I felt defeated. Again. I had really hoped that this time I would conquer my inner emotions and not lash out at her. However, my instinctive reaction hadn’t allowed me to overcome my feelings of frustration and anger.

I couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about. All I did was hang up a sign on our bedroom door. Just like there are signs “No Smoking” or “No Littering,” this one had the words, “No Secular Music Allowed” written on it. After all, we did share a room. Just as I had to tolerate all her foolishness, she too was allowed to respect my privacy. I didn’t have to be subject to her rowdy, boisterous music that sounded like it came from the radio.

But I wasn’t prepared for her outburst.

“I hate you!” she exploded, her eyes shooting fire as she barged into the room with a torn paper that looked oddly familiar. She was livid; her hands quivered as she hurled the crumpled paper onto my bed. “You have no feelings!”

“I hate you too!” I retorted, glaring at her retreating back as she stomped out of the room.

Only she had feelings? What about mine? She wasn’t bothered by the fact that my friends were dropping me like a hot potato, for fear of me having a negative influence on their lives. She wasn’t troubled by the whispers that stopped every time I entered my classroom. What did she care?

I resented her. I resented her lifestyle, her mode of dress. I resented her new approach to life. The heavy jewelry, the borderline skirts, and her crowd of friends. I resented her presence, her existence. I resented the fact that she was my sister.

It hadn’t always been this way. We’d always gotten along. They used to call us twins. We were the best of friends, sharing secrets, sleeping in the same room, and being there for each other. I had always looked up at her. She was one year my senior, my role model. My problems were her problems. I valued her advice and admired her values. She was Mrs. Right, my beacon of light, my inspiration.

But it all changed. We barely lived on the same planet anymore.

It happened so fast. As if dark, ominous clouds had suddenly appeared, ruining a sunny day with a thunderstorm. Like a ball hitting a window pane, shattering it into bits and pieces. That’s what happened to our family when my sister transformed into a stranger I didn’t recognize.

~ ~ ~

It was hard not to notice the hurt in my parents’ eyes when she nonchalantly arrived at the dinner table wearing a miniskirt. “Like it?” she asked, twirling around for all of us to see. “I picked it up at the mall today.”

I remember hearing my fork clatter to the floor as I gasped. Even my three-year-old sister stopped her tantrum and gaped at her attire.

“Dina, it’s not Purim today,” she giggled. “Why are you dressed so funny?” (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 683)