My younger sister and I had taken a trip together to visit our relatives over seas. It was the first time we had gone together. I have always envied all my friends who had the luxury or opportunity to have their relatives nearby. We were only able to enjoy their company once every 2 or 3 years. Because we saw each other so rarely there was plenty of opportunity to be spoiled. Who in their right mind would turn that down? Of course the younger ones always grab more of the spotlight. Rest assured I had plenty of love and attention thrown my way also.
We are fluent in the language but our relatives have a protective side. It took many debates but I finally convinced them that my sister and I could take a night train to visit the next batch of family. There was truly no need for a chaperone to tag along. I was 20 and my sister 12; it was a no brainer really. Get on at the first stop and disembark at the final stop; the whole trip took about 7 hours. My plan was to sleep most of the way.
Our trip begins. We both get settled, she listening to music and I was reading. The train was packed with seasoned travelers. Everyone had his or her routine. Some were snoring before the train left the station, others quietly chatting; some were having a midnight snack. We decided to make a bathroom break before we tried sleeping and we went together. Comfortable in every way possible, we prepare for slumber. It is quite easy on a train; the gentle rocking of the car over the tracks lulls you right into sleep.
I don’t know what it is about the bladder function of my siblings but true to form my sister wakes me up at 4 am to tell me she needs to go to the restroom. Each compartment has a lavatory located in the very front, I reminded her and told her go ahead. She was expecting me to accompany her. I told that it wasn’t a big deal, walk to the front of our compartment, do your business, then walk back and look for row 15. How difficult could it be? I was just too comfy to want to have to hold her hand; she was 12 certainly old enough to accomplish this task. She sat there for 10 more minutes with the saddest eyes hoping I would change my mind. I encouraged her once again off she went.
Of course I didn’t drift back to sleep, I am responsible for her, so I waited for her to return. Finally, after 20 minutes, she returned to her seat. If looks could kill, I’d have been a dead duck. She lunged back into the seat avoiding eye contact with me. She sulked for another half-hour and finally told me what happened. She found the restroom without incident. When she came out, instead of coming back into our compartment she went into the compartment ahead of us. She got to row 15 and saw a middle aged man in my seat. She shook him awake and demanded to know what he had done with Wicked.
MOT (Man on train): “Which Wicked?”
YS ( Younger sis): “My Wicked! My sister! Where is she???”
MOT: “Well I don’t know. I’d be happy to help you find her.”
YS: “Why are you in her seat??? What have you done with her?”
MOT: “Maybe you are in the wrong compartment? Let’s go find her.”
After successfully waking up everyone in that compartment, her light bulb went off. She realized she should have gone back into the other car instead of forward into that one. She apologized meekly and stomped back to me. I have never in my life tried SO hard not to laugh. It was painful. I was biting my lip, gripping my book with all my might I tried everything. Thankfully she lost it first. I can’t remember the last time we had laughed that heartily. Of course in the process we had now woken up everyone in our compartment as well. Once MOT came back to see if she was all right and found me, the rest of our compartment was joining in on the merriment. We giggled, quietly, the rest of the ride.
You know her wedding is coming up. I might just have to make one of the toasts and let my future brother-in-law know about her train escapade. Hmmmmm. An excellent idea