Childhood Memories: The Sandwich

It was a summer day and we’ve been out of school long enough that we’re bored. I’m old enough to have moved my room into the unfinished basement – probably 13 or 14. I have walls but my ceiling is open beams from the floor above me.

My sister, 18 months younger than me, has a friend over. They’re bored. They are running between the basement and then the upstairs. I can hear them near my door, and then pattering off.  I figure they are in the storage room across the hall, or in the closet adjacent to my room. But I don’t know what they are doing and I don’t really care. I’m just doing my own thing.

After a while I get a knock on the door; I open it towards myself.  There is tape – lots of tape. Diagonal lines. Straight lines. Even a top to bottom strip. I shrug and shut the door. I guess I was wrong about what they were doing, it makes no difference. It’s kind of annoying, but I want to be in here any way. I can get out when I need to, the door opens in. (Bet they didn’t realise that while they were taping!) They patter off upstairs.

They are gone. I go back to whatever I was doing. Another knock comes shortly. I am getting more irritated. I’m a teenager and my patience is not what it is now. I also was a lone wolf. No one to agree with me on how stupid the little sister was. I get up. A little more irritated with each step. Open the door. The tape is gone. But the girls are there, with a sandwich. A sandwich that ends up hitting me in the left shoulder. A sandwich covered in mustard and other condiments.

I wish this story ended with me being an angel and just shrugging it off and shutting the door. But it doesn’t. I ran after them in a full rage. I caught the sister’s hair and pulled her back to me. Unsure what to do now that I’d caught her, I threw her down and let her scamper off like a puppy who’d been swatted with a newspaper.

I was thinking about siblings and the history of turmoil with mine. My husband and his brothers and sister all have great relationships and they reminisce about memories they cherish. Not memories that harbor shame. I hope and pray that my littles can continue in their father’s cycle and not mine.


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