I tried to hide my annoyance as my sister and I made frequent pilgrimages to and from the moving van. It was nice of her, really, to take me in after my bold, but carefully calculated, choice to dive in and start my own business ended in failure. Perhaps it wasn’t so carefully calculated after all.
My sister was thrilled that we’d be living together, or at least she pretended to be. No, she probably was thrilled. There wasn’t any real reason for her not to be. We’d always gotten along well.
But as we aged out of adolescence and became firmly entrenched in our adult years, I felt like I’d grown up. Whereas she…hadn’t.
I mean, her house was proof enough of that. Full to the brim with silly pseudoscience knick-knacks. The essential oil diffusers, the himalayan salt lamp. Enough potted herbs to season an entire banquet. And all the furniture was made of this dark distressed wood that always gave the impression of being sticky.
I knew I was mainly upset about the way my life had gone off the rails, and was projecting those emotions on everything annoying around me, but knowing that didn’t change how I felt. At least my sister had stopped talking about how wonderful this was going to be, and had moved on to blathering about some a-MAZE-ing orchid she’d just bought. It takes much more than some little flower to amaze me, I can promise you. But at least this topic didn’t require much input from me.
Finally all of my stuff was at least moved into the house, if not put away. Most of it was going to have to stay in boxes in the basement for the time being. There just wasn’t anywhere else to put it.
I ducked under an overgrown spider plant hanging in the entryway, heading into the kitchen in search of promised lemonade. A small plant bearing a few lackluster buds, and covered in brownish fuzz sat on the kitchen table. My sister rotated the broken mug it was planted in, examining the plant from every angle.
“That’s not it, is it?” I pointed at the plant, which only served to remind me that I was at least a month overdue for a manicure. Fat chance of that.
She nodded enthusiastically. “Wait until it blooms. They say the fragrance is something else.”
Oh good, now the house would smell like a perfume shop as well as a health food store.
I sipped my lemonade, watching my sister as she stared at the orchid. I didn’t like that plant. Why, I couldn’t have said. But something was wrong with it.