Another tale of childhood tragedy from our friend Martha.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but I have a brother. He’s eight years older, which means I spent most of my childhood tirelessly getting him to like me. At first I tried all of the oldest tricks in the book: giving him my best Halloween candy, getting him the last kool-aid jammer (remnants from our vacation to America – they weren’t available in Canada yet!), and offering up my leftover pizza.
But my seven year old self learned that kool-aid’s only going to get you so far. Eventually I knew I had to pull out the big guns if I wanted to be the coolest sister.
One night, my brother had a friend over. Boys being boys they were bragging about their newest muscles, and how much weight they could lift. It was my mistake, or good fortune depending on your view point, that led me to walk into the room. I heard my brother say, “I could totally bench-press my sister.” I knew this was it. This could be my moment of glory. I envisioned it going something like this: a few easy bench presses, a confetti cannon, a round of hearty celebrations, and just like that, I’m the best sister.
So of course I agreed. I mean really, how could this go wrong?
He’s poised for the lift on the spare bed. I climb up. First lift goes off without a hitch. So, to prove a point, he does it again.
That’s the sound of my face hitting the bedside table. Not just my face, but my eye. An instant shiner. In grade one. I looked like an original badass.
The next day at school started like any other. Writing in our daily journal about what’s going on in our lives. Of course I covered the events of the previous night, complete with a hand drawn picture of my eye and my brother flexing.
No, child services didn’t show up at my house. I just got this lovely reply from my teacher:
“Don’t worry Martha, you can barely see the black eye. Your face is healing nicely.”