I had all intentions to hate her. My mind was made up. I would hate this intruder who was going to uproot me from my current status as the reigning queen of the family… But the first glimpse of the chubby innocent face melted barriers inside. But, No, I wasn’t going to let go of my intentions, I thought firmly, that is as firm as a 7-year old can.
The tiny plump hands, pink and warm, the smell, did make the resolution weak, but I held on.
When the whole family ooh-aahed over the tiny bundle, I seethed inside and once, when there was no one around, pinched the tiny hands and watched horrified as the smiley innocent face dissolved into wrinkles of pain… I escaped from the scene, but the guilt remained.
But the hate dissolved gradually and was replaced with more positive feelings of love…I couldn’t help it, the smiles specially reserved for me(when she could just do that), the coos of recognition and the spark that lit up her eye when she saw me. The thought of being needed by this tiny figure was indeed a high for the 7-year old, me.
Some memories never fade, like her first day in school, when she wouldn’t let go of my skirt and cried miserably when I went to my own class.
Later on dependency gave way to friendship, when we walked down to the bus stand on the way to school(almost 2km away), the long gap between our ages never a barrier. We amused each other with the jokes we invented, read aloud our lessons to compete with each other and giggled afterwards when mom scolded. When we both were caught red-handed for going to our neighbours to watch TV and came back late, we stood with our hands entwined and took the punishment melted out as stoically as possible and later cried hugging each other.
The instances are many and the bond stronger. From being dependant, the little girl is now on her own and sometimes it is me who takes her council…