When I was 15, I put my 13-year-old sister in the bath.
Well, by “put” I mean pushed. You know, hard enough to make her wail and cry. Why did I do such a thing? Because she criticised my “bacne” (for those of you playing along at home, that’s back-acne… acne of the back) while we were getting ready for a party together.
“Don’t mention Michelle’s bacne” was essentially a family rule from when I was 14 to 17. Mum enforced this with an iron fist and yet Evelyn blatantly disobeyed it to my own freaking face/back. While Mum was nowhere to be seen. It was all very calculated.
Anyway, she ended up bruised in the bath and I ended up grounded until approximately last Wednesday.
I also recall a fun incident where my elder sister and I got into a fist fight over a pair of netball training shorts. She said they were hers, but I swear to this day that they were mine. Needless to say, we ended up battling to the death for them on the top of the stairs, Greco Roman Wrestling style (the 2008 Beijing Olympics was on at the time and we felt inspired). Maybe this is my imagination taking over but I’m pretty sure Claire dangled my body off the edge of the landing, held a knife to my throat and forced me to surrender the shorts forevermore.
At this point I should clarify that 10 years on Evelyn, Claire and I are adults and the best of friends. The best. Seriously. If I could live with my sisters in a ginormous house with an endless supply of Maltesers and dogs, that would be heaven. I might even suggest it when I finish writing this.
We got through the whole “I hate you and will try everything to ruin your life” phase of our teenage years, and arrived at a place of love, brunch and brutal honesty.
Those who have sisters will relate. The bond is unique and unbreakable. There’s a level of transparency and loyalty that other relationships don’t and can’t have. Your sister might annoy the living bejesus out of you, but despite all her flaws and quirks, you are her fiercest protector and number one fan.
As a sister, even when things are rocky you have three jobs: To always have her back. To always want the best for her. To make her a cup of tea when she’s sad.
You tend to her like you would a plant; you water her when she’s droopy, you pop her in the sunlight, you give her the energy she needs to be strong and beautiful and alive.