“Lisa, you get in here, you little—”
Lisa sidled back into the room.
“What is THIS?!!” Tanya demanded, holding up a rumpled, soiled garment by the very tip of the corner, between her thumb and fingertip. She shook it out angrily. An ant fell to the floor in a shower of crumbs, and grabbing one as it went, it scurried out of sight.
“Um… it’s a shirt.”
“I KNOW it’s a shirt, nitwit. A dirty shirt. And do you know where dirty shirts go?”
Not waiting for an answer, Tanya picked up a bottle of shampoo from a pile of clothes nearby. The lid was loose, and thick, sticky liquid oozed and dripped down her hand to the library book lying open on the floor.
Lisa scrambled out of the way as Tanya threw the shampoo bottle at her.
“I am so sick and tired of cleaning up after you, you little slob! This is supposed to be OUR room, not yours. You are twelve years old, Lisa! What’s the matter with you? I feel sorry for the man you’re gonna marry some day! Your house will be fit for the pigs!!”
Lisa burst into tears. “I’m sorry, Tanya! Okay? I HATE being a slob! But do you have to be so mean about it? Every time this happens, you start throwing things and calling me nasty names. Do you think that makes me want to do anything to help? No—it makes me want to run away and leave it all to you, Miss Perfect. Maybe if you’d act human for a change, you could teach me a thing or two!”
And she turned on her heel and left the room.
Tanya stared after her in surprise. Then she sat down on her neatly made bed and thought about what her little sister had said. She wondered how two sisters could be raised by the same parents yet be so different. Too bad they were thrown together in the same bedroom and had to live with those drastic differences.
Maybe we can both learn from each other, thought Tanya. I wonder what would happen if I made a serious effort to work with Lisa? I could teach her a few tips and tricks, and maybe she could teach me a few things about relaxing and not being such a stickler for perfection.
It wouldn’t be easy, but it would be a start. Feeling much better and not such a tyrant, Tanya went in search of her sister.
© Willena Flewelling