I’m not proud of how much fun I had pranking my sister (3/40)
I wasn’t a nice big brother.
Not at first.
My first interaction with my sister, Rosy, is not even a memory of mine but a story repeated to me often while growing up.
Mi tía took me to the hospital, but for some reason, toddlers were not allowed into the maternity ward. So she snuggled me under her shirt so I could meet my sister.
This story already has holes.
Let me explain why.
Almost three years before that day, when I was born, the doctors took one glance at my head and thought, “For sure, this kid has water in his head. There is no other explanation for a head this large.”
They told my mom I suffered from the medical condition hydrocephalus.
They did some testing, and the results came back.
I did not have water in my head; I was just born with a giant fucking melon for a head.
Am I expected to believe my aunt hid me under her blouse? I didn’t only have a big head; my body was full of rolls. I still have the marks to prove it.
Anyway, let’s give leeway to this unreliable narrative and say that, for some inexplicable reason, I wasn’t allowed in the hospital, but my aunt smuggled me under her blouse. When I finally came face to face with Rosy, I grabbed her foot closest to me and pinched it.
I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t nice to my sister that day.
A friend of my mom looked at the newborn baby, who had been born white, and said, “Even crows are born white.”
That was the last time my mom, or anyone in my mom’s family, talked to that friend.
I don’t know what the big deal was; my sister did eventually turn brown. That woman was just narrating nature à la Discovery Channel.
When I was eight and Rosy was five, we would get into fights, and one of my favorite things to tell her was that she was adopted — which I later learned is a fairly common thing to say if you are the oldest kid in the family.
What wasn’t common was what I told her next.
My sister would point out, “If I’m adopted, then how come I am brown like Mom and you.”
To which I would respond, “Excellent observation. You used to be white, but your real parents left you at a dumpster for too long, and when my parents found you, you had already turned brown.”
Creative? Yes. Nice? Not nice.
Around the same period, Rosy was napping in our parents’ room when I heard her wake up crying.
I walked to the room and sat next to her. I hugged her and asked her what had happened. She told me, “Mom and Dad died in a car accident.”
I knew she had a nightmare, but did I clarify that for her?
I couldn’t believe my luck. This dark prank fell onto my lap. I didn’t even have to plan it, like when I walked ten blocks to a prank store to buy a piece of gum filled with ink I could give her.
I couldn’t let this go to waste.
I lean into it.
So, I just said
“Yes, yes, they did. And we just have to move on and be here for each other.”
She cried even louder.
And only until my mom came in did she realize I was lying.
Award-winning performance? Yes. Nice? Not nice.
When my sister moved from San Diego to Dallas seven years ago, I was heartbroken. I looked at what she did and thought, “Nice? Not nice. Warranted? Maybe.”
I often wondered why she wouldn’t want to grow old close to me. In short, asking myself a clingy, “Why doesn’t she love me?”
The answer might be in our childhood.