Jessie wished for a sister and her Dad made it happen. When she was introduced to her new step-family she had no idea things were about to get ugly.
Kimberly, the stepsister, starts a feud with Jessie that lasts well over thirty years. While Connie, the stepmother, plays a role so severe she eventually becomes known as the 'Redheaded Step-Monster from H-E-Double Hockey Sticks'.
As the family expands to include more siblings, the physical and mental abuse Jessie is subjected to becomes almost intolerable. With Dad, her one-time ally turned against her, she searches for the humor to help her cope and heal.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.31(d)|
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Family is an 'F' WordPerceptions of Love
By Jessica Victoria Einstein
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2010 Jessica Victoria Einstein
All right reserved.
Chapter OneWhen I was six months old, Dad paid my Mom's best friend five dollars to take my Mom to the store and keep her busy while he took me and the color television set and left the state of Oregon. We never went back. What a way to begin life, huh?
Well, in Dad's defense, he thought he was doing the right thing. I, of course, have no actual memory of this because I was so young. It was just the story I was told every time I asked about my 'real' Mom while I was growing up. Eventually, I would find out that it was true and it would break my heart. For now though, I was too young to know any different or to even ask any of the questions that would get me close to the truth. For the next three and a half years, Dad was my family and I thought my Dad was the greatest man alive.
I had been asking my Dad for a sister or brother to play with for a little over a year. I guess he got tired of my hounding him, and he set about making my wish a reality.
Dad was divorced, and I guess that means you can't make another kid. Well, that's what he had told me. But, Dad was super smart, and I had faith that he would find a way around the rule. Sure enough, he did too.
"Buy one at the bar store," I had said one night as he was tucking me in.
Dad had chuckled and said, "I'll think about it, Jessie." Jessie was the special name that Dad used for me but my real name was Jessica. I went to bed at the same time the sun did every night, and sometimes Dad would go to a place he called "The Bar" after I fell asleep. That's where he was headed on this particular night.
Grandma was coming over to watch me sleep. I never really understood why Grandma would watch me sleep. I just figured I must've been doing some really cool stuff like flying or something while I was snoozing. Grandma was only there to make sure I didn't get hurt. Or, maybe she was there to make sure I always made it back to my bed safely. I will have to watch someone sleep one day, I thought.
Dad was still smiling when he interrupted my thoughts by saying, "I'll tell ya' what, Jessie. I'll see what I can find at the 'Big People Store' tonight, ok?"
The "Big People Store" was Dad's code phrase for "The Bar" because you had to be a big person to go there. It was kind of like a club house for grown-ups. I crossed my fingers under the soft down of the blanket Grandma had made for me and said, "I want a girl, Dad. Please, buy me a sister."
He chuckled again and said, "Okay, I'll see what I can do." Then he gave me a little wink, shut the light off, and closed my bedroom door.
I don't really know how much time passed before Dad brought home my new sister. I was four-years-old, and to me, one day seemed like an eternity. So, it could have been seven eternities or more as far as I knew. Of course, all I really know is that the leaves were pretty colors on the trees when Dad and I had last talked about getting me someone to play with, and the day I met my new sister, the leaves had already fallen from the branches and there was a pristine blanket of snow on the ground.
Talk about exciting, I finally had my very own sister. Kimberly was the one I had asked for, prayed about, and even crossed my fingers to wish for. She was the same as me. She was four-years-old, her parents were divorced, and we were both girls. But, there were some things I didn't care for and there were some big differences between us.
For starters, the special name I had for my Dad, which was "Dad," was no longer used by only me. Kimberly was now allowed to call him "Dad," too because he had married her Mom, Connie. I thought that they would call him by his big people name, "Tim." But I guess when you get married, the rules are different.
Secondly, Kimberly was taller than me "because she was big-boned," her Mom said. There were even more differences. She had very thick, blonde hair and dark green eyes. Her skin looked kind of brown like she had been baked in the oven with a batch of cookies. Oh, and she didn't have any freckles either.
I was short and skinny. I was so small that people actually called me "Runt." My eyes were a pale blue color, and my brown hair was so fine it tangled up in a rat's nest if someone so much as exhaled in my direction. In fact, until I was much older, I had heard my parents reference the rats so often I thought I had a family of them living in my mattress.
See, my Dad and Connie were always trying to comb out the nest those stupid rats put in my hair each morning. I hated rats for years because I thought they literally played in my hair every night. Who wouldn't hate rats? I figured it was because of those rotten little critters that I cried each morning when their handiwork was combed out.
My skin was a pasty white color like that of a spit-wad. Well, most of my skin was that color. My freckles were orangish brown, and I didn't exactly have a light dusting of them across my cheeks and nose. I would say it looked more like someone had beaten me about the face with the business end of a paint brush.
Yes, we were different, I thought, but, who cares? It was Christmas and we were pretty excited because Santa had already delivered gifts to the good little girls and boys. We must've been good that year because we had colorful boxes under the tree with our names on them. I don't remember all of the stuff we got, and I guess that didn't really matter because, the feud started over what happened with a single toy...my treasure chest. After opening our gifts, it was time to put our pajamas on and go to sleep.
While we were changing, I was fondly admiring my new treasure chest. Santa had brought it just for me. It was filled with multi-colored plastic balls that could connect to each other and make a chain. I had carried it gingerly to the room I shared with Kimberly and placed it at the foot of our bed. Just between you and me, I wanted it close by so if someone tried to steal it, I would wake up and stop them.
Kimberly and I climbed into bed to secretly play with the plastic, green, Army men that Santa had also left. A few minutes later, Kimberly announced she had to poop. I burst into a fit of giggles. As she was about to leave the room, her eyes landed on my shiny, new treasure chest.
You could almost see the wheels of her mind turning. As she swung back around and looked me square in the eye, I had a vision. It was as though we were standing twelve paces apart in the center of a dusty, Old West town, both wearing six-shooters, mere seconds before the clock was to strike high noon. She said, with an evil glint in her eye, "Do you dare me to go poop in your treasure chest?"
There I was, kneeling in the center of our bed, six guns at my sides. Time seemed to stand still. The furnace kicked on sending dust bunnies skittering across the floor. A bead of sweat formed on my brow, and I said, "I dare you!" Then I promptly flopped over laughing and giggling. There was no way Kimberly would ever do such a thing. I had won this showdown, I had thought.
I figured Kimberly had to be faking it with so much grunting and groaning going on. Seriously, she had to be making those sounds to be silly so I would laugh. And, I was definitely laughing. I was nearly hysterical from laughing so hard. Not to mention, I was dizzy from the lack of oxygen. When Kimberly again stood at the side of the bed, she had a nasty little twinkle in her eye. She wasn't laughing either. Shock began to override laughter, and I turned slowly. My eyes were as big as silver dollars. My lower lip was trembling, Oh, God, I prayed, Please tell me she didn't poop in my beautiful little treasure chest!
And there, at the foot of our bed was the golden trunk. Its lid was open, showing off all of the pretty jewels inside. On the very top of the mound of sparkling gems rested a big pile of nasty! Shock doesn't even begin to describe what I was feeling. The word "traumatized" comes to mind!
I half slid, half stumbled out of our bed. Tears filled my eyes. I'm not sure if it was the stench causing my eyes to burn and water or if it was actual tears over having my favorite toy pooped on. Upon getting within a few feet of the chest, I pulled my nightshirt over my nose, reached out, and slammed the lid shut! Ewww! Gross! Icky! I nearly touched it!
We discussed it then, as far as what we were going to do with the incriminating evidence, and we opted to put it on the dresser until morning. We would have a better chance of disposing of it without getting busted. Climbing back into bed to finish our Army battle, I had put the whole thing out of my mind. That was until Connie, my stepmother, entered our room.
We heard Connie heading for our room to make sure we were in bed and panic filled my tummy. When she had entered our room, she had stopped a mere foot from the dresser and sniffed! Then she scrunched up her nose and sniffed again! She was inching closer and closer to the dresser as if she were a human bloodhound.
When Connie flipped the tiny gold latch on the treasure chest and opened the lid, Kimberly and I looked like a couple of deer caught in the headlights. Connie was disgusted, and she took my treasure chest somewhere. To this day, I do not know what became of it, but I suspect it went to the burn barrel.
Dad, well, he wasn't very impressed with the whole thing and gave Kimberly and me a whooping like none other. Naturally, I begged and pleaded with him not to spank me because Kimberly had practically dared me to dare her, and she was the one that did the deed. But, alas, I had lost my most prized possession and had gotten my butt blistered to boot. Kimberly had scored. I hadn't. So, the Sibling Rivalry Scorecard looked like this:
Name: Sibling Rivalry Scorecard Kimberly 1 + my prized treasure chest Jessie 0
Thus began a feud that would span the length of three and a half decades with no end in sight.
Now, you know how children are, right? They are cruel, and I, being a kid, wasn't any different. To make matters worse, I had a memory like an elephant. There was absolutely no way I wasn't going to seek revenge. My first opportunity to even things up had presented itself soon enough too.
Kimberly and I were having an argument. You know the kind where one kid hollers, "Did not!," and the other kid hollers, "Did too!" and they scream back and forth until one of them shoves the other one? Well, we just happened to be standing at the top of a very long staircase. So, when I reached out and touched her, kind of like those old AT&T commercials, not only did it put an end to the disagreement, but I also learned how the human body responds to gravity! I'm sure you never thought revenge would be educational, but it is. Oh, and kids, don't try this at home!
As my darling stepsister began to fall away from me everything seemed to slow down. It was sort of like watching a movie in slow motion. Her eyes widened, and her body stiffened as she clawed at the air, drifting backwards. I was riveted, my body couldn't move. I was no more capable of helping her than I was of helping the Man in the Moon. I couldn't seem to drag my eyes from the scene unfolding before me either.
Surely, it only took a few seconds for Kimberly to plummet down the stairs but it seemed like forever. At the bottom of the steps, the stairwell curved. So, naturally, Kimberly plowed into the wall. Instead of stopping though, she continued around the curve and came to rest on the family room floor three steps later. Thump, thump, thump!
There were a billion things that went through my mind at that point. Humor, because she had bounced all the way down. Defiance, Ha! Bet she doesn't fight with me again! And finally, upon realizing I hadn't heard anything from her; I began wondering if she was dead. Granted, my entire concept of death had come from Wiley Coyote "dying" seven or eight times per cartoon episode, so I wasn't even distraught. After all, Wiley was always alive for the next half hour episode.
Surely you guys know about the "Grenade Effect," right? No? Well, it goes something like this. After pulling the pin on a grenade, you have fifteen seconds before there is an ear-splitting explosion. My stepsister was exactly like that. About fifteen seconds after landing, she started squallering like a stuck hog. Um, so I've never actually seen or heard a pig being stuck with a sharp object before but, I bet they squeal, snort, and make an all-around ruckus that would draw the attention of anyone within earshot. I couldn't see Kimberly, but I just knew all of that screaming was going to alert Connie, and uh-oh.... it was too late.
I heard some rustling coming from downstairs as Connie began to stir, and my mind likened it to the cries of a bear cub awakening its mama. Everyone knows you should never ever wake up a mama bear because they are really grumpy when they don't get enough sleep. Connie's peaceful winter hibernation had been interrupted by Kimberly's cries. I heard Connie stomping through the house!
To this day I have questioned my actions and still do not have a logical reason for not moving from the top of the stairs. After Connie screamed my name, it was really too late. Fear kept me glued to the spot I was standing in. I could do nothing but listen as she stomped into her bedroom and made her way back to the foot of the staircase with Dad's belt in hand.
My body trembled as she took the steps two at a time. Bringing the belt down on every other step with a resounding CRACK! Her nostrils flaring, eyes shooting poison-tipped daggers, spittle flying from her mouth as she screamed, "You're gonna' get it!"
Oh, that reminds me, here is a tip for all of the kids out there. If a parent ever screams, "You're gonna' get it!" at you, look them in the eye and tell them, "Thanks, it's a really good offer for a kid like me, but I'm trying to cut back," and run! Because, I'm telling ya', you don't want it!
Now, where was I? Oh yeah, I remember. Connie was about to explode and I mean that literally. This vein on her forehead was huge, throbbing, and the deepest purple I have ever seen. Her red hair was coiling and uncoiling itself. Years later I would liken it to the serpentine style Medusa wore.
Just before she was able to grab hold of me, I took off! I was running Mach III for the safety of the nearest hiding place. There was, however, one glitch in that plan. The glitch being that nobody had ever shown me how to hide properly. I was still under the impression if I covered my eyes, you couldn't see me.
As I barreled through the door of my bedroom, I encountered a brand-new experience, that of stocking feet and hard-wood flooring. My little legs were going ninety miles per hour, but I wasn't going anywhere! Visions of the "Red-Headed Step-Monster from H-E-Double Hockey Sticks" filled my mind, and with one final burst of adrenaline, I launched myself onto my bed, throwing the sheet over my head. Remember, if I can't see you, you can't see me!
As the sheet began drifting down to surround me in a sort of protective cloud, I drew in a deep breath. I had made it. I would be safe here. No sooner had that thought crossed my little four-year-old brain, and whoosh! Connie ripped the sheet off of me. We made eye contact for a split second before I let out the most blood-curdling scream of my life. I now knew what it was. Connie beat me "within an inch of my life" or at least that's how she described it to Dad when he got home from work.
Me? Well, I had a newfound resolve to never get it again and to fix Kimberly but for good next time. Are you still with me? So far the score is:
Name: Sibling Rivalry Scorecard Kimberly 2 + my prized treasure chest Jessie 0
Or, at least that's the way I was seeing things.
As winter dragged on, I was beginning to think I would never be able to even things up between Kimberly and myself. But with time comes age. With age comes wisdom. With wisdom comes patience. Oh yes, young grasshopper was definitely learning her lessons.
My first run at revenge was kind of a trial and error type of deal. I had convinced Kimberly to color some pictures with me. We used all of the really nice, expensive, hard-covered books our parents had bought for us. Yeah, this isn't a good thing to do but we really didn't know that at the time. Alright, jeez, so I kind of, sort of didn't know it was a bad thing but I really wanted to make a book. So, after coloring the pages, we ripped them out and made our own version of a book.
I honestly would have taken full credit for the creation of our book had our parents praised our creativity but, if they yelled at us; I was going to say it was all Kimberly's idea. This would have been a great plan if Connie wouldn't have walked in on us. She caught us red handed! Busted! I know I had every intention of pinning the blame on Kimberly, but it's kind of hard to do that when you're holding pages 17-24 in one hand and a crayon in the other, you know? Naturally, Connie rewarded my plan with a rather severe spanking, but like I said, this was the trial and error stage.
Excerpted from Family is an 'F' Word by Jessica Victoria Einstein Copyright © 2010 by Jessica Victoria Einstein. Excerpted by permission.
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Table of Contents
Contents1. The Beginning of a Life Long Feud....................1
2. Preschool and Kindergarten....................23
3. First Grade....................45
4. Second, Third, and Fourth Grades....................59
5. Fifth Grade....................77
6. Sixth Grade....................93