Hello guys, we’ve missed a couple of days and we’re sorry about this. Welcome to today’s Wednesday special.
Reframing the picture.
Sade glanced at the family picture that was on the mantelpiece, annoyed. It was one more reason she had to gripe with her sister who had always been the centre of attention even right from childhood. It was always Salewa this and Salewa that. The family album was filled with photos of Salewa. Her first piano recital. All the times she was chosen to be little bridesmaid and flower girl. Salewa’s many boyfriends over the years. Salewa was the pretty one, the outgoing one, the one everybody loved. It seemed nobody bothered much about Sade who was the quiet, mousy one. Even in their now very old family picture, taken when they were in their preteens, Salewa sat in the middle in the centre of her parents while Sade took a spot beside her mother. She wasn’t smiling. And her scowl was barely discernible but it was there. And now again, her sister was trying to be the hub of attention just because she was pregnant. What was so special about being pregnant for twins anyway? Sade thought. People had them all the time. Just go to igbo-ora. Her every little movement was an epic tale, her every wince exaggerated. And now she had finally been able to convince the doctors that she needed bed rest so someone could wait on her hand and foot. Sade was angry. Being the elder one in the family, she was yet to experience the joys of motherhood even though she had been married for two years.
When she had received the call that her sister needed help, she had not been too excited. But family always helped family so she had gone over to their house and helped her pack a few things. And she had seen the family picture that sparked off some unpleasant memories.
When she got to the hospital, she went straight to the hospital room. She was surprised to see how pale her sister looked. Something ran through her chest at that instant…something akin to fear. She realized at that moment that no matter how much she wanted to punch Salewa sometimes, she wouldn’t be able to bear it if something were to happen to her or the twins.
“Sade, thank you so much,” her sister said weakly as she placed some things by the side of the bed. “I’m so glad you’re here.”
“Don’t mention,” Sade was saying mechanically when her sister stopped her.
“No sis, I mean it. You’ve always been a great sister to me, always willing to make sacrifices. I don’t say it enough but I truly appreciate all you’ve done for me over the years,” Salewa said smiling.
Sade felt a lump in her throat as Salewa continued.
“I’m so lucky to have you as my sister. I’m especially glad you’re at my side at this time. You’ve been such a role model to me earning a PhD degree along with your job and being able to balance that with your responsibilities to your family. Mum and Dad were always so proud of you for achieving so much so quickly. I want you to be the twins’ godmother. I’d like for you to name them.” Sade did not know what to say. She had always thought Salewa took her for granted. But now she knew.
She forced herself to speak past the lump in her throat. “Sure I’ll be their godmother. Who else would you give that responsibility to?” she said playfully pinching her sister’s forearm.
“Now, sit up and eat the food I brought for you,” she said propping her sisters ‘pillows up. The thought of the family picture came to her mind and she felt that maybe just maybe she had never really seen the picture properly.
P.S: Have you experienced sibling rivalry before? If so, how did you cope with it. Does it exist only during childhood or persist to adulthood?