Growing up I shared a bedroom with two sisters; one older, one younger. Late at night, when the lights were out and the house was quiet, I'd often hear my little sister's voice come through the darkness.
I knew that tone. I could sense the unsounded giggle.
"No." My own tone was firm. "I'm tired."
I could say no for an hour straight but it was rare that my darn sister gave up. The girl was determined beyond belief and cute like a big-eyed perky puppy; a very annoying combination that few could resist.
"I just want ONE story!"
Darcy would push and push until one of the off-the-top-of-my-head, let's-see-if-I-can-make-them-laugh, fantasies would come spilling out of my mouth. Sure enough, Darcy would laugh. And so would Katie, who for some reason usually remained silent when our little sister accosted me. Their laughter spurred me on. I'd forget about the desire to sleep and my stories lengthened as I become more attuned to what made the girls giggle.
My imagination ran wild--coming up with bizarre situations that had no place in reality; but it was funny, darn it. Once I was entrenched in the story, which always had more plots and subplots than a soap opera, sleep started to creep back into my thoughts--but I couldn't end the story with so many details left unexplained. Darcy and Katie didn't care much for the generic "And they lived Happily Ever After" ending, which would have negated the need to tie up loose ends. So I consistently spun incohesive tales; until the night I, being the brilliant 9 year old that I was, came up with a solution...
"To Be Continued," I'd say, then I'd roll over and ignore any protests.
Darcy had a memory like an elephant. Twenty-four hours later: "Sarah."
And it began again.
I think about those nights every once in a while. It was in those late hours that my love of story-telling was born. My sisters were my first audience.
I'm not sure when the stories stopped; and for the life of me, I can't remember much of what they were about. I wish I could call the girls up and ask them--but it's been years since we last talked. Our lives have ended up mirroring one of those long-winded tales. We went through a time where we experienced bizarre situations that had no place in reality. I took a stance with which my sisters disagreed. It led to a bunch of loose ends that needed to be tied up. I so badly wanted to slap a "And they lived Happily Ever After" on there, but the girls wouldn't let me. Only this time, they didn't ask for another story. They didn't ask for further explantion. They simply refused to speak to me.
But I can't let my sisters go. I am now the stubborn one. I keep trying to get in touch with them. I'm not going to give up. I have a To Be Continued attitude.