I'd grumble and I'd groan...it was hard to be her little brother.
Sometimes Angie would feel the need to rearrange her room. Guess who got to help her do that? I would be in that little room for most of the afternoon shifting her desk from one wall to the other. Angie had me move her desk into the closet once, which required the removal and rearrangement of all the stuff within her closet. Other times she'd have me twist her full dresser into the tightest of corners, only to move it 5 minutes later because it covered too much of her Antonio Sabato, Jr. poster. It sucked. By the end of the day I really hated Antonio, that handsome, shirtless bastard. My payment for all this work? A hug and a thank you. I was so annoyed, but I grumbled under my breath and left the room.
One time while I was dead asleep, she put ruby red lipstick and blue eyeliner on me. I never felt a thing. It wasn't until I woke up to answer nature's call that I saw something from 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' looking back at me in the mirror. I woke my mom up grumbling, groaning, and probably crying about what my sister did. I could hear Angie snickering from her bed, which increased the pitch of my whine to an audible level only the dog could hear. Mom helped me remove the makeup and gently chided Angie. I only felt slightly vindicated.
In the constant battle of wits that was the cornerstone of our sibling rivalry, I was fighting a losing battle. It was as if she knew what I was going to say before I even said it. My only defense as her dimwitted brother was to punch my sister in the only place I could...the shoulder. Not in the stomach...that's where her button for her feeding tube and her porta cathe precariously lived. Not in her legs...that's where she had to give herself shots every day. Nowhere was "acceptable" but the shoulder, so I'd haul off and lay one into her. She'd recoup and counter with her vicious set of feline-like manicured nails that dug deep into my arm, penetrating several layers of skin and often drawing blood. I still have the scars. Who would get in trouble? Both of us, but I would get an extra talking to because I should've known how fragile Angie was. "Stupid sister." I'd grumble under my breath.
There was many a night that I laid across the end of her bed at home, squeezing her foot above the covers. She'd call my name in the middle of the night because she needed me to stay near by. I grumbled and groaned, but I did it. There was room next to her, but that was reserved for our dog Charlie, who stretched his little schnauzer body as far as it could go, so I was left with the end of the bed. The crimson glow of the numbers from her pink digital clock kept me conscious enough to hear Angie's chest rattle with mucus. Her I.V. pump was warning us of air bubbles throughout the night. It was enough to drive you mad if you weren't used to it. Angie slept right through it. It's amazing what you can get used to when you have no choice in the matter.
The other night I brought up the trash can from the end of the driveway and I was out of breath. It hit me from out of nowhere. I had a moment where I knew what it felt like to be Angie. I cried. It's a blessing and a curse to realize that someday I will know exactly how she felt. I grumble and groan while I continue to cry.
I can't even remember what she sounds like anymore. I try my damndest, but I just can't do it. I think of her every day and selfishly wish she was still here, even though I know she is peaceful. That helps heal my heart a little, but I still grumble and groan.
I miss my bright, witty, charming, practical joker of a sister. I want my passionate, caring, and thoughtful sister back. I still grumble and groan.
I am peaceful. I am positive. I am who I am thanks in part to my sister. I grumble and groan a little less. I miss being her little brother.
Do me a favor, readers? Hug your siblings or your really close friends extra tight next time you see them.
Peaceful "Little Brother" Things,