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Short Story 34

Sentimentality



I made myself a peanut butter sandwich as I didn’t want to subsist on veggie crackers. It was easy for my sister she wasn’t a picky eater, except for the whole save the universe by ignoring her canines and extended small intestines. I wasn’t a big fan of the brand of peanut butter and jelly she bought, but they were far tastier than those cardboard fake grains filled with starch. This of course, was my rather unpopular and unwelcome opinion. I didn’t share it much anymore unless it has something to do with synthetic meat. That was a debate that would lead me straight to any large fast-food chain nearest me, there was not a chain out there that didn’t serve better meat then those replicated cancer cells. However today I had a problem. She needed to borrow my car and so being stuck in her very suburban home I was thus stranded with no other alternative than peanut butter that had an oily film at the top and jelly that had all the beloved texture of fruit bark.


The old adage eat to live don’t live to eat played itself through my mind as my stomach won its fight with hunger at the expense of the experience of eating something actually tasty. But I couldn’t complain or at least had no one to complain to, so it would have been a rather pointless venture.


I marched around the house with the strange texture of my sister’s gluten free vegan bread across my tongue considering the hypocrisy of her fine house as she espoused the prophetic language of someone who had transcended into electric cars and wooden only cooking utensils. I really didn’t care what she did and I never argued with her about the children in Africa forced to mine for rare minerals for electric cars, the toxic pools in China, the byproducts of producing solar and wind power, or the fact that she threw away her old plastic tongs which now are lasting forever as paperweights in a landfill she thusly contributed to. Those were all things I kept close to my chest. One must be careful agitating a cult victim, they shut down very easily and start proselytizing for their life, and for yours really.


My mom always laughed when I called my sister that, a cult victim, but in a manner of speaking she was. She believed everything she did with an unconscious reverence that was almost disturbing. She never had an argument that wasn’t formed, devised, and formulated by someone else. When I questioned its legitimacy, she got angry with me and couldn’t really defend her point. What the grand prophets said was law, and God help whoever challenged this.


I remember it happened once over my eating a hamburger while we were out together. She explained how cows were a part of degrading the environment, how I was wrong for consuming another animal, how basically everything I was doing at the moment would end the world. I, however, did not criticize her for eating her salad or complain that chlorophyll is the blood of plants, that plants fight back which is why onions make you cry, and that plants have even been shown to make sounds and feel pain. All I said was this cow died for a purpose unlike the mass genocide to stop the production of carbon which makes things grow. That there is a difference between smog and a fart and that my body immediately uses forty percent of the protein in red meat, whereas the body only used about four percent of protein in nuts.


That was the most uncomfortable silence of my life, we didn’t talk for three months. That was the second worse argument we had next to discussing her hypocrisy of buying a new home while criticizing me for getting a gas-powered car. We didn’t stop talking after that one, but the general aura was horrible.


So, I left her decisions to her and even permitted her to use my ‘gas guzzler’ when her electric car was taking too long to charge for her to go to an appointment. I didn’t even pry about the appointment, I only lived with the delicious vindication. Especially when I took the chance to look at her electric car and found a gas-powered generator in the trunk. I laughed so hard it hurt. I think that was part of why I got hungry, it was all those calories I lost.


I could never figure out why we still spoke. It never made any logical sense to continue as we were. And then it caught my eye in the hall. An old picture that my mother had given her. It was of the two of us playing as children. We were as thick as thieves then and in the picture, we looked it. Something was lost between then and now, and yet something still held on. I don’t quite understand it. And I imagine I will never get my head full around it.


We were siblings yes, and somewhere deep in us, even as everything else changed, there was a tiny thread. I don’t know if it was so much that she wouldn’t give up on me, but no matter what I did I couldn’t imagine giving up on her. There was something in me always pulling me back, something always trying to hold onto her least she drift away forever and be consumed by whatever it was that overtook her passions and added to her commitment to all things… different and opposed to how we were raised.


Even as I look at the picture I know we will both try and spare any future children from each other, and we will both always attempt to convert the other and their offspring to our side of thinking. Other more horrible thoughts come to my mind, thoughts that taste very similar to that sandwich I had no other recourse than to eat. Even so I want to hold on as long as I can. At least because of the memory of who she was back then.


The front door opened, “I’m back.” Her voice echoed up the hall.


“How’d it go?” I entered the family room just as she was going for the kitchen.


“Fine, were you able to find anything to eat?”


I could feel the forced nature of my smile, “Yeah and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.”


“I’m glad, I was worried you’d be stubborn and not eat anything until I got back.” Her laugh was clear and sounded almost like when we were children. It had hardly changed at all.


At least for now it was worth the vegan options and contradictions. I would hang on as long as possible and continue trying to convert her, just as she will probably continue to try and convert me. In the hope that maybe one day things would be different.


“I prayed through your house by the way and cast out all the demons.”


She frowned putting her keys in the dish on the counter, “What are you talking about, you don’t understand Eastern religion at all do you.”


“I understand that you’re wrong. Now where’s my keys I have to go on a cleanse and get myself a burger.”




End



Thank you so much for reading everyone!!



Prompt Sentence: I made myself a peanut butter sandwich as I didn’t want to subsist on veggie crackers.


Word Count: 1123


©DecemberKnight 2023


Special thanks to Volodymyr Hryshchenko from Unsplash for the use of the image!


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