Hero Worship - Part 1

This was originally going to be an entry into the short story contest, but, as happened with Benu, once I started writing it, I became uncertain as to whether or not it would come in under the word limit (though I’m pretty sure it won’t end up nearly as long as that story…). And then we decided to go with the whole anonymity thing for the contest, which ruled this story out, considering that it is technically a sequel to another story of mine, even though it is using just one rather minor character from that story. So, yeah - here’s the story.

My sister has always been my hero. One of my first memories is going to the playground with her when I was four. She’d pushed me on the swings for a while, but both of us quickly got bored with that, and I went off to play in the sandbox, while she talked with some of the older girls. I was about halfway through building what was sure to become the masterpiece of all sandcastles when a few boys, older than me, but not quite as old as her, had decided that they didn’t want to share the sandbox with a girl.

And she was there, before they could kick over as much as a turret, staring down at them with folded arms, daring them to take another step towards me. One of them, not the brightest crayon in the box, decided that she wouldn’t do anything to him, because she was just a girl. He’d gone home with a bloody nose, and the two of us had gone home with our ears ringing from the angry lecture his mother had given us. But even after getting yelled at for what seemed like hours, she just smiled down at me, and asked me if I was okay.

She was always there, always looking out for me, even when she told me to go away so she could hang out with her friends. I always knew that, if I needed her, she’d be there, that she always kept an eye on me, just in case.

And then she went to England. She’d been to sleep-overs before then, but aside from that, we’d never really been apart for longer than a school day. At first I thought that maybe that was why, when she came back, she seemed so different. I mean, I knew she’d been through a lot - she’d shown me the scar on her stomach her first day back - and she seemed older somehow - the blue streak across the front of her blonde bangs looked really cool, though mom refused to let me do the same - but I had the feeling that something more had changed, something deeper.

“Don’t be silly,” mom had told me when I’d asked her about it. “She’s still the same old Jillian. I’m sure she’ll snap out of it - she just needs time. And for you not to pester her about it.” She would know, I suppose, since she -is- a police officer. She hadn’t been stabbed before, that I knew of, but I’m sure she knows plenty of people who have been. I’m also sure that she knew more about what had happened to Jillian over there than she was telling me, and yet, whenever I asked about it, she just said it was a mugging, and not to ask her about it.

Not that it would have done any good, anyway. She’d said the same thing, the one time I’d disobeyed mom; she was even less convincing about it. Before she left, I bet she would have told me, but the new her was different, whether mom could see it or not.

“Jill?” I asked one night after dinner, having just nearly thrown my plate into the sink in an effort to catch up with her. “Jill!”

“What is it, Mackenzie?” Everyone else always just called me Mac, but she knew how much that bugged me.

“I was just wondering if you wanted to watch Diamond Dead with me. They haven’t released it in England even now, so…”

“You’re way too young to be watching that kind of thing,” she told me, apparently forgetting that she was the one who had shown me my first zombie movie, when I’d been even younger.

“Well, then it’s a good thing my big sister will be watching it with me, then won’t it?” I smiled up at her.

She shook her head. “I can’t, hon. Sorry.”

And before I could give out so much as a, “Why not?”, she’s in her room, door closed. I asked it anyway, but she ignored me, just as she ignored my knocking at the door, until dad told me to leave her alone, and to go take my bath.

“I don’t take baths anymore,” I reminded him, loudly enough that Jillian could hear as well.

“Oh, is that what that smell is, then?” he joked, sniffing loudly.

“Very funny,” I said, unamused. He apparently thought so, seeming pretty pleased with himself as he wandered off to watch TV. “That’s not what I meant,” I spoke to the door, hoping Jillian -hadn’t- heard dad leaving, so she’d think I was talking to him. “I take showers now.”

That was true most of the time, anyway, or had been since Jillian had gotten home. They weren’t really the same, and I never felt like I got nearly as clean, but they seemed much more grown up. And, honestly, ever since Jillian had gotten back, I’d needed all the help I could get to remind her that five years wasn’t that big of a difference, age-wise. It had never seemed to be, before she left. But things change. Sometimes they get better; mostly, they just get worse.

“She’s probably doing drugs,” my best friend, Alisa, told me matter of factly the next day. “I think that kinda stuff is legal over there. I bet she got addicted.”

“She’s not doing drugs,” I rolled my eyes. “Where would she even get them?”

“There’s drug dealers around here,” she said, though she sounded more uncertain about that. “And your mom’s a cop. I bet there’s drugs in the evidence locker or whatever. Maybe she snuck in there and stole 'em.”

“You’re an idiot.” I threw one of the stuffed animals - a giraffe, I think - from the foot of her bed at her, but she just squealed and covered her head before returning fire with a pillow. I decided not to bring it up again, but when I got home, I watched Jillian closely. After all, Alisa would know… Her father was an officer, too, and the only parent of hers still living, so she spent a lot more time at the station than I did. I wasn’t sure what sort of signs you were supposed to look for in case of drug use. She didn’t seem to be acting all that different, though it was hard to tell, in the short amount of time I saw her before she vanished into her room again.

“She’s a teenager, Mac,” my mom tried to explain to me, as if that wasn’t obvious. “Who knows what she’s thinking? I do know she still loves you.”

Well, obviously. She was still my big sister after all. That wasn’t the issue at all. Did she still like me? Or had I become the dreaded kid sister, the very sight of whom caused clenched teeth and frayed tempers, who was a mere annoyance, rather than a friend? I’d never been stupid enough to think that she didn’t notice our age difference, but I had thought that maybe it hadn’t bothered her.

And then she’d left, and ruined everything. Or, rather, she’d gotten back and that had happened. And it wasn’t as if it were a gradual thing, either - I’d known right away that the gulf between us had widened. Her plane had gotten delayed, and wasn’t going to come in until some crazy hour at night, so mom had made me go to bed instead of letting me go to the airport, telling me Jillian would be there just the same when I woke up.

She had; probably not quite how mom had meant. I think it was about 3 in the morning when my eyes suddenly shot open, a moment or two before the rest of me caught up and realized why. Without thinking, I jumped out of bed, ran downstairs, practically threw myself into her arms.

I heard the sound of her laughing above my head, as she picked me up, like she always had before. “You’ve gotten so…” she started to say. She tended to say that most of the time, too, ending it with “big”, though.

It took me a moment to figure out what had stopped her, but when I did, I felt myself blush so hard I thought I might permanently change color. One of her hands was resting on the bottom of my diaper now, as she held me, hand pressing against the thick padding that was so obviously not my regular underwear.

Mom must have noticed what was going on as well, since she gladly volunteered an explanation of, “Mac’s been having some problems at night.”

“Mooom!” I protested, hardly able to believe she’d just come out and say that.

“Honey, she was bound to find out.”

“Hey, don’t worry about it, Mackenzie,” Jillian smiled down at me, giving me a hug. Her voice sounded different, somehow, like there was the barest hint of a British accent still lingering about. “It’s not a big deal. I knew a girl my age at the school who still wet the bed.”

It made me feel better, until I realized that it wasn’t true. Or at least not the first part. She might have claimed it didn’t make any difference, but ever since she’d gotten back, I could just tell that she saw me as more of a baby, an annoying baby. And there was one quite obvious explanation for that, no matter how much she tried to deny it.

I could feel her staring at me, the few times I happened to see her after getting changed into my night-things. If I wasn’t so sure it was pity, I might almost think that the look in her eyes was jealousy.

Hero Worship - Part 1

I have a feeling she might have got raped, but then maybe perhaps that’s a bit much.

Anyhow, narrator nicely captured.

Hero Worship - Part 1

So sad. I like it a lot, and it seems very real. Kind of wondering about the narrators age though, but maybe that’s intentional.

Hero Worship - Part 1

Absolutely brilliant first chapter Elizabeth. One of the best I’ve seen in a long time. I’m guessing we’ll find out about the narrator’s age soon, but I’m guessing she’s anywhere from 11-13, just beginning to go through puberty.

Hero Worship - Part 1

This was an excellent story I really liked it. Keep it up

Hero Worship - Part 1

I think it’s a short story. That’s it. Beautifully written and great story.

Hero Worship - Part 1

Thanks everyone. And Charles, while I can see why you would think that (and would almost be tempted to leave it like that if I hadn’t been planning this story for so long), this isn’t the end. Hence the Part 1 in the subject line.

Hero Worship - Part 1

Oh. Keep writing then. I would’ve been a great ending just like that but definitely continue it.

Hero Worship - Part 1

Nicely done :slight_smile: Definitely will be waiting for more.

Sorry for the late reply, btw. I’ve been really busy lately.

Hero Worship - Part 1

okay well i like the story my personal feeling is is that jill was pregnant when she was stabbed hence the looking at mackenzie like shes just a baby anyway good story and look forward to reading more

Hero Worship - Part 1

Libby, when can we expect part 2 to this story? I hope soon, as I am dying to know where you plan to go with it!! Part 1 was really good, just to let you know!!

Hero Worship - Part 1

Hopefully soon… I was having problems figuring out how to start part two, and then I was having some problems with my computer, and then I was just lazy. So with any luck, I’ll start working on this again in the near future.

Hero Worship - Part 1

Thanks for the update!!