86: Possum and Soda Spit

86: Possum and Soda Spit

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Middle School

Possum and Soda Spit

A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit,
a golden thread to the meaning of life.

~Isadora James

“What? Laura’s going to be home the night of my party?” I shrieked. My sister was the last person I wanted around the night of my slumber party. I was really looking forward to having the house all to myself while my friends were over. After all, it was my birthday! Trying to get my mother to understand, I said, “Gosh Mom, can’t you find someplace for Laura to go, like cousin Ellie’s? Having her here will ruin everything!”

I had finally talked my parents into letting me invite a few of my teammates from the soccer team as well as a few school friends. I had been waiting for this night for weeks and now I had to contend with my older sister being around. It was completely unfair.

“Now Emily,” my mother said to me, trying to calm me down. “Laura will stay out of your way and in her own room. Besides, I don’t understand why you’re so upset about her being here. She’s older than your friends and probably doesn’t want anything to do with them anyway.”

“That’s what you think,” I pouted. “She’ll hang out and want to talk about something yucky like boys, or the soccer finals, or something other than what I like to talk about. It’s going to ruin the whole party!”

“Laura being home during your birthday party will only ruin it if you let it,” my mother responded to my whining. “You need to get a better attitude young lady, or there won’t be a party at all!”

I stomped out of the room and into my bedroom, throwing myself down on the bed and banging my fist into my pillow several times. Frustrated and angry, I thought about how unfair this was. It was my birthday and I didn’t want Laura around! She was going to steal all the attention and ruin the party. And how dare my mom say I needed a better attitude. Laura was the teenager with the attitude, not me!

My anger was getting the best of me as I threw my glasses on the floor and buried my face in my pillow to hide my sobbing. “I hate my life,” I thought. “Why do I have to have an older sister anyway? Why couldn’t I have been an only child?”

When my weeping finally slowed, I recalled all the anguish I had gone through making my guest list. The plans had finally come together and I had been so excited when I made the list of friends I wanted to invite. This was going to be a special party because it was my last before entering my teenage years. The friends who attended were the most important factor in the success of the party.

Rachael was invited because she had the best CD collection and Kanitha because she always told the best stories. Of course, Shannon expected to be invited because she was very popular. These were my favorite friends, but suddenly I felt nervous and scared. I started to worry that the girls from the soccer team wouldn’t get along with my school friends. On top of that, I had to put up with my sister being there and ruining everything. It just seemed so complicated!

I pulled my long blond hair back in a clip and tried to wipe off my red, puffy eyes. My heart thumped fast in my chest. Realizing I might have made a mistake planning this slumber party, I sat holding my head in my hands, trying to figure it all out. Again, I felt the hot tears stinging my cheeks with frustration at my situation.

The days passed slowly but finally the time for the party arrived. The air was filled with excitement while I waited for my friends to come. At last I was going to have the special birthday party I had been waiting for. I could only hope that Laura would stay in her room.

The scavenger hunt I had planned went well. The girls all returned to the living room with their treasures, ready for the next planned activity. Suddenly, my friend Meeka noticed movement behind the curtains by the window. As we stepped over to see what it was, a baby possum came running out from behind the curtain, heading straight toward Shannon! The screams and hysteria were deafening and I had no idea what to do. I stood motionless until Laura ran in to see what was happening. When she entered the room, the possum scampered toward her. At the very last second, Laura opened the front door and allowed it to run out.

Thank goodness! If the possum had hidden in another room, bitten someone, or gotten into the food, it would have been a total disaster! We all sighed with relief and laughed at the fact that Kanitha would probably soon be telling the possum story with exaggerated facts at the next party she attended, although we still didn’t know how the possum managed to get in the living room in the first place.

Later that night, we were all in the kitchen getting snacks. While giggling and talking about the possum, a full bottle of soda spilled on the kitchen sink and drizzled down onto the floor. What a mess! At first I was horrified and was sure I would get in trouble, but once again it was Laura who came to the rescue.

Instead of making a fuss about the sticky soda, Laura laughed, found some straws, sipped some soda into a straw and then spit it at one of the girls. The soda spit landed right in Rachael’s hair. For a moment, I was nervous. How would Rachel react? I was just about ready to yell at Laura and tell her to leave, that I knew she’d ruin my party and everything I’d planned. But, to my great relief, Rachael spit soda right back at her! Everyone joined in on the fun and the “spitting party” lasted for quite a while.

When it was over, the entire kitchen and everyone’s pajamas were sticky and wet, but the laughter and fun that everybody experienced was definitely worth the mess. Laura took the blame when my mother came in and even helped mop the floor. I was pleasantly surprised that my sister could be so much fun and fit in so well with my friends.

The next day after everyone had gone home, I told Laura how glad I was that she was there to help with all the surprises. While I picked up the final pieces of trash from the party, I thought about how much fun we’d had. I knew for certain this was a party my friends would remember forever.

Finally, the house was cleaned up. I went to my parents to thank them for letting me have the party and allowing me to invite the friends I had wanted to come.

My mother asked, “Did you have a good time last night?”

“I sure did, Mom,” I answered. “Everyone got along really well and there were some great surprises too.”

“Oh really?” responded my mother. “Like what kind of surprises?”

I got a silly grin on my face when I said, “Oh, like possums, soda spit, and older sisters.” My mother had a puzzled look on her face, but thankfully didn’t ask the obvious questions. As I skipped out of the room still with my smile spread across my face, I was beaming and thinking that being twelve and having an older sister wasn’t so bad after all.

~Nancy Maggio

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