My sister’s emotions are transitioning between hurt, sad, and angry faster than I thought possible, but mostly just seething anger. I’ve never seen her this mad since our brother was here. It’s kind of scary, but also so, so real, to just see pure, unfiltered emotions. Her emotions are radiating, filling this room. We live in a society where we are supposed to be perfect. Our lives are supposed to be in order, and you’re supposed to keep your emotions- which make us freaking human, by the way, controlled. No crazy outbursts, and definitely don’t cry (especially if you happen to be a man, and really, what is up with that?) For now, though, Lexie’s settled with yelling her mind. I’m glad we don’t have any really close neighbors, or they’d think someone died! I want to tell her to calm down, that everything will be fine…but I won’t. Because she has every right to be as mad as she is. She’s just showing it, instead of suppressing it inside her until nobody can see her, when she’s alone. Lexie’s never cared about the so-called perfect image. She doesn’t give a crap what anyone thinks about her. She’s just so real, and I wonder…just how many other people feel such strong emotions like this, but never feel like they can show them? I know I have before, and I did exactly what society tell us to do – I never showed anyone. I looked back over to Lexie.
“I guess we have a protest to work on.”
24 hours earlier…
Lexie has been working her butt off, every day. She wants to keep her job more than anything in the world. And I get it. What else does she have that’s more important? Me? She doesn’t have a significant other in her life right now, no kids either. I’m not saying my freaking nineteen year old sister needs to be married, or be a mother, I’m just saying there aren’t many other things that are occupying her life right now. She’s coming home from work later and later, and going in way earlier than she needs to. There is no way they could fire her now. I mean, how could they when it’s so obvious how much she cares?
I was really happy for her. She didn’t have much in her life for a long time. She just wasn’t able to fit in with the other kids as much as I was. I really don’t know, all these years later, if she even had any friends. I know she didn’t give a crap about school itself! Now that there was something important, it’s nice to see her really energized about it.
“I really think it’s going good!” Lexie exclaimed. “Some people are ever saying I’ll get a promotion!”
That was great. She honestly did deserve a promotion. “You’ve earned it!”
She laughed. “Well, we’ll see…”
“You really have! Is anyone else as devoted to this job as you?”
“I’m sure someone is.”
“Lexie!” I sighed. She was being funny, but really? “Come on!”
“Fine…” She looked around, thinking about it, hopefully for real this time. “I guess there aren’t that many people that care as much as I do.”
“Exactly.” She’d always been the one who was the most interested in cooking. I remember mama teaching her some things, and Lexie never stopped loving cooking. It was her passion. I’ve always been so glad we grew up in a family where we were encouraged to do what we want and follow our dreams, because I know some families tell their kids that they should be doctors or lawyers or stuff like that, you know? And if you want to be a doctor, great! But if not, your parents should support your dreams.
I didn’t think much of it for the rest of the day. I went to work myself and was researching more about the Cove’s (our neighborhood) little council. There were ten members, and we voted in a few months, hopefully enough time for me to get my name out there. I don’t know how many people are usually competing for the spots, though. When I got home, I simply did what I normally did, which was water the plants. I can’t wait for the day we can hire a gardener! It takes so much time to work on the garden, especially as it grows! But we don’t have the money in the budget just yet. It still doesn’t make sense to put that added cost yet. I was working on learning more about our city’s past, which was actually quite interesting, when I heard Lexie come home. Damn…why was I up so late? I guess I’d just gotten really into my work…
“Hey, Lexie?” I asked. I wondered what had happened at work. If she got that promotion or not. She didn’t answer me, so I opened her door. Her room looked so different now.
“They’re pieces of crap! I actually don’t know what to say right now except they shouldn’t be at the top there!”
I had no idea what I’d just walked into. No idea. But seriously, if this was all because she didn’t get a promotion… But Lexie isn’t like that. There had to be something else, right? “Lexie, did you not get the promotion?” I asked quietly. I knew how much being there meant. And I was afraid to say one thing wrong right now.
“Oh, I certainly didn’t get promoted, but I’m not freaking out because I didn’t get promoted, it’s because of freaking why!” I was going to say something, wasn’t sure what it was yet…but Lexie kept going. “Everyone there was sure I’d get promoted. Everyone. But the boss just picks some dude instead and I was like, ok, fine. I’m sure he’s great too. And then the guy next to me speaks up and says, ‘Hey, why didn’t she get promoted?’. Guess what? Everyone in the room looks up and starts agreeing. And so I start to wonder what the boss is gonna say. And he says, with no shame whatsoever, ‘Well, she isn’t as professional, and she probably wouldn’t fit in the outfit anyway.’ And everyone’s like what. just. happened.”
I gaped, utterly surprised. “Lexie-” I started, but she cut me off.
“I’m not finished. As we keep talking, one thing becomes very clear- he, our boss, has a thing against women! And it’s just not fair!” Her voice got louder and louder as she kept talking. She’s sitting there just fuming right now, and I suddenly have the best idea.
“Why don’t we protest? It would definitely make your boss embarrassed…if he has decency. Either way, it would bring attention to what’s happening.”
Lexie, who was practically crying a few seconds ago, said, “Well, it isn’t that big of a deal. I could just go get a job somewhere else, even though I don’t really want to.”
“But he’s the problem, not you! And, it isn’t just you he’s impacted, it’s all the other women that work there! Who knows how many opportunities they missed out on too…” I looked over to her. I can still feel her anger spilling over.
“Yeah… I mean, you have a point.” She sighed. “Let’s do this thing!”
“I guess we have a protest to work on.”
Something always comes up. This time it also happens to help my sister, and it’s a great cause. Some people at work were asking me why I didn’t have a new cause to support yet, but I was waiting for one to come along that I really connected with, and this is it. I don’t want to be that person who’s just supporting a cause to say they’re a supporter. I want to be connected to the cause. I want to really care and I want it to mean something to me. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for.