I have recently decided to take a break from picking on my Dad. (Feel better now, Dad?) Instead I will be picking on my sister.
Julia is my very best friend. Honestly. She is my favourite person in the world, and I love her more than I can possibly say. We like to tell people we are two halves of the same person, so alike and opposite in all the best ways. She is my platonic soul mate and I can’t imagine life without her.
Now, dear reader, don’t take this to mean that we get along all the time. My sister and I can throw down like the best of them. We can scream and hit and be genuinely unpleasant to each other when the time calls for it. But we always forgive each other and quickly.
With the unfortunate exception of one little insignificant incident.
One day about twenty years ago, my sister and I were in our family room watching TV together. It was summer and hot and we were taking a break from playing outside. On this one occasion I had gotten into the house before Julia and managed to steal “her seat” on the couch. Suffice it to say Julia was not happy.
Over and over again she put her foot in my face, lightly kicking my shoulder to try and make me move, but I was stubborn and I stayed put, seething inside. When our show finally ended Julia gave up and decided we should grab Freezies from the garage and go play outside again. I agreed, not wanting to be kicked anymore, but still angry.
We made our way to the garage and all the while I plotted my revenge, waiting for the exact moment to strike.
That moment came right after I retrieved the Freezies (Julia had made me do it since she didn’t like to lean into the deep freeze). Julia stood on the other side of the door, unsuspecting and jolly, having forgiven me for stealing her spot on the couch. I seized the moment and flung open the door a bit too quickly and far too forcefully, gleefully knocking her to the ground.
Or at least that’s what I meant to do.
See, being young with no understanding of physics it didn’t occur to me that the force of the door would also knock her in the direction the door swung, and right into the sharp corner of my Dad’s drafting table.
I will defend myself to say that I was horrified when it happened. I had meant to knock her over, not seriously hurt her. But hurt her I did. Julia cried, my Mom had to come down, and to this day she still has a bump on her head from where the desk disfigured her.
But that’s not the part Julia finds unforgiveable. That comes next.
You see, no one in my family thought I meant to hit Julia with the door. Not even Julia. No one even suspected it and I certainly wasn’t going to confess.
It wasn’t until years later, in 2004 during our FANZ Adventure, that I told her the truth. She had been picking on me about one thing or another, and after weeks of being in each other’s company 24/7 I was a bit fed up. I turned to her on the bus interrupting her and glared, pointing at her forehead. “Oh yeah?” I said. “Well you know that bump on your head? I did that on purpose.”
She was stunned into silence, sputtering for a moment to find some words to say (spoiler alert: she found them, but they certainly won’t be repeated here). To say she was mad was an understatement. To say I’m sorry is an exaggeration.
To say it was the one time I actually trumped my sister? Well, that’s the best way to say it.