It all started before I left for college.
My older sister Katie, a recent college graduate, wanted to hang out with some of her new grad school buddies. She coerced me into driving for her so she could impress everyone with her drinking skills. Apparently, she felt the need to drink everybody under the table, because by the end of the night, she was completely hammered. My plan was to pick her up at her friend’s apartment 30 minutes from my house at 12:30 a.m. I would be home by 1 a.m and in bed by 1:15.
Too bad that’s not how it turned out.
I leave my house at 12 and arrive outside the apartment at 12:27. I am parked illegally and call her to come out.
I wait five minutes and call again. She says she is on her way and heading to the elevator. Ten minutes turns into 30 and still no sign of her. By now, I’ve made friends with the homeless people eyeing me.
At 1:07, she calls me. I’m pissed. I am supposed to be asleep in eight minutes. She tells me that she can’t get out of the building. She tries pushing the door open, but it doesn’t budge. I leave my new homeless friends next to my illegally parked car and walk to the apartment building. I see my sister, giggling incessantly, pushing a seemingly immobile door. I see the issue. It’s a pull door. She had been attempting to push the door open for 10 minutes without trying to pull it once. I drag her to the car and head for home at 1:30.
We head on our way, and I look over at my sister and ask if she’s feeling alright. I see a little drool fall from her mouth and think “ew, gross.”
And then, I hear the gut-wrenching sound of her throwing up. Everywhere. After the first couple of upheavals, she opens the window and tries to throw up out the window. What she doesn’t realise is that when you are going 65 down the highway, things end up getting blown back into the car. Onto, say, the passenger and driver.
Growing up, my parents always joked that when my sister gets sick, she throws up EVERYWHERE. Now, unfortunately, I can attest to that. They did not exaggerate. All I can do is stare straight ahead and try not to throw up myself. We finally get off the highway near our house and my sister looks at me and worriedly says, “we can’t go home like this, we have to clean this up.” So at 2 a.m., I pull into an empty gas station and clean myself off. Then, I help clean my sister.
At 2:10, my mom calls my sister and asks where we are. She puts on the best fake sober voice I have ever heard and tells her that we just got off the exit and are almost home. We spend another 20 minutes cleaning the car before she’s satisfied that it is clean enough to go home. She makes me promise not to tell Mom.
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We arrive home at 2:35. Guess who is waiting for us inside. You’re right — our worried mother.
She has that smug look on her face parents only have when they are about to ask you questions that you know they know the answer to. She sends my sober-acting, drunk sister to bed and corners me. She knows what happened. I know she knows what happened. She knows that I know she knows what happened.
But I made a promise to my drunk sister.
I spend the next 20 minutes giving different stories, while trying not to completely lie. I tell her I got lost and the ride was bumpy — both of which are kind of true. She then asks me why my phone tracking app said we were at a gas station for 30 minutes. I told her with a straight face that her app was lagging. She gives me the smug look parents always do when they know, you know, they know what happened and sent me to bed at 3.
I was supposed to be in bed at 1:15.
But now I am the greatest sibling alive, and my brother gets the puke car.