Angry was an understatement. And I wish I wasn’t as angry as I was, but when your chapstick goes missing, and you blame your sister, and she claims it’s her chapstick, but you know it’s really yours, and then you realize it actually is hers, you aren’t exactly bubbling with joy.
I was on the very verge of exploding, like time ticking away on a bomb. Obviously it was just a Burts Bee Pomegranate Flavored Chapstick, but it felt like a lot more than that.
Because Sydney stole it.
My sister. My sister who always takes my stuff, without even asking. But usually I’d say “Fine, can I just have it back?” or just let it slide and tell her “Don’t take it again.” I don’t know if I was having a rough day, or if I was just grumpy, but I knew it was going to be the last time she would steal my belongings.
I stomped in her room, not caring if she was in there or not. My eyes darted straight to the vanity and I grabbed the first bag I saw. My hands were claws as I scrambled between the contents of the bag for the chapstick. Once I saw it, I viciously ripped it out, too angry to notice if other products were slipping out. The chapstick was held so tightly in my hand, it was trying to decide whether it could squirm to leave my grasp or not.
“Maya!!” Sydney whined louder and louder as her annoyed voice got nearer and nearer. “Get out of my room!”
I had to say something.
“Sydney,” I said, waving The Barely Two-Inched Cylinder in her face. “You stole my brand new chapstick!”
“What? I literally bought that with my own money!” She took it from my hands.
At this point, smoke was definitely coming out of my ears. And I know it’s just a chapstick, and not the end of the world. But it was in that very second. Because apparently she needed my chapstick. Because apparently she couldn’t just buy her own. Because apparently she could never admit to her wrongness.
“Oh yeah?” I began with an unusual tone, “Then where’s the one Ally got me for my birthday that looks exactly like this?”
Then I heard my mom.
I could almost see her eye roll and her head shaking. But she was across the hall (not to my surprise) and she was yelling.
“Stop arguing and just give it back Sydney!” she shouted from her desk.
Sydney handed it over.
And the thing is, looking back on it, she actually looked kind of upset. But I didn’t notice that. I was blinded by my irrational assumption, and I couldn’t see anything else at the time.
Strutting back into my bedroom, I called out, “So don’t steal my stuff!”
All of the sudden, my stress, anger, and irritation drifted away. I was like a blown up balloon slowly deflating back into the plastic flab it is. It felt good to finally be relaxed.
I then reached under my nightstand, so I could draw in my sketchbook. I could feel the book’s metal rings, but there was something else down there. Perplexed, my head flipped down to see what it was. My eyes widened and my eyebrows raised.
It was the chapstick. My chapstick.
I was holding two identical chapsticks, but one of them made me feel guilty. I looked at them for a few seconds, and they looked back at me, taunting me. The Two Dollar Item fell from my nightstand, but I wasted my time, and Sydney’s time, blaming it on her. I felt selfish and ignorant.
But what was I supposed to do? I was younger, and less mature, so I wasn’t going to apologize to her. But I didn’t want to keep two of the same chapsticks either. So the only logical decision was…
“Sydney,” I said, peeking out my door, with a lack of energy. “Just take it back.” She took it from my hands in an instant, and no words came out of her mouth.
I sat on my bed and thought about what had happened. I realized that I’m not always right, and my sister is not always wrong. That thinking only lasted 15 seconds.
However, it was still impactful. Whenever I think of accusing my sister, or anyone of something, I think of the Chapstick. I replay that small moment in my head like a 7 year old would replay the funny fail video he saw on Youtube.
So, yes, this story was just about a chapstick that my sister and I argued over for about 10 minutes. Nevertheless, the same chapstick reminds me to never jump to conclusions, and that my lips are dry.