I thought I wanted a little brother. When I was a stupid six year old.
Now I’m nine, a lot smarter, and I realized I made a huge mistake.
Tommy is the worst. The absolute worst. I hate him. It wasn’t so bad when he was a baby. He cried a lot but it was super cool to say I was a sister. All my friends thought he was super cute too.
It’s when he stopped being cute and starting being annoying.
It started when he was starting to crawl. My mom and dad freaked out. Took a bajillion pictures, even more videos, and wouldn’t shut up about how he was getting ‘so big!’ and that ‘Laura wasn’t even scooting yet!’
I hated that the most. When they started comparing us. Like ‘oh he’s crawling faster than she did’ ‘oh he’s walking sooner than she did’ and ‘Laura wasn’t this independent by this age!’ I felt so embarrassed.
Tommy learned to do more than crawl though. He learned how to be a real pest. The first thing he destroyed was the card I made for mom at school. I left my room for one minute and came back to find that it had fallen off the table and Tommy was chewing on it.
I screamed for Mom and swatted Tommy across the face. He immediately began to cry, followed by him coughing and one of the sequins I’d stuck on the card flying out of his mouth.
Mom didn’t even notice the card. She just thought Tommy could’ve swallowed more sequins and rushed off with him to the urgent care. He didn’t, by the way. His poop was extra stinky AND glittery though.
Tommy never kept his hands to himself. He was always grabbing my food, my hair, my toys… and mom and dad never told him off. They’d just be like ‘he’s just a baby!’ or ‘he just wants to play!’ He’d end up running off with my favorite toys and within an hour they’d be covered in drool or broken.
The worst day, when I chose to run away, is when he broke Lady Dollie. Lady Dollie was extra special to me. I didn’t even play with her that very often, she stayed propped up on my dresser. She had a special porcelain face and pretty eyelashes. I knew I had to be careful with her.
Tommy must’ve gotten in when I went to the bathroom. When I came back, Lady Dollie’s face had been cracked open and Tommy was waving her around laughing, calling her ‘Super Barbie!’
I slapped him so hard he fell over. When his bottom hit the ground he began to bawl and that’s when mom came. Not when she heard my doll break, oh no. When she heard her ‘baby boy’ start to cry.
I was clutching onto my broken doll and trying to stick her face back together, but it was no use. Lady Dollie was dead and Tommy had killed her.
But did he get in trouble for it? No. Mom said he had to apologize and he did, but he didn’t mean it. His cute brown eyes overflowing with tears might’ve fooled my mom, but I wasn’t stupid. He didn’t care. Mom asked me to apologize too. I refused. I did nothing wrong! It was my doll he killed!
Mom got mad, of course, and told me I could stay in my room until I apologized.
That’s when I decided I had to run away. I wasn’t loved anymore. They only care about Tommy. Not me.
I packed up my things in my Elsa and Anna backpack, some clothes, my wallet with a whole five dollars and sixty eight cents, and a picture of my parents. Just in case I might miss them. With Lady Dollie’s sister Lady Blondie tucked under my arm, I jumped out my window and took off down the street. I’d leave this terrible town and go live someplace else, with a new family.
I got lost though.
The streets became scary, with people dressed in dirty clothes sleeping on the corners and ambling about with cloudy eyes. Some asked where I was going, but most just laughed. One woman asked if I’d seen her Mars dog. I told her she was crazy and kept on walking.
But then I ran into Nice Man.
Nice Man was the only nondirty person out on the street at this time. He wore a crisp white suit and had a dark blue tie. He saw me waiting at the crosswalk and came over, squatting down to my level. He was really tall.
“You lost, sweetie?” He asked.
I shook my head. “I’m running away,” I declared.
Nice Man laughed. It was a nice laugh. “Well is that so? Why you running away?”
“Because my stupid little brother broke my favorite doll and I hate him and I wish someone would take him away!”
Nice Man grinned.
“Really now… why don’t we grab a bite to eat and talk about it?”
I’d not had dinner, I hadn’t been allowed out of my room thanks to stupid Tommy killing my doll. Nice Man took me to McDonald’s and bought me a happy meal with chicken nuggets and even made sure I got a super cool toy.
After the fries were gone, he began to ask questions about Tommy. How old was he? Was he sickly? What color were his hair, his eyes? I answered them, even showed him the picture in my backpack. Stupid Tommy had to be in the picture, I didn’t have time to cut him out before I left.
Nice Man, he’d told me by then to call him Nice Man, looked thrilled. “You know, sweetie, you’re the kind of person a man like me can do business with. See, I make movies. I’m a director. And I’m looking to cast a boy about your brother’s age.”
I sighed. Of course he was after my brother and not me. “Can’t I be in your movie?” I asked.
Nice Man laughed. “Nah, nah honey, you wouldn’t like stardom. Always moving, always being ordered around and being so busy, you’d be all tired out. I already have all the little girls I need right now anyhow. But I need another little boy. Some of the people who watch my movies wanna see little boys too, you know. But if you help me out, I’ll make it worth your while… you said you broke your Lady Dollie, right? Does she look like that one?” He pointed to Lady Blondie, who was sitting beside me next.
I smiled and nodded. “Yeah! She had brown hair and green eyes though… and Tommy killed her.” I still felt hurt about that.
“I remember honey, I remember.” Nice Man ruffled my hair and rubbed his thumb down my cheek. “I remember he hurt your dolly. If you take your brother to the park tomorrow, I’ll give you another one. And when your brother’s movies start taking off, I’ll send you more dolls. I bet I can send you dozens of dollies if he really becomes a star, dolls from around the world! Whadya say, sweetheart? Do we have a deal?”
I gasped. “And you’ll take my brother to make movies? When will you give him back?”
Nice Man chuckled and said the most magical words I have ever heard.
“Hon, he’ll be so busy, he’ll never come back.”
I was sold right then and there. We shook on it.
When I returned home that night, there was a police car in the driveway. Apparently my mom and dad had discovered I ran away and called 911. When I walked in the door, my mom hugged me so tight and apologized for yelling at me. I almost forgave her. Almost.
But the next morning when I saw Tommy trying to grab Lady Blondie from the dresser I knew he had to go.
To the park we went. I was super polite all day and Mom probably felt a little guilty that she treated me so meanly.
Nice Man was wearing a green suit today, and was with a pretty lady who had two little girls with her. When Nice Man saw me, he grinned and gave a quick wave before walking to the bathroom hut. The pretty lady with the girls walked up to my mom and began talking.
I knew what I had to do.
I walked to the men’s bathrooms. It smelled all musty and gross. Tommy was craning his neck around and asking where mommy was.
Nice Man walked out of a stall and grinned. “You came through, sweetie!” He produced a wrapped box from behind his back. “Here. For being such a good little scout.”
I tore the paper off and gasped.
It was Lady Dollie! Well, almost Lady Dollie, I knew she wasn’t really the same one. But she looked the same! I hugged the box to me and looked up at Nice Man.
Nice Man had picked up Tommy and gave him a lollipop. “All right, we gotta hit the road, bucko. Thanks for the help! Don’t tell your mom where you got the doll though- I don’t wanna ruin the surprise of her son being in the movie!” With that, he walked out and I never saw him again.
I played in the sandbox with my new Miss Dollie. Mom walked over and asked where Tommy was, and I lied and said I thought he was with her.
There were a lot more cop cars looking for Tommy than there were ever looking for me. Mom didn’t ask how Miss Dollie had her face fixed, I think she forgot she’d been broken at all. I kept my promise though, I didn’t tell her where Nice Man took him.
It’s been a whole year. Tommy’s gone, and everything is so much better. Mom is always so grumpy though. Dad’s a lot quieter.
But today is a special day. Because I got three dolls in the mail. There’s no return address, but I know who it’s from.
My brother’s movies must be good if they get me three whole dolls.