Uh, Sis

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic


Since today is Black Friday, I think I'm just going to write something about it because I missed last year. So, this is mostly based on my experiences on the importance of grades and stuff. The
summary goes: Can Century, a very stressed first-year college student, be able to calm down after being around Millennium, her carefree and talkative sister, and Decade, a very sensible brother,
along the journey to and in a shopping mall?

Submitted: November 23, 2017

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Submitted: November 23, 2017

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"Where are you?" I sigh as I speak gravely into my phone but don't give the person on the other end enough time to answer. "I'm so pissed off right now. Come pick me up. If you don't, I'll perish. You know when I'm truly and inexplicably exasperated, don't you? I don't think I can wait another minute. My day is so horrible that—"

"Uh, sis, what's wrong?" My sister confoundedly asks.

"Millennium," I start. "Not. Right now." 

Yeah, my sister's name is Millennium. I also have a brother. Decade. So, guess what my name is. Right, it's Century. Sometimes I hate it when people think that my nickname, Cent, derives from the currency. I'm worth more than that, people! If only I could have any of those two names instead! I surmise many things would've turned out differently… Not that I'm gonna admit this to any of them.  

"Don't growl," my sister warns, "but then again, you're way too stubborn to ever fix your bad habit." In the background I can hear her slamming the door of her car.

"Ah, yes, Mother number two," I roll my eyes. I already have one. Do I really need another? I mean one is good, but another…Really?

"Golly!" Millennium shrieks. "It surprises me how you haven't already driven me into the realm of insanity from frustration. Studying psychology really doesn't help," she mumbles the last part to herself.

I take a deep breath.

"So, you just finished, right?" I ask nicely, partly because I don't want to actually drive my sister into the 'realm of insanity' and partly because I'm that good of a sister. I still hold some irritation, though, due to the previous events that I do not presently want to mention.

"Sure, just done with Abnormal Psychology." Why can I suddenly hear that she's smiling cunningly? Uh oh. Something's bad happening. "I think I just have a cure for you, sis."

"Seriously!" I fume. "First, you tell me that I drive you crazy—"

"Almost. I'm unbreakable."

"—now, you're telling me that I'm a lunatic?" I huff, absolutely ignoring her statement while I readjust the strap of my tote bag. "Sis!"

 

"Where to?" Millennium asks as soon I opened the door of the SUV. 

I glare at her, not because I don't have the desire to talk right now…which is true, but more so because of the cigarette in her hand. She's opened her side of the window for ventilation but I can't really say that I'm all that pleased.

I simply shrug.

"To Westfield, then," Millennium whooped as she steps on the gas, a split second after I closed the door. "It's Black Friday today!" 

0+0+0+0+0+0

Contemporary archaeology (aka the period after World War II) can be ramified into two main types: processu

"I saw this cute, fluffy, green dress on a website." Millennium thrusts her phone in front of my face. Between my notes and me.

I push her arm away. Let's start again. Processual (more scientific) and post-processual (more humanistic and democratic) archaeology

"I also should buy a new sweater or jacket." My sister continues on with thinking out loud. "I heard it's gonna be super cold this year."

Processualism takes 20 years of research, while post-processualism sort of opposes it due to

"Oh, and maybe also some new accessories—"

sci!!!

"Mille, you can't really shut up for one second, can you?!" I growl and look up from my notes to glare at her. "I can't study."

"Chill, sis." Mille push my notes down to see my face better and threw them to the back seat when the traffic light turns red. "Ah…that's better."

"Hey!" I protest and unbuckle my seat belt, ready to throw myself into the back to collect all the paper.

"Sit," she says and blows smoke into my eyes. "And erase that frown from your face this instant, Century! Heratys smile, not frown."

I sigh loudly.

"You really want to decrease your life span, don't you?" She taps my brow twice.

I don't care. Wait, maybe I…later.

"Tell me." She flicks the ash out the window. How careless and irresponsible. I turn away from her. "What's your problem?"

I consider silence as an option or maybe I should just get this over with.

"I got an eight point five," I say. "Or more like nine on my presentation and eight on my report."

"Out of ten?" 

The light turns green. She stubs out her cigarette. The car starts moving. I stall.

"…yeah," I utter at last. 

"I don't know what kids these days think." Millennium P. Heraty shakes her head dejectedly.

"Need I remind you that we're only a year apart?" I cross my arms, still looking away from her.

Millennium snorts. "Cent, this is your first assignment here. Let it go. Plus, you've got As all your life. Getting a B or even an F doesn't end your bright future. It's not that bad."

"Puh-lease." I look at Millennium, whose eyes are focused straight ahead on the road. "Mille, it is thatbad.”

"Don't you at least feel—I don't know—relieved that it's over?" Millennium arches an eyebrow; her eyes never move away from the streets. "Take me as an example."

"I'm not you," I blurt out, "wait a minute, on second thought, I don't wanna be you. It's just—ewww."

"Ha! Like I want you to be me," she snorts again. I swear that she was a pig in her last life because really, who snorts that much? "Besides, it's not like you can pull this off." She swipes a hand down her body.

"Right," I reluctantly agree with a grimace, "it's not like I can pull off getting Cs and Ds like you!" I silently chortle and subsequently stick a tongue out at her.

"I mean being a good sister, you idiot." She reaches out and tries to push my shoulder, which I easily avoid. 

"Seriously, if someone is able to put up with you, he or she must be pretty…patient." I smirk.

"Hey, don't rub that in my face," she says, annoyed. "It's not like you've got anyone special."

"Heh," I cringe. "Don't need one."

"You know— if I have to guess— if you're to marry someone, it'd be to either a worm or an amoeba," she says thoughtfully.

"Uh, what the heck, sis." I roll my eyes.

"You're a bookworm," she says casually. "That makes sense."

"Nooooo," I drawl. "And amoeba isn't technically—"

"Ooooh, if only you wear glasses…" Millennium interjects. Did you just cut me off? Did you, really?  "That would certainly complete the image of a nerd."

"Generalization."

"…Anyways, Century A. Heraty—" she pauses, which means she has a weird idea going on inside her head. Oh, no. "Oh my Gods! Do As matter that much to you because your middle name is A?"

"What? No—"

"'All initials given with a name should for convenience and consistency be followed by a period even if they are not abbreviations of names.'" Millennium quotes.

"…"

"I mean that would still be cool even if it's not the case—"

"You wouldn't understand," I whisper. Sometimes, even I don't understand why I like to talk about things when they just happened and abruptly stop talking about them; no one can open my mouth under all circumstances. I think I'm like a balloon, deflating. When the air's all out…well, there's just no more air to release.

"I'll try," she says with a smile.

"Okay," I gulp for air before continuing, "so, you know when people say that with As you will get accepted into a job easier?"

"Wow, you're a person with a great vision," Millennium comments with a quick nod.

"Don't interrupt!" I seethe but attempt with tremendous effort to keep my voice in control. "I'd just stop if I don't think discussing this with you is worth my time, my breath, and my effort. So, don't, okay?"

Millennium purses her lips and restrains herself with difficulty not to speak. Maybe I did scare her and I'm sorry for that, but I don't normally open up to anyone, so this is actually a plus for her.

"I believe that you have a simpler life. You don't have to worry about getting good grades and stuff. I hate myself sometimes for caring about those things— for having to meet the expectations set by everyone. Teachers, siblings, parents, or even friends. 

"It's true how getting good grades is elating, but it's also stressful, you know? —Don't answer that; it's rhetorical—But it is and my heart aches sometimes when our parents say that they're proud of me; I'm scared how I can't keep on being consistent. And it's like I'm not just excelling in my study for myself anymore. I'm tired and frustrated—"

"And you feel like you want to palliate the stress and pain by hitting something or even someone?" Millennium suggests and for once I don't feel like shutting her up. At last, after a long time of keeping it to myself, someone actually empathizes with me.

"This is my first term here and that presentation is equal to my midterm!" I feel like banging my head against the window. "But that is just the beginning of the culmination of my misery."

"Yeah, what is it?" Millennium shake her head at, of course, my silliness. Believe me, I know that I'm being drastically dramatic and unreasonable but I just can't help it.

"I was in the canteen, right—"

"How am I supposed to know?" Millennium snorts.

"I didn't—it's not— urgh!!! Forget it."

"I sincerely apologize, Sister," Mille says as we pull into the parking lot. "Please, continue."

"Then, I wanted to get something to eat to relieve my stress," I tell her. "And I was craving for something cold, smooth, and refreshing so I thought of banana smoothie. The cafeteria ran out of bananas." 

"Uh huh."

"Can you believe that?! Bummer no.1." I sigh. Yeah, habits die hard. "So, I thought about shaved ice with fresh fruits…the b-bingo kind?"

"Um, Cent, it's bingsu," admonishes Sis. "It's called bingsu. Bingsu."

I think that's, like, the most scandalous thing I could've done to a Korean-obsessed person. In my head I hear her:

Calling all bingsus. Gather up, all bingsus. I mourn for all those around the world. I'd like to send my condolences to you all. I truly apologize for what has just occurred. For my sister, whom just mix you up with a game. A game! I share this commiseration with you. Calling all bingsus…

"Uh, yeah, sis." I scratch my head. "Anyways, the store's already gone." 

"What do you mean by 'gone'?"

"Nothing. Only that dark spot on the ground, showing it's ever there!" I blab on. "I mean, it was really just a booth to begin with, but I didn't even realize I had walked on it on my to the smoothie shop until I looked closer. Then, ice cream."

"Ice cream?" Millennium's eyes widen. Why is that such a shocking statement? Can't I be a sweet tooth once in a while?

"Yeah." I shrug. "The only thing on my mind now is ice cream."

"…but you're on a diet." 

Er, yeah, that's right. It is a shocking statement from me.

"If we were in Italy or even Germany, we could've gone to the place where they sell good homemade gelato," I pout, swiftly diverting her attention by reminiscing the good, old memories that can't come true this moment.

"Um...store—" 

"No stocks until later." The store-brought ones aren't that good anyway. "I'm not waiting a few hours for that!"

"Unfortunately, we're not, so we're stuck with Ghirardelli’s," Millennium says and opens the door on her side.

"Ghirardelli's, it is." I smile and follow suit.

0+0+0+0+0+0

"Mille, Mille!" 

It's not even five minutes and I've already lost her! The boutique store is two-story, which isn't really that big when you're in it.

I sigh, crawling through piles of strewn clothes and grabbing hands. What's going on in these people's heads? Don't they know there're always things like 80% discount but 'Excludes clearance. Exclusions may apply as indicated in-store.' or only 'On selected items/styles.' And if there's a buy one get one free, 'Free item must be of equal or lesser value. Original ticket prices apply. Exclusions apply. Not combinable with merchandise or storewide promotions.'

"Uh, I don't care?"

"Don't mind."

"Don't wanna miss this."

"Don't talk."

"Don't be here, then."

"Don't…stand between me and my clothes!"

I look at several girls that are clearly glaring at me. Am I blocking you? Oh, did I just say those conditions aloud? Oh…

But wait, wait! Despite what I just elucidated to myself, you gals still want to be here? Was that so incomprehensible that—

"Hello, ladies! I'm DC and I'm here with the mike today because I'm that cool." Hmm? Silence follows. Everyone stops what they're doing—I stop staring at the girls. Faintly in the distance, the sound of cicadas can be heard. "No," the guy—why does he sound so familiar?— amends, "I mean if I were a woman, I wouldn't be able to suppress the urge to buy all these items because they're that cheap!" The cheering returns and the ladies continue with their games of tug-of-war and scavenger hunt.

DC…Decade? "Decade!" Oh, he said something about a part-time job. I think he's saving up for a trip to go with his crush.

"Uh, sis?" He cups the mike and whisper-shouts when he sees me. "What are you doing here? Is Mille with you?"

"Yeah, bro, about that…" I hastily dash upstage—trying to be like a ninja—and take the microphone from Decade. "Mine!"

"Jesus Christ. Are you trying to decrease our sales?" Decade has his head in his hand, massaging his temples. "What's gotten into you? You bash your brain in from information overload?"

"Haven't you been taught when you're a child that sharing is a thing that brings our world forward?" I send him the most contemptuous scowl I can manage. "I need this, okay?"

Decade becomes speechless and I take the advantage of that hesitation.

"Mille, Millennium—"

I turn at the sound of the cash register. Wha—How—Huh? That's like a record!

"Uh…sis?" Decade and I echo together.

"Oh, Century A. Heraty, there you are." There's a scarf around her neck, and she's carrying bags of all sizes in both hands. "Wow, Decade X. Heraty, you're here too! What a coincidence!"— her eyes refocus on me— "I'm just going to the customer-service counter to report you missing."

Shouldn't I be the one doing that?

Decade nudges me with his elbow. "How long have you been here?"

"Uh…a couple of minutes, I reckon," I whisper back at him. "Seven, max."

"Whoa…"

"DC, huh?" Mille snorts. "If you want to, this lady and I are going to munch on some sundaes at Ghirardelli's."

"I don't feel like eating anymore." I should've been studying at this moment, not dragging myself to extravagant malls! "Let's just go home."

"Oh. My. God! You're unbelievable!" Mille rolls her eyes. "We're already here, so why don't we eat a little."

"You're just saying that because you need a rest." I speculate.

"So what if I'm tired?" She whines. "What if I need to refuel? You know how b*tches fight dirty over clothes?! That was exhausting!"

"You know that there's also Cyber Monday, right?" I narrow my eyes. "And it's, like, three days away?"

"What's that?"

"I think that just means more shopping time for her," Decade is like, cringing a little. "Don't come to me if she bugs you again."

"Get ready for it." I mirror his expression. "She's gonna bug everyone."

"Cyber Monday," Mille starts reading from her phone. Where did she get another hand to fetch that out of her pocket?! "Is a marketing term for the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. The term "Cyber Monday" was created by marketing companies to persuade people to shop online."

Then, she emits a deafening squeal. 

She must be thinking something like, I don't care about marketing companies. This just means more clothes for me! Yasssss!

"Mille!"

"Cent, please take her away," Decade says, covering his head with his hand again. "My shift'll end soon. I'll meet you at…Ghirardelli's?"— he looks at us— "What? Okay, fine. I need a ride home."

I nod. "C'mon, Mille. I'll help you."

"Now, now, ladies," Decade continues his job as I walk out the shop with Sis. "If you'll listen to me, we offer you a "buy one get one free!" promotion with the item you're buying having only the price of ten percent! New arrivals are included. There are also jumpers and parkas that you can pair up to get…"

0+0+0+0+0+0

By the time Decade arrives, Millennium's already finished two sundaes.

"Anyone up for floats?" She asks.

Bro and I turn toward each other and smile. 

"Uh, sis…" we say together and can't suppress a laugh.

 

A/N: Thank you for reading this and I hope you enjoyed it because  I seriously don't know what I was thinking while writing this piece... Anyway, some clarifications and disclaimers:

1) I got the archaeology part from the second edition of the text book- Archeology: The Science of the Human Past by Mark Q. Sutton and Robert M. Yohe II

2) The quote about the middle name comes from The Chicago Manual of Style, which I got from The Book of General Ignorance by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson from the chapter of 'What was Mozart's middle name?'

3) I got the Cyber Monday definition from Wikipedia because that's like the first thing you see when you search for it in Google.

4) The setting in the book is Westfield San Francisco Centre, which I shortened for the characters to just say 'Westfield' because for me, when I talk to my friends, I also abbreviated the shopping center in my country from Central Rattanathibet to Cen. Rat.

5) This gives way to the ice cream shop, which is fully named Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop. It is obviously too long a name for the characters to say normally in a conversation so I cut it down to just Ghirardelli's.


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