I was trying my best not to lose my temper, but sometimes it seems like Charlie’s main goal in life is to make me angry,to make me lose my cool. He’s been doing this for years, starting with the time he was born.
On that May 1st, I was 4 years old and my parents decided to take me to Disney World; they wanted to bond with me before stupid Charlie was born. They felt I might feel neglected or jealous once the new baby was born, so they wanted to make the most of the time we had as a happy little family of three. Going to Disney World was my biggest wish come true, so I remember it vividly. I made sure to watch all the movies right before our trip, and I made sure Mom packed ALL of my princess costumes. I had it all planned out, I would change twice a day, to attract as many princesses as possible. I remember thinking that they would offer me a job there because I would look just like a princess, and I would stay and live in the castle forever.
On our drive to Disney, we played all of my favorite songs, and all three of us sang along to them. It was so much fun, and I thought nothing could ruin my day. Just then, Mom started feeling uncomfortable and asked my dad to pull over so she could walk a bit, and get some fresh air. I remember being mortified because my mom had “an accident” in her pants. When my parents rushed back to the car, I assumed we were rushing back so that Mom could change her pants before someone saw her. An hour later, I found myself at a hospital because stupid Charlie decided to be born 5 weeks before he was expected, effectively ruining my Disney World trip. Typical Charlie.
Let’s fast forward to my Sweet 16 birthday party. Charlie decided to get me “the perfect gift” by spray painting “Happy Birthday, Pee Nelson!” on the city water tower. Mom and Dad have always called me Sweet Pea, stupid Charlie has called me Pea for short all his life. Apparently, he thought it would be hilarious to write Pea as Pee. As if that wasn’t enough, he got caught and was arrested for it. My parents had to leave my party early to go get him. Lucky for him, that was his first offense and they dismissed it. Good for him, but I missed my chance to dance with my Dad at my party, but at least I would have my chance at my wedding.
Sixteen more years passed before my wedding day. In the years between my sweet 16 and my wedding, there were countless fights, countless screaming matches, and countless tears. Stupid Charlie and I would never get along. I truly believed that his goal in life was to anger me. Nothing could convince me otherwise, and my parents were relieved when I left to college and never moved back.
I met the man who would eventually become my husband at a restaurant. My best friend and I made plans to meet at this restaurant one day, she text me she was running late, so I decided to order myself a drink at the bar while I waited for her. A handsome man, named David, struck conversation with me. He said he was also waiting for a friend who was running late. Finally my best friend arrived, but she walked in with stupid Charlie, and I was confused. He had a huge smile on his face as he yelled “Hi Pea!!” and hugged me. Just then David stepped up and asked “you two know each other?” My handsome man was there to meet stupid Charlie, who turned out to be his old college buddy.
Despite his poor judgement in friends, I agreed to go out with David. We fell in love, and two years later he proposed, I said yes, and we started planning our wedding. To my horror, he picked stupid Charlie as his best man. I explained to him that we weren’t at all close, and he did not have to pick him just because he was my brother. David responded that we were all family now, and he knew they would be best friends forever. I knew Charlie would ruin my wedding day, just like he ruined every event in my life since he was born.
On my wedding day, I braced myself for his speech. I was mortified when he brought out all the baby pictures, but he brought everyone to tears as he spoke about growing up with me as his big sister. He remembered everything about my childhood a lot differently than I did. In his speech, he talked about always trying to impress his big sister, and how his goal in life was to make me happy, but he always managed to screw up instead. The guests laughed hysterically as he recapped how for my 16th birthday, he had written Pee instead of Pea, because the other 12 year olds with him convinced him that was obviously the correct way to spell it. Even I laughed when he discussed the voting process that went into it.
It wasn’t until that day that I found out Charlie was the mastermind between David and I meeting. He overheard my mom ask me over the phone about my plans, and later asked her what I said. My mom didn’t think twice about the question, and wouldn’t have mentioned it to me anyway since she knew I didn’t get along with Charlie. In his Best Man speech, Charlie told everyone he knew me so well, he knew that David would be my soul mate. He asked David to meet him at that restaurant. The fact that my best friend also ran late was just a happy accident. He was so overjoyed to see that we had met on our own that he hugged me at the restaurant. He told David that I was also his Sweet Pea, not just my parents’ and that he knew that the person he adored most in the world would be well taken care of forever.
That night, I finally got my dance with my dad. I also danced with my little brother. I guess some people can’t help being annoying. He is no longer Stupid Charlie, he is now my little brother, Charlie.
Today’s prompt was: “I was trying my best not to lose my temper, but sometimes it seems like Charlie’s main goal in life is to make me angry,to make me lose my cool. He’s been doing this for years,starting with the time…” I really didn’t know where it was going except that Charlie would be a sibling. Instead of making it a story about fighting, I made it a story about reconciliation. Life is too short to hate your siblings.