My mom was pregnant with another baby, and I had been filled with mixed emotions. What does a four year old feel? Happiness? Sadness? Anger? Well, sure, I felt all of that, but could it go deeper? Could I feel rage, elation, jealousy and anxiety? I think that I did. I felt it all.
My heart raced in my chest, beating fast as horse hooves on a race day, all because it wanted to run away and hide. Hide from the madness of this world. Sure, I did want a baby sibling to love, but it’s kind of like how you ask your mommy for a box of chocolates from the store, knowing that you’ll never get what you want, but you do it anyways. It was kind of like that. Worst of all, I never mentioned that I wanted a sibling, at least not aloud. Sure, I played with dolls and said things to them like “little sister, would you like another cup of tea?” or “sissy, if you are mean to me again, I will tell mom.” I never once asked “mom, can you give me a sister please?” or anything of the sort. I didn’t WANT a little sister. I wanted a big sister, but I knew that once I was born, if I didn’t have a big sister already, I never would.
One month into pregnancy, no one knew about the baby. Three months in, mom and dad knew, but they didn’t share the news with me. I just thought that mom had gotten really fat, and that it would be mean to say anything about it. Then, one day around four months, mom started complaining about a feeling of sickness. At five months, mom was regularly throwing up multiple times in a day. That’s when they finally told me the “exciting” news.
One (prominent) word: Popcorn. During mom’s pregnancy, she has been working at the movie theatre (just because she was pregnant didn’t mean that she would choose to be unemployed). Guess what she ate, and ate, and ate… Popcorn! And after a long day of working and throwing up in the unsanitary public bathrooms, mom would come home and vomit popcorn into our clean one. We, at the time, lived in a two bedroom, one bathroom apartment. Fun! It was especially fun since the bathroom was right next to my room. I hated popcorn. And my dad would go in to assist her, but her choking was terrible. I had imagined that a demon was inside of her, clawing at her insides, trying to free itself so it could kill all of us. So, I did what had to be done. I mean, any rational person of any age would do it too, right? I went to the living room, built a couch pillow fort, and sobbed shakily until the wretched gagging finally subsided. This happened most every night for the rest of the pregnancy (four long months).
The bastard’s birth was much easier than my own, and such a relief to my mother (she isn’t a bastard just because I don’t like her, look at the dictionary definition, she applies to that too). Oh yay, a baby! I thought she was cute, and since she had stop giving mom inner pains, maybe I could appreciate her presence. This could be the beginning to something beautiful.
The baby stole 99% of attention from my parents, family, and even my friends. Mom stopped teaching me how to read, so I had to finish the job myself. Practice, practice, practice. I got myself on a second grade reading level before I even enrolled in school. I taught myself to improve reading, writing, math, and penmanship. They didn’t care. I had begun to grow dark thoughts as a four year old, but the darkest thought could never grow into a full-out storm; nothing darker than running away from home. It still hurt me though. I had to feed myself, teach myself and raise myself. I thought that, like a storm, it would soon pass. It got better for a time, years later, but never really passed.
Something had been added to my life; my uncontrollable variable. If I were a flask filled with vinegar, she is a powder unknown to the scientist, one called “baking soda”. She is similar to my kryptonite, not because I care for her (because I am not really sure if I do, all that much), but because its presence has deemed me weak.
Her birth marked the beginning of an uphill battle.