My sister told me to smile. I didn’t want to, but I had to to get her to leave me alone. She always wanted to take pictures of me at the worst possible time. She would bust into my room. I’d put on the cheesiest smile just to ruin her photo. And I felt good about it, because she never figured out my strategy. Why, I wanted to say, would you even want to take a picture of me after you know I had a bad day at school. Why is it necessary to take a picture when I have a nasty zit on my chin? But she always did. So, of course, when I, a nerd who based all of her self worth on her intelligence, had failed her first test as a senior in high school, guess who was there to document it…yep, my younger sister, Glenda. “Jane”, she had said, “It’s important for you to remember how you feel now, so you can look back later and see how far you’ve come.”
LEAVE ME ALONE, I DON’T CARE! I had screamed at the time, along with a multitude of expletives. I slammed the door in her face, but then I felt guilty. So I opened back up the door and told her to take a picture when my tears had dried and my face wasn’t splotchy anymore. She waited. And this time, I actually tried to smile. It was half cheesy, half real.

Story by Christine H

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