It was the day before Thanksgiving, and my family and I were at the dinner table discussing how my older sister got a new hobby. Recently at her college, she learned how to play the ukulele. My parents were so impressed. I wasn't. They continued to talk and my sister then brought up how she and her English major buddies watched the extended version of The Lord Of The Rings. My father enjoyed the stories she thought was funny. "I could never go back to watch the originals, now. I can't wait for the next two." That's great, sis. That night she got a early Christmas gift- ukulele related. Surprise! I got nothing early. I'm not bitter when it comes to my sister getting more things than me. I'm more on the not caring and sarcastic side of it all. I feel like the middle child- the one parents forget because they are so impressed on how their oldest is doing and that they also have to take care of the youngest. Sad thing is that my mother and father only have two children- this case, one.
Tomorrow we are going to the family's house to have an early dinner. My sister is not going to come because she's going to her boyfriend's family. Yay for me. My early Christmas gift is awkward talk with family. She just got back from college and now she's not even spending time with us on the holiday that is for family- only. If I had to describe my sister with one word it would be: typical. She's not her own person and only likes something if she sees someone else doing it first. The only thing I give her credit for is her drawings, but she kept that a secret till college when she posted one of her sketches on Facebook. Then it was all master color pencils and mid condition pens for birthday gifts. "I don't know where she gets it." Mother will always say. She does things only for people to applaud her. Me? I don't feel the need to get people on their toes, wanting more. If I get a good grade on a test, I'm proud of myself. But I'm the only one who is. When I get home I end up throwing it away. I didn't want to get my parents hopes up that I'll be receiving the same grade again. They'll just see my report card say average and get on with their lives.
The next morning I got dressed and applied makeup to my bland face. My sister came in and complemented me, saying how I was the pretty one, with a long torso and a nice shape. That she wished she could have done her makeup like mine when she was my age. My mother over heard and told her that she was beautiful. I then thought that maybe my mother thought my sister was self conscience when she said I was "The Pretty One" and wanted her to feel the same. But that gives me too much glory. I guess I just have to turn down my beauty for everyone around me, since it makes everyone self conscience.
We then separated once we got in the two cars and drove off in different directions. Out of the bag I packed full of things to save me from boredom, I pulled out my friendless phone and listened to music while mother and father turned on Sports radio The Fan. Usually the same channel I hear every morning when father drives me to school, and when he turns it on- in goes my head phones. I couldn't care less about sport talk. I didn't want to know what Ex of the quarterback gave him his underwear. It was just useless talk, but isn't everything.
I took out my left ear bud, looking at the time. It had almost been three hours, about the time it takes to get to the family's. I glanced out the window. I forgot how beautiful the mountains were in the fall. A sight like maple colors trees and pumpkin colors in the leaves made my heart melt. The sun shown through above the dark grey tops and blinded my eyes. The mixture of the golden rays and the leaves of the tree was exactly like a pie crust your grandmother would pull out of her oven once you arrived. The pie analogy made me hungry. I was then satisfied when I remembered where we were going, dinner. Soon, came familiar neighborhoods that road along side the fantastic view. Someday I would live somewhere that was beautiful, too.
We pulled into the 65 degree left turn driveway, making me sway rightward in the cold side of my seat. Making the heat from the glorious feathers from the sun sizzle away- made me uncomfortable again. I awkwardly slid out of the car and pulled up my pants and fixed my sweater to look presentable. I didn't bother to bring my phone, I won't be getting any messages anyway. Everyone I talk to is busy. Father didn't bother to knock or ring the bell once we got to the door, we just walked in. Once I shut the door, I knocked slightly and looked up. "We aren't that barbaric, God." I flowed to the kitchen because I knew the trays of food needed to be taste tested. I was about to dip my finger in the cool whip on top of the apple pie until grandmother stopped me. "Good timing, I was just pulling the pumpkin pie out of the oven. After you test that one, you'll need to see if this one is good too." She winked and took off her oven mitts. Oh, how she gets me.
After I taste tested in secret, I sat down at the kid table with all my cousins in my age range, 0-15. Of course, we got to make our rounds first, the only benefit sitting at the kiddie table. I shouldn't forget about the little ones shoving peas up their noses and seeing who can be the first one to blow a pea into my mashed potatoes. It's all fun and games until a child has a fork in their neck.
I was sitting on the couch mindlessly listening to all the conversations fill the house.
"She couldn't make it today."
"Isn't that a shame. I wished she would have came."
Another conversation sparked down the hall.
"He couldn't make in either."
"I wouldn't imagine it, he lives so far away and is so busy all the time."
I knew they we talking about my uncle. I never met him but I've seen him in pictures and heard all sorts of story's about him. How he's young, has a good work place, nice home. He sounds charming. I would like to meet him instead of hear rumors about him. The sound of my mother's phone going off snapped me from my thoughts. She was in the kitchen and her hand was raised to her ear. Muffled talk was all I heard. She ran to my father and clenched his arm. I knew what ever was being said on the phone was not good at all. Her voice cracked as she ended the phone and told my father that my sister had been in accident while going to her boyfriends family and is at the hospital now. They put on their jackets and told me I should stay here and not worry, that I'll be happier with family at this time. My heart didn't race. I knew my sister would be okay, everything will always be okay. My eyes were big as I starred at the place where my parents were once standing. My grandfather sat next to me on the couch. "She'll be okay, everything will always be okay." His words always echoed in my head. My grandmother came into the living room and handed me my phone. Mother had given it to her in case they had to reach me.
It had been an hour now and we all sat on the couch watching Gone With The Wind, a classy movie. I remembered Carrel Brunette did a sketch on the scene where the main character made her dress out of a curtain, but actually took the whole curtains and wrapped it around herself. She was hilarious. A commercial came on and I walked to the kitchen to help with the dishes and pack away the leftovers. Some family members wanted to have a to-go container so I quickly made doggy bags and sent them on their way. We all hugged at the door and rubbed cheeks. It wasn't long before it was just grandfather, grandmother and I.
When I checked the clock, it was 9pm. I had no idea that this movie was five hours long. I don't even know how I let time pass so quickly. After the movie, my grandparents turned everything off and we headed up stairs. Grandmother handed me extra clothes to wear to sleep. They were two times larger than me but very comfortable. I sailed away to a deep sleep. I woke up around 3am and went down stairs to make a sandwich. As I checked my phone that I left on couch, I noticed that I had new messages and a missed call.
"Hope you had a great thanksgiving! :)" was a text three of my friends sent me. I then listened to the missed call. It addressed my name and my parents name. It informed me that my parents were also in a horrible accident coming into the hospital to check on my sister. The speaker doubted that the three will make it till morning. This was around 6pm. Another missed call around ten said that they were sorry for my losts. My losts. My hands went numb. My eyes went cold. My body tensed. Death did not register in my mind, yet.
I cried. I cried because I didn't know what was going to happen next.