Scene 2: Stomping In. Stomping Out.
Sandra stomped in. “What do you want?”
Tammy frowned and shrank further into her chair. “I need you to transfer me to the couch. My thigh is raw from sitting all morning in one place, and I need some padding between the seat and me until it gets broken in. I would be grateful for your help.”
“It looks as if I am stuck with the transferring job again. Mommy needs a helper, because I can’t be your attendant forever. What will you do when I leave for college? However, for the time being, I shall sacrifice myself in order to help you, my dear, special little sister. Turn your wheelchair parallel to the couch.”
Tammy pivoted the chair into position, and Sandra locked the brakes before slipping her arms under Tammy’s.
“On the count of three. One. Two. Three.”
On three, she lifted Tammy and pivoted her onto the couch. Karen helped adjust the cushions, so Tammy was sitting comfortably.
Tammy’s arms and legs had frozen, their involuntary movements stilled by her fury. “You think I would ask you if I could do this by myself, Sandy? If I can’t ask you and Mommy, who can I ask? You’re lucky. You’re not disabled.”
Sandra hugged Tammy. “Now, don’t get excited. You’re getting all worked up over nothing. You know I love my special sister. I would never do anything to hurt you, angel.”
Tammy shrank away. “Don’t patronize me. I understand exactly what you said, and I will not tolerate threats. Can’t you understand my feelings? It’s bad enough needing help, but having to beg for it… How would you feel?”
Sandra blushed. Tammy had never spoken like this before. Tammy needed protection, even from her own hurt and pain. How could she, the older able-bodied sister, be selfish with her? She looked to Karen for help but received only a hard stare.
She shifted emotional gears into syrupy pity. It was all she had. She tried to put her hand on her sister’s cheek. Tammy struggled to get away.
“Try to calm down, Tammy. I didn’t mean to offend you. It just makes me nervous when you get loud and agitated. It’s hard for me to handle.”
But the anger rose and with it, her voice.
“You get all the attention from Mommy. I get none. Every time you cry for her, she comes running. She never has a moment for me. I was a happy little girl with a wonderful father before you drove him away. You’re too much for anyone to deal with, except a masochist like Mommy. He left because of you and your disabilities.”
Her voice dropped. “I can’t believe I’m saying these things to you.”
She stomped out the way she came in.
Original text ©2022 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.