Saturday, March 19, 2011

Betsy's Shadow

Betsy McEntire was 11. Her sister Briana was 6. It wasn't easy being the big sister. Everywhere that Betsy went her little sister was sure to follow. It was pretty annoying actually. Sometimes, Betsy felt like she couldn't move or think or even breathe or do anything  without Briana being there.

Betsy was in her room talking on the phone. Briana came in and planted herself at the end of Betsy's bed. "Do you mind?" asked Betsy angrily grabbing the phone and turning around to face away from her sister.

"Not at all," replied Briana calmly stretching out and making herself comfortable on her sister's bed. Betsy gave her a nasty look. Briana ignored her and just sat on the bed happily smiling at her sister."Briana," insisted Betsy "Just because Mom and Dad are out and I'm babysitting for you doesn't mean I have to spend every minute entertaining you."

"But I want to be with you, Betsy." pleaded her little sister.

"Isn't it your bed time or something?" asked Betsy hopefully glancing at the clock.

"No. My bed time is 8:00, and it's not 8:00 yet. " answered Briana. She wasn't old enough to tell time yet, but she knew her numbers. She knew that if the first number on the clock was only a 7, it was not past her bed time.

Sure enough. It was only 7:30. "Well, just go find something to do," Betsy told her sister.

Briana stayed put. "But I want to be with you." she insisted.

"Briana, please." begged Betsy. Still Briana didn't budge.  Betsy pulled Briana off the bed and pushed her toward the door. Briana looked at her sadly. Betsy felt guilty for about a minute, but then she felt angry. She was not Briana's entertainment comitteee. She was tired of Briana always wanting to be around her every single minute. She needed some space and some time to herself, and she deserved it. "Just go. She told her little sister. "Find something to do. I'm tired of having a shadow all the time." She pushed Briana out into the hall and locked the door and went back to the phone.

Betsy heard the clumping of Briana's loud feet hurrying down the stairs. She felt another twinge of guilt but pushed it out of her mind. She picked up the phone and called her best friend, Kate. Soon she was lost in conversation and forgot all about her little sister.

After about an hour, Betsy glanced at the clock. It was now almost 8:30 and well past Briana's bed time and almost Betsy's too. Briana really ought to be in bed. Where was the little troublemaker anyway? There was no way she would have put herself in bed. Betsy opened her door and called out to her sister. "Briana? Briana? Where are you?" She didn't specifically mention that it was bed time because Briana hated to go to bed so that surely wouldn't make her come.  There was no answer from Briana just a scary quietness. Betsy wandered out into the hall looking for her sister. She went in to Briana's room. Briana's toys were scattered all around but there was no sign of Briana.

Betsy wandered through the house looking for her sister and calling her name. With each step, she got more and more worried. Where was Briana? This wasn't funny anymore. She really didn't want to have to call Mom and Dad and tell them she lost Briana. If she did that, they would never trust her again. She was really getting worried though. Maybe, she should even call the police. "Briana!" she called out one more time desperately.

Suddenly, the garage door slammed open and in walked Briana. "Briana!" screamed Betsy overwhelmed with relief. "Where have you been?" She didn't know whether to kiss or kill her little sister for the worry she'd put her through.

"I went away because you wanted me to." replied Briana calmly. "You told me to go. You said you didn't want a shadow anymore. You wanted me to go so I went."

Besty hugged her little sister. Now, that Briana was found she felt much calmer. "Oh, you sweet silly girl." she said hugging her sister. "I love you. Just because I don't want you to follow me around every minute doesn't mean that I don't."

"You do?" asked Briana unsurely.

Betsy nodded and hugged Briana again and kissed her. "Yes. I do."

"I love you too." replied Briana hugging her back.

"Just don't ever scare me like that again. " said Betsy.

"I won't." promised Briana. She followed her sister upstairs to get ready for bed. Betsy smiled at her. Maybe, sometimes, it wasn't bad to have a shadow.

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