MORE THAN JUST SISTERS

MORE THAN JUST SISTERS

From Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul IV

More than Just Sisters

Is solace anywhere more comforting than that in the arms of a sister.

Alice Walker

My sister and I have always had a special kind of bond. Being the only kids in the family, we were stuck with each other. Not that it was bad or anything, but we had our share of arguments and fights.

Although I would never admit it, I always looked up to her. Somewhere along the way, she became known as Sissy, and my nickname became JulieBug. I would try to hang out with her and her friends, only to be kicked out of her room, eventually eavesdropping at her door on their juicy conversations. Whenever she had a date, you could always catch my friend Ruth and me peaking out the window or hiding in the bushes, giggling. My sister and I even went through a “prank phase.” I don’t remember who started it, but we went through weeks of Saran-wrapped toilet seats, Vaseline-covered phones, short-sheeted beds and frozen underwear—yes, frozen underwear. Eventually our parents had to break it up, for some of the tricks were getting out of hand, and although they were intended for each other, sometimes the effects ricocheted off our parents. Of course, being sisters, we also experienced our share of fighting over clothes and stealing, I mean borrowing, each other’s things. Even though we occasionally, okay daily, got in fights, we could never remain angry at each other for long.

When I was in middle school and she was in high school, she started letting me hang out with her friends. Once in a while she asked if I would like to go out with them, and I would eagerly reply yes. Sometimes she even let me tag along with her and her boyfriend to the movies or out to eat. Whenever I needed help with my homework she always made herself available to tutor me. When she turned sixteen and got her first car, she usually found time to take me to the Dairy Queen for a treat and on occasion brought me lunch at school.

The day we took her to college for her freshman year was the hardest day for me. Though my dad tried to comfort me on the long four-and-a-half-hour ride home, I cried from the time my sister and I said good-bye to when my parents and I reached our hometown. I missed her more than anything. I became the “only child” at home and, although I thought it was going to be great to receive all the extra attention, I hated it. I had more fights with Mom, more supervision and, worst of all, more chores. Adjusting to her absence at home wasn’t easy, and occasionally I would catch myself walking out the door in the morning yelling, “Bye Mom, bye Dad, bye Ann Marie!”

Late one Saturday night, she called me, frustrated with school, friends, boys and life. We had always been able to call each other and talk about stuff, but this conversation was different. She told me her troubles and, although I can’t remember our conversation as well as she can, I tried my best to comfort her and give her good advice. That night I went from being her little sister to being a trusted source of listening and support. I told her that night, before we hung up, that she was my best friend. Later that week, I received a letter from her and this poem:

Sister

I met my best friend last night.
She’s been under my nose for a while.
How could I have been so blind?
She’s been with me all my life.
Younger,
and more intelligent than me,
because she was the first one to see it:
The tremendous friendship we possess,
that binds us together as sisters,
and as friends.

That night we both came to the realization that we are more than just sisters, we are the best of friends.

Julie Hoover

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