by Meg Nicole
The easiest way to say what you mean is to just write a letter.
You’re my sister. Flesh and blood. We kind of even look alike if you look close. You’re my older sister. You’re the one I run to when I’m too scared to go to Mom. You’re the one I climb in bed with when I was too old to climb in between Mom and Dad during thunderstorms. You’re the one I can rely on for information about the grade I’m going into and what to expect. You’re my older sister and I hate it.
You played volleyball, basketball, soccer, and participated in track. Guess what I did; volleyball, basketball, soccer, and track. Guess what sports I actually enjoyed; volleyball and soccer.
You are Ashleigh, that’s all you ever had to be. You didn’t have to live up to anyone’s expectations. You just had to be Ashleigh and do the best you could. You couldn’t do any wrong. Unfortunately, you had to be the perfect child. You were smart, athletic, and pretty. Everything a parent could ask for and so much more. You were the nicest person I knew. You were dedicated to everything you did, you were helpful, and you were neat! Of course, you’ve always had those attributes and you always will but in high school it showed a lot more, or at least I finally began to notice them in high school. And now you’re going to college and I have to live up to those expectations.
I didn’t feel the pressure till the summer before my freshman year. Before then I did things because I wanted to and it was fun. I was carefree and didn’t care about anything. Freshman year things changed. I had to be smart, athletic, and pretty. In other words, I had to be you.
Being the younger sister is hard. Everyone thinks that the youngest sibling is the favored one and that she gets everything. That’s not true for me. I don’t feel any favoritism. If anything, it was you being favored. Freshman year sucked. Sophomore year sucked. I don’t know how this year is going to be but it’s probably going to suck. You won’t be there but I’ll still have to live up to you.
I take honors classes so that I can be smart like you. If I did a regular class it wouldn’t matter if I got an A because it would just be a regular class. I had to get an A in an honors class otherwise I wouldn’t be as good at you. I hated Honors Chemistry. It would’ve been easier just to take regular chemistry. I hate science, period. I hate math and now I have to take Pre-Calculus just so I can stay caught up with you. Getting straight A’s was the only thing I could get. To me, getting a B was like failing, because a B isn’t as good as you.
I didn’t want to play basketball freshman year, but I did because you convinced me to. You told be it was new coach and I might like him more than my old coach. Again, I didn’t want to play sophomore year, but, again, you convince me to because it was your senior year and you wanted me there with you. So did and I hated it with a passion. But that was ok, I lived. I lived because I was supporting you and I knew that I could make my own decision next year. So here it is, next year and I still don’t get to make my own decision.
I decided to try something new and tryout for dance this year. I’ll be honest with you; when I was dancing, I knew I sucked but that was okay because I was having fun. It was fun to move my body and just feel the music. That was probably the first time I actually had fun during a sport. Maybe you don’t call it a sport, but I do. I don’t care what you say. So after I tried-out, I made the decision not to do basketball because I barely had any fun last year and it wasn’t worth it. I figured junior year would be the year I could shine and do what I want because I was the only one of our family at school. I would no longer be overshadowed by my sister. Finally, mom and dad would be asking me about my how my game went, how my hits were, did I score any goals; you would finally be out of the picture.
I wanted you to support me. That’s what you should do, you’re my sister. You knew I didn’t like basketball, you knew I hated it, but still you wanted me to play even though I would be unhappy. Do want me to be miserable and angry that whole winter? Cause I would be if I played basketball.
Why can’t you understand that everything I do in life is a reflection of you? I never get to do what I want to do. Yeah, sure, I’ve learned to like what I’ve been thrown, but I’m tired of that now. I want to break away. I want to be me for a change. Yeah, I have writing but guess how much I get to write? Almost never; I barely even have time to write this now. I should be in bed, but I’m not because I’m too stressed over this. I never have time to write because I’m too busy with sports and by time I get home I’m tired. Weekends I’m doing homework and Sundays I finally get to rest. I never have any inspiration because I’m tired and can’t think, but when I do have the urge to write you’re on the computer doing homework writing your perfect paper so that you can get yet another A or we aren’t even near a computer. For once I want to be able to write when I get that urge and write when I want to. Basketball was too intense. We wouldn’t get home till 9-9:30. Dance isn’t like that. It isn’t so intense. I’ll have time to write.
So now I’m babbling and repeating things over and over again. The main point of all of this was for you to see what it is like to be me. I’m challenged constantly by my own sister and I shouldn’t be. I have to be more beautiful, a better athlete, smarter, nicer, a better leader, and more dedicated than you just to be noticed. But now I’m breaking away and I’m going to start doing something I want to do. So screw you. I love you and all but screw you and everyone else that gets mad at me.
Love, your darling sister
Dear Mom and Dad,
I wish you hadn’t stopped with me when you were having kids. I wish you wouldn’t put so much pressure on me even if you didn’t know it. I wish you’d understand.
Love, your darling daughter
I stared at the two letters I had just written, read, and then reread. Light from the streetlights shined through the blinds of my window giving me enough light to read. I contemplated the two choices I had given myself; give the letter to which it was addressed to or hide them away forever and hope they’d find them when I died.
I shuffled the two letters together and started to reread the first letter, the letter to Ashleigh. I stopped halfway through and wiped a tear that escaped my eye. I made my decision quick and tore the letters in half. Weight seemed to lift of my chest. I ripped the letters again. And again and again and again. Each time the paper tore, more weight was lifted of my chest. The letters were mere shreds of paper and I felt like a new person. I swiped the scraps into the wastebasket near my bed. I smiled and I climbed into bed and pulled the covers up to my chin. I got comfortable and went to sleep; knowing that tomorrow was going to be a much better day than it had been.