Screaming, running down the hallway, sliding down the staircase, driving my parents off the wall, all of which I had help with. With me being the youngest and smallest of my siblings, I caught the bird’s-eye view, or the big picture, of all of our memories. I am an authority on being the youngest, and knowing what loneliness feels like in a household of three children. My sister, Maria, was either my best friend, or my worst enemy. We would scream at the top of our lungs while jumping on our beds, listening to the Backstreet Boys or Aaron Carter. We would get into our grandma’s makeup, play dressup, and paint our nails multiple colors. As if the hallway was a runway, we would walk up and down it in high heels, that although they were average height, we saw them as stilettos. These shoes gave us power over the world. We were divas!
Most of the time you could see my sister and I having a ball, but sibling rivalry
was often involved.
When we cleaned our room, we would divide who got what
side to pick up.
Being younger, you can imagine, between my sister and I, who
got the short end of the stick.
If you have ever set foot in a girl’s closet, you've
probably felt like you were lost in an endless abyss of clothes, shoes, purses,
and hats. In my case, it wasn't just ones girl’s closet, it was two, so double the
items. I would fuss and argue, but I never got to clean the bedroom.
Oh how having older siblings is terrible.
At least I thought.
Across the hallway was another room I’ll never forget.
Behind the walls, lurked
a pigsty, dark, rock music mosh pit, week old pizza smelling, of a room.
This room belonged to my brother Chris.
When I walked in, I most often found him
playing his Play Station. I remember most of all, how I would climb on his back,
and watch him play. I would give him advice on how to play, and he would get
His pay back was tackling me to the floor and smothering me with
his disgustingly awful armpits. Then, Chris would make me promise I wouldn’t
tell mom and dad about almost smothering me to death. Did I tell? Let’s just say
I made five bucks and got a free piggy back ride in return.
Little did I know that although he painted me blue skies, those blue skies would
turn into rain.
I thought I would stay little forever,
that hide and seek was an everyday game.
I thought that I would climb into bed with Maria every night, with Chris coming
to tuck us in, as he read our favorite bedtimes stories about prince charming and
And all the while he would watch our eyelids flutter as we hopelessly
wished for Romeo to wake us up with a kiss.
I thought forever young was a real
At least that's what the Backstreet Boys taught me.
The shadows in my house started to disappear one by one.
footprints roamed the hallway.
The once blaring radio slowly turned down, and
the voices dimmed away like the end of a play with the curtains falling.
Nightlights stayed off, as if the monsters in our closets disappeared. The
remoteness and solitude was here, and it started with Chris.
I remember the day he packed his things and the excitement he had on his face
when he turned off his bedroom light, and walked away.
He held his head high
like a hero on a history book page.
His door was kept shut, and I felt like a part
of me was locked inside the room, still watching him play his video games and
taunting him. There would be no cowboy to chase me, the Indian.
As he waved me goodbye pulling out of the driveway, he grinned and said,
“I won’t be broke now.”
I didn’t want him to go. I can still see my little hand wrapped around his finger.
Chris held me tight one night, because a little boy broke my heart. He said to
me, “Don’t let a stupid boy hurt you, your big brother will hold you in his arms
Now, all I can think is that he holds his pride higher than me. Days
turned into months, months turned into years, birthdays and holidays passed,
and he was not seen.
Chris started his own life, making a family of his own. He
never comes and sees me. I gave my brother all of my love, and all he gave me
A few years passed, but it seemed all of a sudden. Maria had to go now. She
told me I would understand one day, but how could I understand why one
would want to put down a doll, and pick up reality.
Wasn’t bubble gum pop
more fascinating to listen to than the echoes of the real world? The thing is, she
didn’t just leave because she graduated, oh no.
She left because she found her
That boy made a rebel of a careless man's careful daughter.
She took off in a heartbeat.
I could tell that for her the moment was surreal. It felt like a silent fairytale
ending the day she left. I could imagine the slamming screen door, as he took
her hand and lead her into his car.
I know she imagined confetti falling to the
ground, sparks flying, the doves flying from out of nowhere as she and her lover
drove down the street, with the crowd cheering as they drove off, with the city
lights on the water.
As they got to the end of the driveway, I could see the
silhouette of the two, he stopped the car and leaned over to her, leaving behind
a kiss. All from the distance I was the girl sitting in the background realistically
I was the one that preachers spoke, “speak now or forever hold your
peace” at. With shaking hands I want to call for her not to leave me. “I object!”
I think to myself.
My sister promised me forever and always, like the kingdom
lights used to shine for just me and her. She threw me her bouquet of roses,
I left them there to die.
Occasionally, Maria visits but it isn’t the same.
Every once in awhile she will
come and speak to our parents, and myself, but it’s not quite as interesting as
when we were kids. There's no gossip to tell about boys or her friends, just
casual small talk that we both say to each other.
Our conversations now usually
start with, “How are you?” and end with, “See you sometime.” It’s upsetting
that we can’t be silly like old times, or even high five each other. We hardly talk
anymore, and she is always focused on work, school, and other responsibilities
Maria isn’t the little girl I remember who skipped rope outside in the
summertime, or whose knees were always covered in dust from chalk, as she
drew out our hopscotch board on the patio. Maria looked so much older,
Now I sit in my room, recalling all the memories with my brother and sister,
looking at pictures in my mind. Sometimes, when I listen hard enough, I can
hear Maria and Chris’s voice. “ If you want to be a supermodel, you have to
wear this,” with my reply of, “I think I need more blush.” or a soft whimper of,
“Please don’t tell mom.” and my cocky tone of, “pay up slick.”
the walls we crashed through, and all the mountains we moved. Long live to the
looks on our faces. I had the time of my life fighting dragons with them.
What I don't want myself to believe is my time in my castle walls is almost up.
All I think is freedom isn't anything but missing my brother and sister. I look
around and see what has changed.
In my room, I see the smiling porcelain dolls collect dust, as they haven't been
touched in years.
Bedtime stories remain unread, with sleeping beauty still fast
The Easy Bake Oven in its box, Polly Pockets, Barbies, and Cabbage
Patch Kids all in a toy box hidden under books, that were once sprawled out
across the floor among dollhouses.
Hit Clips inside the bottom of an old night
The closet I once shared I now have all to myself. There is no fighting
over who gets what side.
In fact, there are no disagreements or agreements with
I open the door of the dungeon across the hall, and walk inside. It’s been years
since I have even touched the door handle.
What used to be a pigpen, is now
straightened up and smelling fresh. Nirvana, Metallica, and Guns N’ Roses
posters stripped from the walls.
Clothes put in dressers and not on the floor.
Sega, Nintendo, and Playstation systems all in the top of the closet.
has changed in a decade.
Between the two rooms, the nightlights that stayed off are now completely
gone-unplugged years ago. I never thought I’d live to see us break apart.
The trio has split. It’s getting dark and it's all too quiet.
Maybe the bickering wasn't so bad,
because now I miss it.
I’m left standing
in a crowded room.
I was just mindless dreaming, with blind optimism to
Long were the nights when my days once revolved around the both of
The battle is in my hands now, but I would lay my armor down for Maria
and Chris if they would rather play than fight the battle of life.
My next destination, along the yellow brick road, awaits for me, when the
Being the youngest and knowing what loneliness feels like in a
household of three children,
yet eye opening.
Growing up is not chosen, it is part of life,
so here I sit in this empty, full house.