Wednesday 1 May 2024

Sibling Love by Leonie Jarrett, a glass of crisp, cool Chardonnay

“Do you always have to be so annoying?” yelled Sarah as she glared at her younger brother, Tim. “Stop changing the TV channel you little pain.” Sarah snatched the TV remote from Tim and changed the channel back to the show she was watching.


“Muuuummmm. Tim is being a pest and fiddling with the TV again. Can you make him stop?”


The kids’ Mum, Chloe, called out from the study. “Tim, stop fiddling with the TV. Sarah, stop shouting. I am trying to work here.”


Eight year old Tim looked at twelve year old Sarah and smiled at her with the typical smile of a sibling who has aggravated his older sister. A gappy, self-satisfied smile as he was currently missing his two front teeth. “You’re always hogging the TV Sarah. It’s my TV too and your show is boring.”


With that, Tim snatched the TV remote and changed the channel again. Sarah shrieked and snatched the remote back and Tim retaliated the best way he knew how – he grabbed Sarah’s long, brown ponytail and he pulled it. Hard.


“Owwwww,” yelped Sarah as tears sprung to her eyes, “You little menace.”


Chloe appeared in the doorway thundering, “What is going on? I am trying to draft and schedule my social posts so that we can do some fun stuff together tomorrow but I can’t concentrate. All I can hear is you two fighting.”


Chloe was an influencer. A single mother, she had cottoned on to a sweet spot blogging about solo parenting. She was happy that she made enough money to manage without having to ask ‘Deadbeat Dad’ for anything.


“He pulled my hair Mum. He’s a bully.” Sarah was trying not to cry (she didn’t want to give that pleasure to Tim) but her eyes were moist.


“Tim,” admonished his mother. “You can’t pull people’s hair.”


“She never lets me watch the TV Mum. I live here too. She acts like I don’t exist.”


“Wish you didn’t,” spat Sarah.


“Sarah! Don’t say that. Go to your room,” ordered her mother.


“But,” spluttered Sarah, “I didn’t do anything wrong. That little weasel did.”


“You should know better Sarah,” replied her mother. “You’re older. And don’t call Tim a weasel.

 “Now, I need to go back to work. I better not be interrupted again. It’s hard enough trying to work from home with you two under my feet during the school holidays.”


Sarah stomped off towards her room. As she passed her brother, she hissed in his ear, “You’ll get yours later.”


Chloe walked back to the study and posted her afternoon Insta update to her followers - a sweet photo of Sarah and Tim snuggled on the couch, reading side by side. The photo was a year or so old but that didn’t matter. Chloe captioned the photo, “The joy of reading together to while away the school holiday hours #siblinglove #friendsforever #bonding.”


“Instagram versus reality,” Chloe mused wryly to herself for the umpteenth time that week. 

About the author 

 Leonie Jarrett lives in Melbourne, Australia with her Husband of more than three decades, her four adult children and her two Golden Retrievers. Leonie has variously been a lawyer and a business owner. Now that she is semi-retired, Leonie is loving writing rivers of words. 
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