My dad said we were trying to find the least expensive one possible. But I knew the truth. All the old babysitters had run for their lives, never looking back. I was the only one that knew that most of them were scared of my sister. So we couldn’t keep a permanent sitter. I was actually kind of scared of her too, but I didn’t have the option of saying no or that I was busy when I wasn’t. My parents knew my plans and very annoyingly made sure that I stuck to their plans. So I had too.
I also had to hurry. I threw on some jeans and a grey t-shirt over the camisole I slept in. I didn’t have time to worry about what I was wearing or how I looked. Even as I thought that I was ashamed at myself, but also kind of amazed in a slightly mixed up way. However, I didn’t have time to even think anymore. I ignored my hair and looked at the floor rather than my mirror as I raced to the kitchen.
I jogged through the hallway as I frantically looked for Ella. Luckily she’s not hiding away doing something awful. Instead, she’s doing something awful in plain sight, which honestly will make it easier for me. I guess that sounds really sad, and if you’re feeling bad for me right now, well that’s a good thing. I felt sorry for myself too, but there’s nothing I can do. Ella is sitting in a tall barstool at our kitchen counter. She’s nodding her head to music that only she can here. I pause and watch as her curls bounce up and down to her nodding, while I try to figure out what the hell she’s doing.
I crane my neck so that she’s a little more in my line of vision. I squint so I can see what’s in front of her. On the bare counter she has a massive pile of what I think might be food. It has to be at least a foot high, and somehow, it’s not falling over. All of the food is pushed together so that I can’t tell what’s at the bottom of her pile, but whatever it is I feel bad for it. I would not want to be beneath whatever else she has on there, and she has got a lot on there.
At the top is the only thing that I can really distinguish - an egg that she hadn’t bothered to crack. It’s just sitting there like it’s an Easter egg, but one of the ones that they leave out in plain sight for little kids, at the frantic mad-dash hunts every spring.
I continue to watch as she jumps off of the barstool and runs over to the fridge. She opens the door and bends down and gets out an apple. She throws it on the ground as I step into our kitchen.
“ELLA! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”
My little sister spins around gleefully, and almost falls over. She steadies herself and grins a sloppy grin at me. I glare back into her unaware eyes. My little sister doesn’t understand how mad I am, which is not good for her.
“Look Gracie!” my sister yells, and she is obviously delighted I am up. “Ella maked breakfast! Ella makes more if Gracie likes Ella to. Do ya? Do ya?”
I throw my head back at the ceiling and scream. Very loudly. Ella copies me and I touch my hand to my ear wincing. She’s prettier than me and louder. But I’m about to be angrier than she’ll ever be, even if she lives forever.
“Oh my GOD! Ella ARE you insane!? What do you think you’re doing?!” I scream, and just like that I’m ranting. My rants are dangerously and notoriously famous among my friends. I don’t care though- I’m like butter at this point: I am on a roll. And I’m not going to stop- “I can’t BELIEVE this Ella! My God LOOK around! This kitchen is a WRECK! How am I gonna clean it all up, Ella!? Look at this! LOOK, Ella! Can you even SEE what you’ve done?? And NO, I DON’T want any more!” I give my angry big-sister glare for the final effect.
“Ella worked hard.” My little sister whimpers. She sounds upset that I’m not as ecstatic as she is about our ‘delicious’ breakfast.
“Ella can teach Gracie the re-sip-ee.” She smiles again, already forgetting my supposed-to-be memorable speech type thing. “Then we make more!”
“Ugh, Ella, No…” I groan, remembering she was only three, probably because of her 3rd person chatter “The only thing you’re going to make is bubbles in the tub.”