Far but close

Exploring how my relationship with my sister evolved

Arjun Dhruv, Staff Writer

A mix of tears and blood ran down my face. I wasn’t in pain — I was frustrated that I could do nothing to get back at her. The voices of my parents yelling at my sister and I faded out, and I simply glared at my sister with nothing but hatred in my eyes. How could I not feel hatred for someone who had just slammed my face into a door?

Of course, it wasn’t the first time this had happened, or the second or even the hundredth. Our fights were always over stupid stuff, like fighting over the better slice of cake or the big TV — this was just the dynamic I had with my sister. She thought she was better than me just because she was older than me by four years, and that didn’t sit right with me. 

Despite our countless fights, my sister and I occasionally had good moments. Sometimes we would play board games or go outside, but they always ended with her cheating or quitting because she was losing. As an immature 12-year-old, I let our fights warp my perspective of her, and it got to a point where I simply disliked being around her.

Eventually, the time came when she had to leave for college. Every week, a different person in our family would ask me about my thoughts on her moving out, and I always gave the same response.

“I couldn’t be happier.”

At first, I didn’t notice a change. I felt thrilled to have the house to myself without my pesky sister. However, over time, I started becoming aware of the little things she did that I took for granted. With her gone and my parents mostly at work, no one would take me to get frozen yogurt late at night, drive me to my tennis lessons or even just be there when I came home after school. With her gone, there was no one to defend me when my parents would lecture me and no one to comfort me after a fight with them. Ironically her absence helped me realize that I actually enjoyed having her around. It made me feel guilty for how ungrateful I was while she was still here and how our small fights clouded my judgment.

I remember her first visit home from college — the first time we had gone two days without fighting since the day I was born. After maturing a lot in just three short months, I was finally able to have a genuine conversation with my sister. We stayed up talking about college and my life in high school without getting into an argument. Even though she had moved 300 miles away from home to Santa Barbara, I felt closer to her than ever before.

The time came for my sister to return for the holidays, and I was looking forward to spending time with her. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I was actually excited to see her. From now on, whenever my aunts and uncles ask me how I feel about her coming back from college, I give the same answer as before.

“I couldn’t be happier.”