What I did for V-Day. No really.

Posted: April 18, 2011 in Fiction
Tags: , , , ,

Valentine’s was a tough time for me this year not cause of the sappy reasons but cause a week earlier, I’d gone through some seriously shitty things. I was miserable and alienated and lonely, and here was this holiday of, for lack of a better word, fucing togetherness shoving itself in my face every chance it got. I had two options; wallow in self-pity or do something about it. I chose the latter, and decided to make my favorite sister my Valentine. Pathetic I know, but I adore my sister. Most days, she’s the only one I like in my family. Anyway, I got her a lot of cheesy presents, and one of them was this story. I told her once that one day, I’ll write a book based on the title and she hated it despite my constant explanations of how the title is supposed to be ironic and shit, so I decided to write the short version of this for her. Anyway, the little girl story format is something an old friend made up for me when I was torturing him on Skype to tell me a story and its one that I’ve grown fond of. So without further ado…

My Sister, The Enemy:

I sought my soul, but my soul I could not see,

I sought my God but my God eluded me,

I sought my sister, and I found all three.

For the better part of my life, I have no memory of my sister. My memories make it clear that somewhere in the blurry haze that is my life, she was there, somewhere in the background. But I have no memory of her.

But that’s the thing about people that matter. You don’t know they’re there, because you take them for granted, assuming they will always be there, a vague, comforting presence in the background as you battle it out with the Fates to carve out your place in the world.

**********
If you don’t understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child. 

Once upon a time, there was a little girl that lived in a little village with her parents and brothers and sisters. And because this little girl was the youngest, therefore, she was always petted and cosseted by everyone, and generally spoiled like a little princess. While her siblings would often get scolded for misbehaving, often it would happen that the little girl would not, with her father protesting that no one was allowed to scold his little girl. And the little girl was very happy in her own little world, with her siblings and parents and school-friends.

As time passed, the little girl’s eldest sister was married off, and she was left with a sister she hardly knew, and a brother that was more a boy that lived in her house, rather than a sibling that she’d have any kind of relationship with. Now the little girl’s second-eldest sister was left with the responsibility of two young siblings to take care of. She had always had her older sister to do that for her, but now, the responsibility fell on her. And therefore, the little girl clung to her newly-discovered sister, having no one else to turn to.

My sister taught me everything I really need to know, and she was only in sixth grade at the time.

As time passed, the little girl grew to be good friends with the sister she’d just discovered, and was happier than ever. But, all good things must end eventually, and for the little girl, this came as she started to grow up. One day, as the little girl watched one of her favorite TV shows, the little girl’s newly discovered sister banned her from the TV, telling their parents that the little girl was watching a frightening show that children couldn’t watch. That night, the little girl was furious at her sister, and cried herself to sleep. Thinking she’d had a nightmare, the little girl’s newly discovered sister tried to help, telling her to close her eyes and pretend she was a powerful witch that no one  could defeat, not even the monsters in her dreams. Angered further, the little girl, for the first time since she’d discovered her other sister, turned away from her own sibling.

The little girl had many friends, people that she was quite fond of, even if they weren’t the kind of people adults would approve of. One day, her newly discovered sister found out about some unsavoury friends that the little girl had, and told her elder married sister, who told their mom, thus angering the little girl, who was furious. As the youngest, the little girl had always done what she wanted, and such interference greatly angered her. For days and days, she didn’t talk to her newly discovered sister, who tried to make her see that such bad people were not her friends at all, but the little girl didn’t want to listen to any of it.

A toast once heard:  “To my big sister, who never found her second Easter egg until I’d found my first.” 

Another time, as the little girl read a book for adults, her newly-discovered sister confiscated the book, telling her that some things were not meant to be seen until the proper time. The little girl was livid with rage, as always, but her newly discovered sister stuck by her decision, insisting that one day, the little girl would be glad to be reading things at the right time when she could fully understand them.

As the little girl grew up, the time came for her to go to college, and the newly discovered sister once again meddled, convincing the family that the little girl should not be allowed to pursue what she wanted to study as it was not beneficial for her. Against her better judgment, the little girl was forced to study something else, angered at her sister for interfering in her matters once again.

As the years passed, the little girl changed, and became a different person, an angry person embittered by her own self-destructive tendencies and all the evil she saw around her. And as she clashed more and more with her newly discovered sister, she grew angrier and angrier, despite the newly discovered sister’s attempts to save her little sister. And finally, one day, the little girl had had enough. She told her sister that she couldn’t tolerate her anymore, or their family, and thus, the little girl left her parents and her family and her home and went off into the world alone, where no one would constantly interfere in her matters.

And now, dear sister, I must leave this house or the retreating army will make me a prisoner in it by filling up the road I am directed to take.

Now that the little girl was alone, she had to somehow make her own way into the world. Luckily for her, she was armed with an education, and found a place to work easily enough, a place which let her speak about all the evils around her, and attempt to change such evils, and try to make a difference in the world, and she remembered how years ago, her newly discovered sister had forced her to change paths, leading her to this point in her life, when she was doing what she was meant to do, what she loved to do, and she fleetingly wondered if this would be the case if the little girl had been allowed her own way, but she quickly squashed the thought, because her newly discovered sister and family was what she was running from.

And though the little girl didn’t have her family anymore, she did have her friends, people she cared for dearly, and even though they were all caught up in their own lives, the little girl knew she had people she could count on. But one day, the little girl’s dearest friend quarreled with her, and told the little girl that he couldn’t tolerate her anymore and ended their friendship. And the little girl cried bitter tears, unable to comprehend that her closest friend was no longer her friend, and fleetingly remembered how her newly discovered sister had warned her against her friends, against this particular friend the most, but as always, she squashed such thoughts.

I know some sisters who only see each other on Mother’s Day and some who will never speak again. But most are like my sister and me- linked by volatile love, best friends who make other best friends ever so slightly less best.

Now as the little girl tried to make her own life, and tried to help people, she made enemies with people, powerful, evil people, who didn’t like how the little girl was trying to dismantle their empires and conspiracies and well-manipulated plans. Thus, the little girl was constantly in danger, and was hurt and beaten and attacked and at risk of losing her life. Though the little girl insisted on fighting for the greater good, there were times when she was frightened and unable to cope with the dangers around her. At such times, the little girl would close her eyes and pretend to be a powerful witch whom no one could defeat, just like in her favorite stories, squashing the memory of how she’d learned this trick in the first place.

There can be no situation in life in which the conversation of my dear sister will not administer some comfort to me.

And as the years passed by, the little girl learned many things, and read many books, learning all about the world and people and great empires of the past, and was able to learn and understand, because now, though still the little girl, she had matured, and had the capacity to understand such lofty ideas, things she couldn’t have been able to comprehend as a child, and squashed the thought of how it was a good thing she hadn’t read such things when she was young.

The mildest, drowsiest sister has been known to turn tiger if her sibling is in trouble.

As time passed by, the little girl, though being successful and beloved by the people she helped, became unbearably lonely. As friends got their own lives, and co-workers grew jealous and hostile due to the little girl’s success, the little girl realized that she didn’t have anyone to share in her joys and fears and achievements and failures, no one to stand beside her, and the thought of that greatly saddened the little girl. One day, unable to cope, the little girl bade the people that loved her farewell, and once again, set out in the world, trying to find some peace for herself.

Our brothers and sisters are there with us from the dawn of our personal stories to the inevitable dusk.

And as the little girl traveled the world, she met many different people, good and bad, strange and unique, and made many friends and acquaintances, and saw many new and wondrous things. But though all the things she saw were fascinating , she still couldn’t find any peace. And one day, as the little girl walked on, she found herself surrounded by familiar hills and flowers that she had somehow seen before, and she realized she was back home in her village. Unable to cope with the idea of facing her family, who she’d run away from, the little girl took a detour, walking higher up in the hills so she could be alone. And as the little girl sat there, all alone, she contemplated her life, and all that she’d done, and all the decisions that had led her to this point, when she had everything but was still so lonely and unhappy. But then, the little girl realized there was someone sitting beside her, and she turned to see who it was, and found it to be a grizzled, older version of her newly discovered sister. That was when the little girl saw her mistake, because all this time she’d thought that she was alone, and had to take on life without anyone to support her or watch over her, but she had been wrong, because if not in body, then in spirit, there had always been someone by her side, ready to support her, encourage her, protect her from any mistakes she might make and ensure that she had a good life filled with success and happiness. All this the little girl finally understood as she saw the one person that had always been by her side no matter what, the person that in her foolishness and childish pride, she had always seen as her sister, the enemy.

She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink. Some days, she’s the reason you wish you were an only child.

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Comments
  1. This was so amazing, Ghausia. I wish I had a sister now 😦

    • Ghausia says:

      Aw shucks.:D Its actually based on reality more or less, the show she didn’t let me watch was Dark Angel, she told me a year or so ago that it looked so creepy, she didn’t want me having nightmares more than I normally did. :)You know, my previous semester’s result got released that day, I got 3 As, she got presents and a dinner of sorts.:p there there, I’ll be your soul sistah. I can’t believe I said that. Ew.:D

      • Haha, waisay I loved being an only child, and some of the perpetual loneliness has gotten into my soul… only sometimes do I wish I had a constant source of solace, because really you’re right one can’t depend on friends and collegues, there’s no replacing family. Your sister sounds like such a dear, you’re lucky yaar! 🙂

        • Ghausia says:

          Retaaard how could you like bieng an only child? 😛 I have 3 siblings and lived with my cousins till I think 2008. so I grew up surrounded by kids even if we seldom got along. 😛 Me and my sister, we have epic fights, but she’s still awesome. Don’t say yaar, slang is bad! 😛

      • I’m bad 😛

        Yeah I grew up pretty alone. When we’d come to Pakistan in the summers and I’d be surrounded by a bunch of noisy cousins I’d like it for the first few days, and then I’d just start going into a corner by myself for whiles, just to be alone and away from it all. Lol. I think I’m still like that.

        • Ghausia says:

          lol well a lot of times when my sister is staying over when the hubby is away and the kids are driving me insane I lock my room and stay holed up for a few hours, it does get overwhelming. I’m actually an odd mix, most of the times I crave company and love hanging out with friends and family, but a lot of times I have typical loner tendencies. 😀

  2. Amna K says:

    This was absolutely Amazing.

    I’m gonna go hug my sisters now. But wait, I’m the eldest! So I’ll make them read it and make THEM hug me!

  3. Amna Kausar says:

    I sweeeeaaaaarrr they do EXACTLY the same thing!!

    • Ghausia says:

      LOL. Little sisters will always be the same, no matter what. 😛 I’m assuming that when you randomly feel affectionate and text them (if they have phones) then they’re going to be all “Go away, I’m busy, I have a life” even though when you said the same thing, they whined and ranted over the lack of attention? 😛

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