(This is not a romance, and more about two siblings who like each other, but only really deep down.)
“Legend says the ghost haunts the rock to today. A rock just like this one, around here!” My sister finishes her “scary” story. She tricks me endlessly. She just loves to treat me the way she did when I was younger, as if I was that easy to scare.
My sister is just about to graduate high school, me tenth grade. And although she’s two years older, she likes to pretend it’s more like ten. Always babying me.
“You know, when I was younger, I might’ve actually believed that.” I roll my eyes at her. When we went camping like this when we were younger, she tried spooking me more and more. But I don’t believe her stories anymore. They’re not scary. They aren’t true.
“Whatever.” She says, with a hint of disappointment and sadness tacked onto the word. She looks a little disappointed. Good. This used to be her way to bond with me. But I’m not a little kid anymore. “It’s late. We should go to bed.” She yawns. I find myself a bit tired to. I think of arguing with her, saying I’m not tired. But the last time that happened, I just ended up asleep outside the tent, on mother nature’s flooring. I was very dirty when I awoke.
I get up. We set up the tent and put out the lanterns. She decides to sleep outside, on the ground, under the stars. It’s starting to get cold, so I want the tent. Good thing, now I can have the tent all to myself! Although it’s dark, very dark now, we have flashlights and find ourselves easy to go to bed. I stay up on my phone talking to all my friends.
“Hey,” my friend Jodi texts me.
“Hey. I’m sorry I couldn’t get back to you sooner. My sister took me camping,” I text her back. I‘m so cold and bored, it feels like hours until she texts me back. Even though it’s only been three minutes.
“Ew, that’s so lame and boring. You should’ve come to the birthday party with us.” I did really want to go to that birthday party. And my stupid sister had to drag me here, to her lame camping trip. “Just like the good old days,” she said. My parents forced me to go. So annoying. I wish I’d just gone to the party. This camping trip was the worst. I didn’t want to be out there with my sister, that treated me more and more like a little kid.
“Yeah, tell me about it. I know.” I text her. I’m so annoyed. I can’t believe this. This is just the worst.
She starts texting me all the events of the party. I’m so jealous! All I’ve done is sit around cold by a fire roasting marshmallows only to find out my sister forgot graham crackers and set up a tent that is at least ten years old and smells like a mixture of wet, damp basement, and fire smoke. I text Jodi good night and roll over in my sleeping bag. I can’t believe this. While Jodi got to go to the party and dance, I was listening to my sister’s ghost story. I can’t even believe this. I fall asleep, thinking of my anger towards my sister.
But only an hour or two later she shakes me awake. Great. “What do you want?!” I grump at her, only then do I see her flashlight in my face and her face scared, panicked. I’d never seen my sister like that before. Not even when she sees spiders. And she’s super afraid of those.
“Wake up! I felt something so cold, it felt like the hand of death! And cries, like that of a little boy! A ghost is here! I’m telling you!”
“What a joke! No way is there a ghost! You just regret sleeping outside! You want the tent! I’ll prove it to you, that there is no ghost! I’ll sleep out there!” She scrambles into the tent and goes to bed. Great. Just great. Now I have to sleep outside, in the cold. And all because she’s trying to scare me like I’m a little kid. And yet…her face while she woke me…no, it must be a joke. I think myself all the way back to sleep.
But just an hour later I hear cries and it feels colder out. I shudder, and wake up. My eyes open, and I look around. The noisy whines and coldness remains. Almost as if an icy cold hand is on my shoulder.
“Ha, ha, ha. Very funny! Come on. I know it’s you.” But when I get out of my sleeping bag and turn around, I don’t see her. All I can see is a bright blue, glaring light. GHOST! Run! It scrambles into the tent, and then disappears. I’m so done. I grab my sister, and we grab all our things and pack up. We get into her car and she drives us away. We don’t talk. I know. This was all just a prank.
We pull over at a gas stop. I’m so mad at her right now. I’m tense. I’m so stupid. It was probably just her, trying to pull a joke on me. And then she starts laughing. A small giggle at first, and then a full laugh. This only makes my anger grow and grow. We get out and stretch our legs. She stops laughing.
“See, I told you. You should’ve listened to me,” my sister says in a joking tone. But I’m in no funny mood. Not at all. I’m angry, and if it wasn’t for her, I would’ve actually had a fun night. Great. Just great.
“Yeah, but you’re always telling me all these stories like I’m a little kid! I’m not little anymore!” I’m exploding and shouting at her. She just stands there, shocked, dumbfounded. “I never wanted to go on this dumb camping trip anyways! I wanted to go to that party! And you took me on this little kid, baby campout! I bet that wasn’t even real, you just made it up or it was you.” I’m angry. I’m angry at her, I’m angry at everything. My sister looks hurt though.
“I just wanted it to be like old times. I’m going to college soon, I won’t spend as much time with you anymore. I’m sorry. You should’ve just told me. Never mind.” She looks on the verge of tears. Her brown eyes water, tears. I feel like I’m to cry soon too. I didn’t even realize. This whole time I’ve only been thinking of myself, when I should’ve thought about my sister. I’ve been so selfish. I begin to cry. And she starts crying too. We hug. I don’t know what I’m going to do without her.
That stupid party, the lack of enjoyment when setting everything up, how I mocked and stomped all over her ghost story. How I was so quick to just dislike and be mad at her. I’ve been so blind. Why have I not noticed, it’s so clear now! I’ve been so short sided. How could I ever make it up to her?
We wipe each other's tears and pull apart. We breathe. “I’m sorry,” I say. “I was too caught up in myself. I should’ve realized. I’m so sorry. Maybe we can go home and go camping in the back yard? Just like old times?” I ask her. She smiles.
“Yeah. Let’s go.” We get back in the car and we start driving. Before we know it, we’re laughing and bonding, just like when we were younger. I’m going to miss my sister, but for now let’s just have some fun.
When we get home, we set the tent back up, and tell funny stories. I laugh so hard, and I forget all about everything. The party, the ghost, the spooky story. And it’s fun. I’m going to miss her. We go to sleep. And maybe, my sister isn’t so lame. Maybe she’s fun.