I have never known a more aggravating person than Josephine Martin. From her voice, how nasally it is. To her body, how excruciatingly perfect it is.
I hate Josephine Martin.
I am too a Martin, but in the worst ways it seems. Martin women are short and voluptuous with a thick head of hair. Loud and proud of everything they have. I am long and lean, lacking the kinky curls. Quiet and not interested in making a scene.
Josephine slid into the world as a Martin Woman, no questions asked. She flourished in the most impossible ways. No enemies were made. She had impeccable grades. Through life, she danced. She soared. She flew.
If anything, I stumbled.
Under the surface, however, one solely seen by me, Josephine is less than pristine.
Her late nights, unbeknownst to our Southern Baptist parents. The drugs, because she could. The sex, because she was careful.
I wasn’t a terrible person, just a terrible Martin. My grades? Subpar. Boys? Nonexistent. Debutante? Never.
My life as a Martin, however, was protecting their most precious. Sacrificing my happiness for Josephine was the norm.
But one day, I decided it wasn’t normal. The tables turned when the thread that held us together finally snapped and I no longer cared what it meant to uphold our name.
I knew she’d fall, but the impact was more than I’d expected.
I answered the calls for money. Just a small loan to pay off some bills in the beginning. Then bigger loans that turned into gifts. She started to ask for material things so I wouldn’t be suspicions, but I always knew what it was for.
Before my mom passed, she always encouraged me to look out for Josephine. Which should have been the other way around.
How was she the oldest? And what if I needed looking out for?
I experiment with blocking her phone number on a daily basis. One hour of the day, I enjoy the peace and quiet.
My life, for a moment, is just mine.
But then the buzzing of phone numbs my pocket area and I let it ring until its near final moments.
“Hey…,” I try not to sigh into the phone. I wait to hear what it is this time.
“Hey sis,” she breathes, relieved that I haven’t given up on her just yet.
I hate Josephine Martin but I fucking love her too.