Siblings! They argue and annoy you, they take your things with out asking for permission and get away with everything. And yet…you can’t live without them!
The word of the day is – Sisters!
“I hate my sister!” Tara thought. “Hate, hate, hate her!” She had just come home to find a bunch of comics scattered across her bed. Only one person could have done it, Tara thought grimly, Meera. She set to work picking up and stacking the comics into a neat pile. Why does Meera have to lie on my bed when she wants to read, she wondered for the hundredth time. Why couldn’t she use her own bed?
Tara glanced at Meera’s bed. Meera’s uniform shirt was draped over one end and her shirt on the other end. Her dirty socks were on the bed too and Tara wrinkled her nose at the sight. When would Meera learn to take care of her things? Her new watch had been thrown carelessly among the mess of clothes on the bed. Tara paused in the act of gathering the comics and thought of how Meera had begged for that watch, promising to take care of it. She didn’t deserve to own a watch. Scooping up the watch Tara hid it under the tidy stacks of her clothes in her cupboard. That’ll teach Meera to mess up my bed, she thought. And satisfied with herself, Tara sat down to doing her homework. When a violent peal of the doorbell announced Meera, Tara thought, “Why can’t Meera stop being so noisy?”
A minute later Meera herself burst into the room, flopped down on Tara’s bed, rumpling the bed cover and saying, “I beat Amruta in the race today! Huh!”
“Get off my bed!” Tara said. “I’ve just straightened it!”
“But I am not doing anything!” Meera protested, sitting up and further rumpling the sheet.
“Look!” Tara shrieked, pointing to the bed. “Look at what you’ve done!”
“You can straighten it,” Meera explained. “And..”
“Get off my bed!” Tara said.
“But…” Meera said.
“Get… off.. my…bed!” Tara said slowly and emphatically.
Meera got off the bed, frowning. “Fine!” she said. “Be mean to me!”
“I am mean to you?” Tara echoed, amazed.
“Yes,” Meera nodded. “You are always mean to me and…I got you something!”
Tara pretended not to hear and bent over her books again, intent on solving the tricky Math problem.
“Did you hear me?” Meera raised her voice. “I got you something!”
With a sigh Tara put down her pen. “What is it?” she asked, trying not to sound impatient.
“Here!” Meera dropped something on Tara’s book. It was a chocolate bar, the kind that Tara loved, with dried fruits and nuts in it.
“Oh!” Tara said, surprised. “Thank you!”
“See?” Meera said. “And you were being mean to me!”
Tara felt sorry for her bad temper. How could she have thought that she hated her sister? Meera was often irritating but then she did things like this that made Tara feel special.
“I’ll share the chocolate with you,” Tara offered now, trying to make amends.
“Great!” Meera’s eyes lit up. Tara split the chocolate in half and for a couple of minutes there was silence as they enjoyed the treat.
“Mmmm,” Tara said, swallowing the last of the chocolate. “That was great!”
“I know!” Meera smacked her lips, “I am going to play now!” she announced and began moving things around on her bed. “What are you looking for?” Tara wanted to know.
“My watch,” Meera said. “And I can’t find it though I remember leaving it on the bed!” Tara thought of the watch under a pile of her clothes and mellowed by the taste of the chocolate, she said, “Actually, I hid your watch! It’s under my clothes!”
“Hid my watch?” Meera turned a surprised face towards Tara. “But why?”
“It’s right there,” Tara said. “Under my school clothes,” hoping that she wouldn’t have to give an explanation for this. Meera was already rummaging around in her cupboard and suddenly afraid, Tara said, “Careful! Don’t mess my clothes around!” But Meera seemed not to hear and continued looking till with a triumphant, “Got it!” she emerged from the cupboard and ran out of the room. Tara peered into her cupboard. The clothes had all been messed around and all the neat stacks had disappeared.
“I hate my sister!” Tara said. “Hate! Hate! Hate!” She thought of the momentary friendship that she had shared with her sister, as they ate the chocolate. And then she thought of their various quarrels. There would be no change in that, Tara realised. She and Meera would continue to quarrel with each other, even hate each other but also continue to do things for each other. And that was what having a sister meant. The thought of a life full of these upsets overwhelmed her for a minute and then, Tara smiled. As long as there were chocolate moments, she could handle the other moments too.
This story as published in Young Buzz, the children’s pages of Sakal Times.