Sister Sister

I’ve posted this story a million times, but it really defines my childhood with my sister, so here it is again. Enjoy.

They say that there exist only two things in life that are certain: death, and taxes.  Death may be unavoidable, but if taxes were inevitable than we would have no need for IRS audits.  I believe that in life the two unwavering facts are as thus: no one outdoes death, and that if you have a sibling you will fight with it at least once before dying.  I have met families that brag about how great their children get along or how their two boys are the best of friends and all I can think to myself is “yes, for now they’re best playground buddies, but introduce hormones, boobs and booze, then tell me they’re not at each other’s throats like rabid dogs.”  My younger sister and I had a relationship that was defined only by our fighting.  
People always said we would grow out of it.  “Oh give it a few years and you guys will be the best of friends!” Her and I would both scoff, look away and five minutes later be beating each other senseless.  I had two other younger siblings to fight with but my younger sister, Nina, and I had a special bond that could never be civil.  We barely seamed related.  When we were old enough to understand infidelity to a point, I would refer to her as “the milkman baby”, in an effort to convince her we were not related by full blood.  She was a tall, wiry, blonde with a big dopey grin and bright eyes to match, that made her irresistible to child loving adults.  She was energetic and loud in everything she did, spastic as I would say.  I was a short, brunette who was afraid of her own shadow.  I was quiet, painfully shy and my defensive, rude nature did not help my big ears and constantly miserable expression.  
Nina and I had some pretty epic fights over the course of our childhood. I broke her arm by telling her if she tied pillows to her appendages and jumped off the bed she could fly.  I gave her two staples in her skull when I informed her of “the pushing game”, where we stood on the bed, jumping up and down, until I shoved her.  If she didn’t fall off the bed, she won. I taught her to play tag by ‘tagging’ her with the metal ladder of our bunk bed.  My torture was not entirely brutish; as shown by my milkman comments, I was well versed in psychological warfare.  
At one time I insisted that the birthmarks on her body were because my parents spilt coffee on her as a child and did not love her enough to clean it.  This caused her only momentary distress, by this point in our lives neither of us trusted a single word the other said.  I knew to get at her I would have to revamp my game.  One day I walked into our shared bedroom, a common battleground, to find her sticking a temporary Barbie tattoo to her stomach.  I immediately gasped and said “Nina! you better get those off your body now before they become permanent!” At first, she was wary but I could sense the growing worry in her eyes so I kept pushing.  I told her our parents would be unimaginably angry at her if she had tattoos. After a good three minutes of my needling her, she cracked and panicked.  She started viciously and relentlessly scratching it tattoo off her body like a sick animal.  I was in my glory!  This was way better than the classic “stop hitting yourself”; I didn’t even have to touch her!  When she started to bleed a decent amount she ran screaming and apologizing to our mother.  To this day she has the scar on her stomach. 


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