The Summer of '99Mature

"Happy Birthday!"

i sat at the kitchen table playing with my toast as my parents crowded around my youngest sibling who'd just rolled out of bed.  Marco was turning 6 today and i as older, still controllable child had to be his little slave/babysitter for the entire day.  For many, this wouldn't seem tedious.  After all, Marco was only six, not to mention my little brother but to me, he was the child from hell.  To my parents though, he was a gift from the gods.

Normally i'd be gone by now, out of the house somewhere out of my parents' hair but today was his special day.  And i had to watch him.

"Asterix, could you please stop poking at that stupid piece of bread and do something productive?" my mother asked shortly.  i did as she said and threw the piece out and went to tidy the dishes.  Whenever Marco was in need of attention (which was all the time), i was shoved to the back burner.  "Look at you now!  So big and growing up so fast!  Soon you'll be asking to borrow the car keys!" i heard my mother say as she cuddled the little creature in motherly happiness.

Luckily i wasn't the only one out of us kids.  i have an older sister by the name of Robin but everyone calls her Rue.  I was 10 and she was 14 at that time.  She came downstairs and snuck into the kitchen to help me out that morning, grabbing a dry towel and putting the pots away.

"It's ok Ixy, things'll turn around," she promised me.

"How?" i asked, trying to hide any sort of hurt from my voice.  "They never let me do anything or even say anything nice to me.  Dad doesn't even talk to me."

"It won't last long.  Once you're older, they'll stop bugging you cuz you can take care of yourself.  Notice they rarely say anything to me when Marco's around."

"But they weren't ever mean to you, not that i ever saw."

Rue looked down and scrubbed her coffee mug a little more thoroughly, "maybe so.  Apathy hurts too though Ix."

"i'd prefer they'd never talk to me than demand of me or call me stupid like a badly treated slave."

Rue stayed quiet for a little after that, drying the rest of the dishes in silence until eventually she looked up at me and sighed a bit.  "I guess I'd prefer that too."

The End

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