Too Clean

"Ronnie! How've ya been?"

I can still here her voice sometimes.

"Hehe, got a girlfriend, eh? Kickass! Can I see her picture?"

She was annoying, but she was my little sister. She took it as her duty to annoy me.

"Woah... Looks a little too clean in here, Ronnie. Want me to spill something?"

Every day she could, she visited me. I lived alone in a one bedroom apartment. A two or three bedroom would have been cheaper, but only if I had roommates, and that was out of the question. The only person I really knew how to live with was my little sister, and she had her own apartment. Unlike me, she knew how to live with other people, and thus had roommates. Three of them, in fact.

The brown-haired young woman stepped into the apartment, one hand perched on her hip. "You need to get a new carpet and paint the walls or something, Ronnie. It's just so... *clean*."

I shook my head, a wry smile on my face. "I don't have the time."

"Well then I'll just pester you about it each time I stop by, okay?"

"Sure thing, sis."

"My *name* is Lydia!" She stormed into my room and made herself comfortable on my bed. "Yo Ronnie, your girlfriend been here yet?"


I loved that girl. I admit I found it hard to see her as older than twelve, but I couldn't help it. She ahd this childlike quality to her. For her last birthday, I got her some crayons and coloring books. The way her eyes lit up... Tears threaten to fall from mine whenever I remember that. Happy, sad tears. Happy that I bring about such a beautiful sight, sad that I will never see it happen again.

I'm curled up in one of my two chairs, holding onto Mr. Leo. His mane is rather thin, and his tail's falling off. His eyes are now buttons, and the threads that made up his nose are frayed.

A slightly miffed expression on her face, she held the stuffed lion right in front of my face. "Mr. Leo says Grrr!" She sniffed slightly and lowered the lion. "You're such a meanie sometimes." She started to walk toward the door.

"But I've *always* called you Sis!"

She turned around and held up the tattered lion. "Grrr!" And she left, but not before winking at me.

Lydia... We were so close. Why didn't you tell me? What would I have done? Why didn't I see it? I never knew you were so good at hiding emotions. Does that mean that our relationship was one big lie?

No, some things you just can't fake. At least, that's what you always told me...

But still... Drugs? I don't get it, and I never will. Our lives were perfect, you didn't need to turn to *drugs*.If you'd told me, yeah I would've been disappointed, but that's *it*. I wouldn't have hated you, I wouldn't have disowned you. Maybe Mom and Dad might have been a little more than pissed, but that's them. You could've told *me*... Maybe you'd still be alive then...

I get up and walk across the slightly off-white carpet to get to my fridge, then I take out some orange juice and poor myself a glass.

I spill a little on the carpet, and in strange sort of trance, I watch the liquid spread into a strange shaped spot of orange on my once immaculate carpet.

"Woah...Looks a little too clean in here, Ronnie. Want me to spill something?"

I look around my apartment. I stare at the white walls, and the cream chairs.

"It's just so... *clean*."

It really was... I don't spend much time here, so I don't mess it up. And when I do, I clean it up. But...

"Well then I'll just pester you about it each time I stop by, okay?"

She would never come back. She'd gotten in to debt. She'd had no way of paying. She could have just asked me, she really could've, but she didn't. And she killed herself. And now... and now...

I sit down in one of the cream chairs and pick up the black phone. Dial in the number, wait for her to pick up. "Hey, Melissa? Yeah, been a while, I know. Sorry, just, you know, my sister and all. Heh, s'alright, I'm getting along so far... Um, I was just wondering, you wanna go shopping with me? My apartment needs new stuff. It's a bit too plain and clean. Really? Great. I'll pick you up in an hour. Then maybe after we can go watch a movie? Oh, you'd like to just hang out at my place? Okay... Sure. Yeah, you haven't been in my room yet, have you? It's not much, but... Alright, alright. You can check out my place. Cya at three then? Okay, bye!"

Mr. Leo back on my lap, I stared at the tattered lion, then picked him up and looked at him more directly. "Mr. Leo says Grrr!" I say softly to myself.

It really is too clean in here.