Confessions III

III.

Remember all the names of her boyfriends? Please. Of course she doesn’t because she didn’t have any. We weren’t allowed to have boyfriends. Maybe in her little dream world she did. For her, it was all about books and stuffed animals and pets. That rat she called a hamster, I didn’t kill it. Although I wanted to, believe me. Everyone knows hamsters live only 2 or 3 months at most. Sure, the thing annoyed me, running on that damn squeaky wheel all night so I couldn’t get to sleep. But kill it? How? Did I slip sleeping-pill powder into its water bottle or spray Raid into its face? How would I have gotten away with it with her sleeping in the same room every night? Little sister always got what she wanted – pink walls, a pet hamster, the bottom bunk.

One time, I convinced her that sleeping on the top bunk was top notch, first class. Said you’d be closer to God. She was afraid of heights, but all the same, knowing I was underneath to catch her should she fall, she finally agreed. The sliding ladder would keep you from falling off in the middle of the night, with its long wooden bar. So once she was fast asleep, I tiptoed out of my bottom bunk and quietly removed the bar, knowing she’d have to get up to pee. And there she went bump in the night. I got majorly whipped for that cause the little witch went telling on me. Daddy chased after me with the ladder bar and thrashed it against my bottom. But it was all worth it. Once I heard her crash onto the tile floor, I shuddered with a chill of a thrill.

Yes I knew that Tinkerbell was her favorite prized possession. I’d watch her take the thing in her hand and hum to it. Even when it bit her, she’d stroke it softly like it was a baby’s forehead. I never meant it any harm, even when I said, “I hope that stupid rat dies!” We all know that words don’t really mean a thing. Once, when she was out in the kitchen, I opened the little rat cage and tried to pet the thing, out of curiosity and it bit my pointer finger. I might have reacted suddenly and swiped it across the cage by accident. I don’t remember exactly. I do remember tugging its tail once or twice and flicking a few shavings at it. But that wouldn’t have killed it. Yes, it was dead the next day, but I’m sure I wasn’t the cause of it. It kept up its marathon wheel-running that very same night.

It’s not the hamster I really hated. All I ever wanted was to have my own room. My own bunk bed. Then I could sleep on the bottom, or the top, whenever I felt like it. Little sis’ wasn’t all that bad to have around, really. I kind of got accustomed. She just got in the way.

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