Lots of people wish they could turn back time to the good ol' days and that's Michaela.
|Michaela: 12 years old; Emma: 9 years old
"Tag! You're it! Now go stand by the tree and count!" Michaela told her sister, then ran off to hide.
Emma nodded, turned to the tree and started counting.
"1… 2… 3… 4…"
Michaela ran up the hill and back down the hill, to the middle of the big cornfield and laid face down in one of the rows.
She waited. Two minutes passed and Michaela began playing with the tiny stalks of grass, shooting up underneath the stalks of corn.
Four minutes. Some stalks of grass that once lived in the floorboards of the Earth were now uprooted, thanks to a slightly bored Michaela.
Six minutes. Emma was never good at seeking, Michaela thought. Or maybe I'm just better at hiding than I thought.
Eight minutes, or was it eight? Telling time was pure guesswork since Michaela wasn't anywhere near a clock. She flipped over and squinted at the light gray, cloudy sky. She tried looking to the left, all she could see were the tops of corn stalks. Turning her head to the right didn't change anything, the only thing to do was try and look at the sky… Or maybe get up and yell, "Emma! I'm in the cornfield! Come find me!"
"Sounds better than sitting here, waiting for her to drag Mom out to find me," Michaela decided. She got up and made her way to the fence that surrounded the field.
As she reached the fence, Michaela heard a scream: Emma. Michaela's mind began racing about what happened as she leapt over the fence and bolted towards where she heard the scream: the road.
Slowing down near the road, she scanned the road for signs of her possibly hurt sister. Nothing.
No, no, no, don't let it end like this! "Emma!" Michaela screamed. Silence…then she heard a giggle above her.
She looked up in the tree next to the road. There was Emma, hugging the branch she was perched on, giggling and swinging her legs back and forth. Michaela put her hands on her hips, trying to do her best imitation of their mom and replied, "Down, Miss Trickster."
"You're not the boss of me!" Emma joked as she started climbing down.
"Oh, you're gonna regret saying that, Gretchen Emma Woods!" Emma wrinkled her nose at the sound of her first name and stopped climbing.
"Emma! Get down. Please!" Michaela grew impatient. "Can we just go play tag before Mom calls us back in?"
"Okay, Michael-la," Emma grinned and continued climbing down. Michaela playfully frowned even though she truly hated the name Michael-la.
Emma hopped down, quickly tapped Michaela and yelled, "Tag, you're it!"
"Hey, no fair! I wasn't ready!" Michaela shouted as Emma began laughing. The two chased each other until they decided to call it in early.
12 years later: Michaela: 24; Robert: 27
"Michaela. Michaela!" Robert shook her. Michaela shifted and rolled over, groaning. Robert smirked and whispered in her ear, "Michael-la."
Michaela shot up out of bed with a sour expression on her face. Robert chuckled, "Knew that would get you up."
Michaela picked the covers and attempted to throw them over Robert's head but throwing a wad of blankets isn't the same as throwing a wad of tissue paper. Robert caught the blanket and threw it over his back like a superhero cape and began running around the room, making rocket noises with his mouth.
Why do I like this idiot again? Michaela thought, watching her boyfriend zooming around the room like he was five again. Oh yeah, because he's a cute idiot.
"Vroom, Robert making a pit stop. Screeeeeeech!" Robert stopped in front of Michaela's bed, which was actually a couch that looked like a couch from the '50s and yet it was still in decent condition.
"You want coffee?"
"What time is it, Robert?"
"Coooooooming right up! Whooooosh!" Robert zoomed over to the coffee pot, knocking over some books on the journey over.
Michaela scoffed with a smile on her face and made her way to the laundry room. Piles of clothes, dirty or clean, didn't matter, they needed to be washed at some point. Michaela opened the dryer door and stuck her head inside, scrounging around for a clean, decent shirt, pants and bra. She found a decent shirt and a bra but the pants were wet. She sniffed the pants. Mildew. She crinkled her nose.
Hopefully no one gets too close to me. She thought, switching pants. Her legs didn't like the feeling of wet, mildew-smelling pants but she hoped that they would dry rather quickly.
The smell of coffee took over the smell of mildew and Michaela couldn't be happier. Robert turned his head to see his girlfriend and smiled.
"What?" Michaela chuckled.
Robert sighed happily. "You look beautiful."
Michaela laughed. "But I don't look good!" She scoffed. "I'm wearing pants that are covered in mildew because we never switched them over!"
"Yes, but that doesn't make you beautiful. You are what makes you beautiful." Michaela blushed.
"Coffee?" Robert's hand drew Michaela's eyes towards an already poured cup of coffee, no cream or sugar yet.
"Aw, thank you, Robert." They high-fived. Michaela didn't enjoy hugs.
Robert's watch zinged which reminded Robert, "I have to go, bye!"
Michaela laughed, "You're still wearing the blanket!" Robert let the blanket fall to the ground and slammed the door. A corner of the blanket got caught in the door. Michaela left her coffee to grab the blanket, chuckling at the clown of a boyfriend she has.
"Yeah, but he's a good clown, the kind you laugh at because their antics make you laugh, not because they're stupid… or anything." Michaela remembered, wrapping the blanket around her and curled up on the couch.
The cloud of thoughts called 'Emma' crept back into her mind
Where was Emma?
They hadn't talked or contacted each other for four years.
What was Emma doing?
Did she have a family of her own?
Was she doing better than her failure of a sister?
Michaela buried her head in the blanket.
It's not my fault. It is your fault. It's not my fault! It is your fault!
"Here we go again!" She yelled to no one except her neighbors if they bothered to listen, which they probably would.
Was she doing better than her? She has to be. Michaela thought. She wasn't the one who had the ambition to go to college only to focus on what her peers thought of her and not her schoolwork during highschool.
There's a test to study for? Sorry, making sure I look like I was photoshopped so Jenny would maybe look in my direction and put me on the cheer team is more important than a test that would affect my GPA while Jenny caring if I existed or not doesn't.
Oh, I'm failing in Biology, the number one class I need to pass in order for me to have a good chance at becoming a scientist studying plants? No, Markus has a bag of pot for some of the kids to smoke and I would love to try some and definitely get addicted to the point of I can't breathe without smoking five joints a day.
Michaela wiped her face, trying to wipe away her stupid mistakes but her hands weren't powerful enough, unfortunately.
She fell over in a heap and began crying. Her life was amazing, she had a loving family, parents that cared about her and wanted to make sure she stayed a good little girl, Michaela's older friends who wanted to teach her about adult things at a young age so she wouldn't become a typical teenager that wanted to be on everyone's good side, and Emma her little sister who needed a good role model to look up too, someone who would play with her all the time and be the best big sister ever.
Oh, what an amazing sister I turned out to be. This thought began another round of tears. She spent a good thirty minutes letting the tears flow as her thoughts jabbed and laughed at her for being who she is today. She sat there in a figurative puddle of emotions, stewing. Her coffee had been left alone for forty minutes and was now slightly colder than room temperature.
The house was quiet while Michaela's brain sounded like a crowd after an important figure had been assassinated, except the important figure was still alive and the crowd wanted that figure dead.