Friday Flash: sisterhood

Sundry shop near Tanjung Malim

“That was mine!”

“No it wasn’t” Mina said snatching the packet of mamee back from her sister, Dina. They were only a couple of days apart, Mina being the older girl and Dina, the younger prettier one. She was the one from the other woman, so her mother reminds her daily.

Their childhood years were peppered by their haggling; over packets of junk food or sweets, over clothes, over their shoes, and which seat was theirs. They haggled over school books and stationery. And over friends.

“Devi is my friend.”

“No she is mine.”

“No she hates you, she just does not tell you.”

“No she hates you.”

And then there was Amir. Dina had not even started liking boys at that time, but because Mina did, so did she.

“Amir is my friend,” she would provoke her sister.

“He does not even know who you are.”

“Yes he does.”

“No he does not.”

The girls ripened. They began to bleed and their breasts grew fuller, and as their aunts say, they were almost ready to be wed.

“I’m going to marry Amir.”

“No you are not, I am.”

“He does not even know you.”

“Yes he does.”

“But he does not even like you.”

“Yes he does.”

“No he does not like fat girls.”

“But he told me he thinks I am prettier.”

They were standing right outside Devi’s parent’s sundry shop. The girls, face to face, haggling beside the yellow fire hydrant like they used to over twisties and mamee.

“No he did not.”

“Yes he did. I am prettier, I am prettier.”

Mina instead of retorting lifted her slender hand and swiftly swung her palm across Dina’s supple cheek.

And it was right there that their eyes were opened to the resentment they had often felt but not acknowledged. It was right there the niggling feeling blossomed.

Dina’s eyes began to water and she wrinkled her forehead and squinted through her tears at her sister. Staring. Mina, stared blankly back. Oh how she wished she never lifted her hand.

But as it was too late, she had done it and so she did it again.

And, their hearts, their hearts hardened toward one another.

And she did it again, and again.

And by now, what could have been had buried itself deep under years of unsaid sorries, never to surface again.

And they tell themselves that maybe, maybe, they were never meant to be sisters.

For the picture prompt.