Every year on Thanksgiving my family travels from Nebraska to Colorado. 3 days in a smelly, junkie car that I'd rather spend singing with mice. Just kidding, I'm scared of mice.
I prefer Christmas over Thanksgiving, but I guess that they're the same. Just without the presents.
"Georgia Rose! Get your ass downstairs right now or we're leaving without you!" That was my mom. I'm Georgia, the oldest. Ten and a half years old, eldest of the three Vincent children.
I struggle with both zippers on my coat and suitcase.
I was a walking fat man with all of the layers of jackets, coats, and socks. I almost couldn't put my knees together, making it harder to go down the stairs.
My family owns a gray mini-van. Of course, as the oldest, I sit in the back. This car ride would be such a breeze if I didn't have to sit next to Skyler. She makes it so cramped.
Skyler is my sister, seven years old and born with arrhythmia.
I hate her, I always wanted a sister then I get her. A poor excuse for a sister. I like my brother, Aaron, better. Ten months old, and hardly cries. Sometimes, I get to feed him.
Carrots and pears are his favorite.
I'd rather be crammed in with his baby seat and his cute baby face than that weirdo that only plays Animal Crossing and can't watch a horror movie to save her life.
"Can you help me with this Rubix Cube?" She stared at me with her puppy eyes. I looked up from my tablet, "No!"
"Georgia, what would I do?" My dad looks at me through the mirror.
I growl and snatch the cube from her hand. I turn it two notches before handing it back to her and returning it to my Littlest Pet Shop game.
"You didn't even do anything!" Skyler whined
"Dad would try, I tried. Leave me alone."
"Daddy, can you help me?"
Dad didn't say anything, just a sigh.
Mom turned from her seat, her hair flipping with her and her nose getting red. It turns red when she gets mad, "Get along or you two are folding Auntie June's underwear!"
"Yes, ma'am!" We both shouted. Mom was a hard head, I was too. Skyler is a lot like Dad, kind and soft. But the worst thing is her puppy eyes, they frill me with anger.
It's like watching someone color the rainbow out of order. It's mega-stupid.
It's been an hour, it's light out. We woke up extra early to leave. Every other year we arrived late and the family started eating without us. But cousin Izzy would always wait for me.
Our birthdays are two days apart, We always celebrate them together.
We look just alike. The only thing to tell us apart is our height and eyes. Even the family mixes us up! But, she has green eyes and she's shorter than me.
Izzy is the best, but she lives all the way in Arizona. She has to leave earlier than us.
Skyler woke up from her nap, it was much more peaceful when she was sleeping.
"Can I play with the pretty raccoons?" Skyler pleaded as she reached for my tablet.
"Mitzy and Pepper are skunks, not raccoons! And no!" I shoved her.
"Let her play!" Mom yelled.
Aaron started crying from all the noise
"But I just recharged! I wanna play!"
"Shut up, just shut up!" Dad snapped. Everyone shut up. Dad never yells. I gave Aaron his pacifier and he was back asleep. I gave Skyler my tablet and got out my book.
That is what you call family chaos. Whoopee, road trip!
I really didn't want to read my book. It was Diary of a Wimpy Kid, whichever book. Kingsley, a boy in my class, said that the order didn't matter, but the books were good. Well, he was wrong.
They weren't good, they were boring. I really didn't want to hear about how Gregory and Rowrely sled down a hill. I wish I packed a different book.
I looked over my sister's shoulder and she was rebuilding my city!
"No!" I screamed and took the tablet from her. Aaron started crying again, and Skyler was breathing irregularly. Her eyes were rolling in the back of her head and she was grasping her chest.
"Oh my god! Chris pull over!" Mom was in a state of panic.
Oh no, what did I do?
So, Skyler had a seizure. She was fine by the time the ambulance came by. Dad gave me "The Glare" and I can tell Mom is about to yell at me just after she's done coddling Skyler.
Oh, peanuts, right now.
"Do you know what just happened?"
"Skyler just had a seizure, that can lead to a heart attack, that can kill her! You will apologize to her and nobody will be getting that tablet until we cross the Colorado borders!
"Do you understand?" Her nose red as ever.
"Yes, ma'am." I was almost whispering.
Thirty minutes later and we were on our third bathroom break. I hadn't apologized yet, despite being sorry. Until I do so, Mom is going to stay mad at me.
So I waited for Syler to come out of the bathroom.
"Skyler," I catch her from the shoulder
"I have some questions."
"Yeah, I'd be happy to answer!"
"Can we sit?"
I could see Mom peering from the aisle at us.
I hesitated, "Did it hurt?"
"What- the seizure?"
"At first, but I got used to used it."
"I'm so sorry"
"I accept your apology. I shouldn't have messed your city, and It's ok."
My heart felt saddened. I knew what I had to do.
It was now night, Mom was now driving. We agreed to have Skyler get her own account on my tablet for now and she would get her own tablet for Christmas.
Skyler got to play on my tablet for the whole car ride, all the way to Colorado, and I promised not to meddle.
It was hard but I guess it was nice seeing her build her own Littlest Pet Shop City. A sense of pride waved over me as I gave her advice on what to buy and what to save up for.
I was proud, I did the right thing, and Mom was happy.
We arrived at Auntie June's luxury home. It's basically a mansion, I always find something new when we get there. Probably because she always buys something new.
"We're here!" Dad said, "Wake up, Skyler, sweetheart." Skyler is a sleeper. I try to shake her awake. "Be gentle," Mom demanded.
So I do, "Skyler, wake up. We're in Colorado." I whispered.
She woke up and hugged me, I didn't hug back. I thought it was gross and weird. I'm not a hugger. I only hug Izzy.
We get out of the car and I see the inflatables up for Thanksgiving again. Auntie June's house is always decorated for the holidays. Christmas is her favorite, just like me.
I've been looking forward to seeing Cousin Izzy for a very long time. But I've checked everywhere she could've been.
The three nearest bathrooms, our room, the basement, the backyard, the dining room, and the kitchen.
I ending up just asking. Uncle Rick, her dad, my mom's brother-in-law.
"Hey, Uncle Rick, where's Izzy?"
He sighed, "Izzy came down with influenza, she had to stay home with her mom. I'm sorry."
My heart stopped, my best friend wasn't here, and I only see her three times a year. I ran to the nearest bathroom choking back my tears. I have been looking forward to seeing ever since Easter.
The door creaked open. It's going to be Mom to tell me to suck it up and come out.
"Georgia, are you ok?"
I looked up, it was Skyler.
"What do you want?"
"To know what is wrong." There was a long pause between us and the only noise was the noise of the people outside and my sniffles. Her kneeling beside the toilet as I sit on it, hugging my knees.
"I noticed Izzy isn't here." Turning away from her, nodding.
"I know you really wanted to see her," she stands up and puts her hand on my shoulder.
"So I know that it makes you upset. I know you probably won't play with me so maybe you could try to play with Cousin Sebastian and the older kids, or play board games with the adults."
"But if you do consider trying to playing with me, I'll be with Cousin Corilanne and Cousin Anna."
My heart shattered. She knew I didn't like her, and she told me. I've been so cruel, she had a seizure because of me. All this time, she's showed me kindness.
Thanksgiving became my new favorite holiday because...
I wipe my tears and run out of the door.
"Skyler!" I shout.
She wasn't able to finish her sentence because she was engulfed by my hair and wrapped in my arms.
"Thank you, sister."
She hugged back.