As a child I grew up in a primarily black neighborhood on Chicago's Westside. The streets around my apartment building always buzzed with the rumbling of passing cars rolling over the tattered pavement. Motorists honked their horns in frustration as children played in the streets.
On a busy city street called pine, there stood a mass of apartment complexes. The buildings were of a dingy beige color and the bricks were slightly worn. The door leading to the inside of my apartment building was a standard brown with three rectangle shaped windows near the top.
On the inside the walls were plain white with dents, scuff marks and faded hand prints symbolizing the wear and tear through the years. The floor was draped in a matted down burgundy carpet that seemed to be as hard as the concrete under it. The staircase had bulky wooden rails and a smoky white finish that almost looked grey.
As I step into my house I could smell the sweet aroma of my dad cooking in the kitchen. My baby sister's greeted me with toothless smiles and baby talk as I walked into my parent's bedroom to check on them. My parent's room had a noticeable aura of authority but also a simple gentleness about it.
In the middle of the biggest bedroom in the house, was a huge queen sized bed with a massive oak headboard. The white linen sheets and warm black comforter were always made eerily perfect. Overlooking the bed was a large black thirty-two inch television. In one corner of the room was a wooden crib with powder pink sheets and a colorful mobile
As I walked out of my parent's room I passed the middle bedroom which was occupied by my other two sisters, Tamika and Lawanda. They had to share a room since I was a boy and my parents didn't want me to share a room with a female.
Tamika was the oldest and Lawanda was just a few months younger than me. Lawanda and I were like best friends and used to do almost everything together. It always seemed as if Tamika never liked me and Lawanda because we were younger than her.
She always bossed us around and tried to give us all of the chores that she was supposed to do. Our parents assigned us specific chores to do on each day of the week. When it was Tamika's turn she always tried to make us do her work.
I loved Tamika; after all she is my sister. Sometimes I just didn't know how to communicate with her. It's like we were speaking two different languages. We always had problems until an accident happened that changed our lives and how we felt about one another.
One drowsy Sunday morning while everyone was in the kitchen, we heard a heart stopping scream and then a loud thud. It sounded as if it came from my sister's room. We all rushed to see what the racquet was, only to find my older sister rocking on the floor clenching at her neck with a terrible grimace on her face.
My dad picked her up and we all frantically jumped into the car. We peeled out of the drive way to the hospital faster than racing car at the starting line. Later at the hospital the doctor told us that she had been electrocuted. He said that if it wasn't for the gold necklace she was wearing, Tamika would have died.
My dad took the rest of us children home while my older sister rested for the beginning of her recovery. The next day we came back to see her. In some weird way it was funny for me to see her as quiet as a church mouse. Standing there watching the girl who had tormented me time after time I felt relieved. On the other hand I felt sad.
All I wanted to do was comfort her and tell her that everything was going to be fine. My emotions were waging a fierce battle inside my brain. I wondered what I should do. All of a sudden as I looked into her deep brown eyes and she seemed humbled by her experience.
In the end we talked for a while and found out that we were not that that different from each other. That incident brought me closer to my sister than I ever was before. Now, she and I get along just fine.