David Fernandez Bonet - Authordavid.email@example.com
Luna Mansour - Illustratorluna.firstname.lastname@example.org
During my brief five year-old life I have learned many things. It might not seem like it, but five years contain plenty of time: I learned to count, to spell, even to rhyme! However, the hardest lesson I learned is that I never, ever, get what I want.
For instance, that day I was craving spaghetti with meatballs? Got broccoli, because “kids have to grow”. That day we were going on a school trip to the zoo? Got sick, and stayed home while my friends had fun. That day I was supposed to ride a rollercoaster? Couldn’t ride it, I wasn’t tall enough. If I am not tall enough, what am I eating broccoli for? Regardless, all such events are nothing but trivialities compared to what I honestly, truly want. A dog.
But do I get a loyal canine friend? Well, considering that getting what I want breaks the very rules governing the universe: no, I do not get a loyal canine friend. I have asked for a little puppy from everyone possessing the power to provide me with one. I insistently begged mother, I tearfuly implored father, I even corresponded with Father Christmas… only to get a negative. While my parents say they can’t afford it, Santa Claus is straight-up ignoring my plea. Which is painfully strange, as evilness is yet to corrupt my soul, or in other words, I am a very good child. Indeed, the only scenario in which Santa does not bring me a puppy is the one where health-related issues are at play. Let’s be real for a moment: a fat, old man should not have such an important responsibility. I mean, should Christmas be jeopardized because of the whims of a heart attack?
Until the day comes. Not Santa having a heart attack, no, as likely as it might be. The day that changes my life. I can feel good news are coming. Moreover, it is not only a feeling: spaghetti with meatballs for dinner, broad smiles at the table, juice instead of water. Every element is a clear indicator that something good is about to happen. Except it does not happen. In the midst of it all, the dreadful news are revealed: “Sweetheart, you will be getting a little sister, aren’t you happy?”. My whole world collapsing. The word “happy” echoing through the room like a haunting ghost. After a long silence, I go into my room and close the door as carefully as an angry elephant would.
Why would I be happy to share my space, my time, and essentially my life with what seems to be an unfinished bald blob of meat? Before she was born I was half-expecting her to be beautiful, you know, the miracle of life and all. However, miracles were nowhere to be found in the aesthetics department. And don’t get me wrong, I am not the kind that judges a book by its cover. However, that thing’s beauty is neither outside nor inside. Most definitely not inside… when she goes number two? I am forced to leave the building. No smell can get as intense as a baby's feces. To the best of my knowledge, atomic bombs are made with Uranium-235 and a little bit of my sister’s poop. Nonetheless, I could live with that if it weren’t… if it weren’t for the endless bellowing nights. And I say “bellowing” with plenty of knowledge: crying is too soft of a word. No doubt my sister will become the future of the opera world. How fun it is to suddenly wake up to the sound of an ambulance! Except it is not an ambulance, it is my little sister forcing her vocal chords to the human limit. In short, out of the five senses, my sister completely covers the spectrum of sight, smell and sound. And all I ever wanted was a cute, fluffy puppy.
My parents are trying to make me like her, so we are having “family park evenings”. We simply go to the park, and while I get to play, the baby gets to sleep. Sounds like a good deal to me. Today they bought her a lollipop and they sent her to play with me. I don’t mind her, as the lollipop prevents her from crying. However, I could not foresee that the damned lollipop would be attracting unwanted attention. A big, muscled unleashed dog starts running towards my sister, surely expecting to get a lick out of the lollipop. A dangerous situation for a baby, I think. I act fast. When the excited dog gets close, I position my foot on his Achilles heel, the tail. As a result, the dog wails and runs away, defeated by my heroic prowess. My sister, who has seen it all with a dropped jaw, offers me her lollipop. In that moment, my heart melts and I realize again that I never get what I want. I wanted a puppy to play with, and I got a sister to love.