Starting over…12 A short story

“Why is your sister so crabby all the time?” asked James, through a mouth full of ice cream.

“First child syndrome,” said Lilly.  “First’s hate having competition for their parents attention and they don’t think second, or third, children are necessary in the nest.  Resentment, jealousy, fury and crabbiness can follow.  All first children aren’t as bad as she is.  Some, of course, are worse.  They can’t help it.  They are no longer the center of attention.”

“I’m an only child,” he said.

“Lucky you.”

“I agree,” he said.

“I do take her stuff sometimes,” she snickered.  “And I do annoy her on purpose.”


“Because it’s fun and because she’s mean to me.”

“Maybe she’s mean to you because you annoy on purpose.”

“No.  I only started annoying her because she was mean.”

“Maybe when you grow up you can be friends.”

“I doubt it.”

“I’m sorry,” he said.

“Oh, don’t be.  We don’t get to pick our family…well, that’s not exactly true.  My mom told me that we actually do.  We choose who we come back with, so we can learn what we want to learn this time around.  That means my evil sister and I can teach either other things.  The thing is, the plans we make on the other side, don’t look the same as they did, once we get here.  By then, it’s too late to do anything about it.  I mean Heather and I could have been great friends on the other side, but once we got into bodysuits, we decided not to like each other.”

“A lot of siblings don’t like each other,” said James.  “Sibling rivalry just means a fight for limited resources, which means they want the attention of their parents, and don’t feel there’s enough to go around.”

“True, but I think I already said that.”

“Still, she is your sister.”

“I’m her sister too, so don’t go thinking I’m the only one who should be nice.”


“You only children don’t have a clue.”

“I agree.”

“You don’t have any evil siblings.”

“Or nice ones either.”

“Do you think there are nice ones out there?”

“Yes.  I know some sibs who get along.”


He laughed.

“I don’t think she’d kill me herself,” said Lilly.  “But only because she might get caught and go to jail for life, or because my mom would be mad at her.”

“You’re kidding, right?”

“Not so much.  Besides, the cats and Rex would warn me she was coming for me with evil intent.”

“She can’t be that bad.”

“She’s not,” chuckled Lilly.  “I just don’t know if she would push me out of the way of an oncoming care, or push me in front of it.”

“How’s school?”

“Biology is going great.  If you take off all of your clothes, I can point out where…”

“Ah, he’s still teaching at your school.”

“Yes, and I still think he’s Santa.”

“He’s not Santa.”

“Can you prove that he’s not?”

“No.  Can you prove that he is?”

“I said, I think, he’s Santa, not that I know that he is.  You’re the one who said that you know that he’s not.  If you KNOW something, you need to be able to prove it.”

“I can do that for some things,” he said, pulling her toward him.  “I know that I love you,” he whispered, before he kissed her.  “And I just proved it.”




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