It has been 23.12 forever. As I type that, it changes to 23.13. Liar. I’m not sure how I feel. Empty, maybe. Fed up. I don’t feel how I’m supposed to feel. Sick. Today I ran away. I didn’t mean to run away; I went ice skating and then I just didn’t have the energy to go home. I stayed out for too long: a salad in McDonalds and a bus ride around Chilwell kept me out just long enough to catch the 7pm bus home but then I walked on and on. I just couldn’t face opening the door to the age old recriminations.
I’ve had enough.
They say I’m jealous. I think I’m mad. My sister is ill. Again. My sister is always ill. Thing is, in my heart of hearts I know she can’t help it, but I can’t have anything to do with her when she’s ill. It’s not a conscious choice: I wish it were. It would make things so much simpler. Thing is, truth be told, I’m horribly frightened of her…you know…of something awful happening to her. And I don’t want it to be my fault. If I have nothing to do with her, then that can’t happen. But I can’t tell anybody that. They already think I’m mad.
Yes, Elvis; I’m lonesome tonight.
It’s 23.18. I feel like I’m waiting. I don’t know what for. Morning, perhaps? Or maybe for the time to tick on to midnight? Or maybe until I’m so sleepy that my eyes will close and I won’t have to lie in the darkness and wonder why I was born as me. 23.20. I’ve made another two minutes. Good going.
Sometimes, I feel like shouting, ‘Yes, she might be ill now, but she’ll get better. And sympathy. Buckets of sympathy. And then she’ll get better.’. I won’t get better. I was born being me and I’ll continue to be me so long as I live. Nothing will change. In my head, when I picture myself, I see lots and lots of scribbles. A mess. Spaghetti tangled on a plate.
There is nothing straightforward about me.
In three weeks, I’m going on holiday to Center Parcs. I can’t wait. But I know that, the moment I get there, I’ll pine for home so badly that it’ll hurt. I am twenty. Older than most people are when they move away from home. I so badly want it to be me who can do exciting and adventurous things in other countries; who can have an amazing year in Halls.
It’ll never be me. Nothing is ever going to be easy for me.
Tomorrow, she gets her results. Already, I’ve been accused of wanting her to do badly. The bad mood, black sheep in the corner, hoping for her failure. At one time, I would have been fiercely competitive, hoping that I might just get the edge on her. I couldn’t care less now. I really honestly couldn’t. She’s got everything else: the looks; the intelligence; the popularity. What’s A Level grades on top of that? She even gets the straightforward illnesses. Who could compete?
My neck hurts from leaning against my radiator and there is a pile of clean washing on my floor. I am too tired to move. There is no point. Besides, if I were to move, the delicate equilibrium might become unbalanced. I might have to stop pretending that I. Am. OK. and my world might close in on itself. You never know. I can cope in this moment, in this position, but will I be OK with the next? It’s not worth risking it.
I love her so badly. So very badly. I can feel my friends getting annoyed sometimes because I’m talking about something she’s done or said again. I want to be with her and I want her to include me. I want to be her best friend and I want to be able to show her off: ‘This is Anna. She’s my little sister. Yes, mine. And there are not others. It’s just the two of us. Kate and Anna. Anna and Kate.’. She’s everything I’m not. And I’m everything she doesn’t have to suffer from.
My phone has just vibrated with a text. I can manage to be cheery, funny Kate at least there. As long as other people don’t know what’s going on inside, then it’s fine. Everything’s fine. Chin up. 1, 2, 3…smile. Smiling at the ceiling releases endorphins. Did you know? As long as you’re busy, you don’t have to think about being miserable.
So, yes, I am jealous. As jealous as jealous can be. I wish I were her so badly that I might crumple with it; sucked and slurped into my own bitter core.