“Wake UP, dude!” says your friend Mark, lightly slapping you on the cheek and waking you from your slumber on the chemistry table. “We’re supposed to be doing… something with this burner, and I wasn’t paying attention. C’mon, man, I need you!”
You groggily lift your head up from the desk, still wanting sleep but grateful that it was your friend waking you up and not your teacher slapping her ruler across the back of your neck like she tends to do to sleeping students. To be frank with yourself, you’re the smartest kid in the class, and even when you doze off, it’s never much of a problem to snap back to it and get the work done correctly.
“Yeah, yeah, sure…” you say, blinking a few times as you start pouring together a couple of beakers into one vial, then grabbing up the tongs.
“Hey… wait a second, dude. I don’t think she wanted us to do that. Remember? She said keep these two separate, and you just…” he says, looking worried now.
“Relax. I know how to do this,” you say confidently, clicking the burner back on and allowing the little flame to leap out of the top. Grabbing the bottle up in the tongs, you move it toward the flame.
“Dude! Really, stop! I KNOW she said keep those two apart and don’t heat them! What are you doing?” he says, and he takes a step back from the lab table.
“What’s the matter with you? I know what I’m doing,” you say brazenly, lifting the vial over the flame. The contents begin to bubble wildly, then fizz up toward the top of it.
“Get it off of there!” says your friend quickly. By this time, your teacher is alerted, and is dashing over. “JACK ARTON!” she yells.
You try to snap your wrist back, but it’s too late. The contents bubble up and over the edge of the vial, splashing outward when they hit the top. You feel a little drizzle of it hit your cheeks. A drop goes directly into your eye.
“Wha- wait, what happened?” you say, a little dazed now, not sure whether or not to panic.
“I TOLD you to keep the contents of beakers 2 and 4 apart, Jack. And I even SPECIFICALLY said not to light them! Were you listening at all? People can get hurt in this room when they don’t pay attention!” she barks in a rage, grabbing you by the shoulder and leading you to the chemical emergency shower.
Having fully doused you and (painfully), your eyes, your teacher rehooks the hose up to the wall.
“All right, Jack. You need to go get checked out by the nurse. Just leave, now. Take your books,” she says, still deeply annoyed with you and walking off to clean up the mess you made. Mark shoots you a look of apology and helplessness as you move quickly to the door and head down the hall to the nurse.
You’re feeling pretty embarrassed. You’re known in the class as the one who doesn’t really make mistakes, tending to ace every test and perfectly perform every lab on the first try. You almost forget to be mildly alarmed that you had a potentially dangerous chemical splashed on your face and eye.
Four hours later, you’re stepping out of the emergency room with your disgruntled mom. The nurse gave you a clean bill of health at school, seeing as the spilled chemical left no marks, but suggested you get yourself double-checked at the hospital. The doctor confirmed the nurse’s suspicion, but quickly smacked a healthy sized bill onto your parents, who are none too pleased with your headstrong actions from earlier in the day.
Your arrival home is just as annoying as you expected. As soon as you enter the garage, Carly is waiting there at the top of the stairs. As you come up the stairs to the enter the house, she leans over to get face level with you, sticks out her long pink tongue as far as she can, and blows a loud, wet raspberry that sends a disgusting spray of spittle into your face, followed by hysterical laughter. You figure now isn’t the time to get anyone else agitated, though, and Carly knows it. The rest of the evening will most assuredly be one of helpless irritation as Carly uses her liberty to annoy you for the rest of the day without consequence.
“Just… go do your homework,” says your mom, waving you away, not wanting to argue further about your carelessness and lack of respect for the directions. You grab your backpack and head upstairs, wanting to avoid more chastising for sleeping in class and missing important safety instructions.
You take a seat on the floor of your room and spread out your books and papers around you to get to work. It’s been a long day and you don’t feel like doing any of this crap, and you really just want to get some sleep.
Inevitably, only a few minutes go by before you hear stomping coming in louder and louder before stopping behind you. Carly tends to walk everywhere like this, hitting the ground hard with each footfall as if alerting people to her impending presence. The sound and slight shake in the ground you feel has come to be a source of great annoyance. You wish your parents would get locks put in on the doors, but they’ve always been cautious about safety.
“Heyyyyy… how’s the homework going, bro?” says Carly, trying to sound friendly when in reality you can tell she’s ready to make fun of you to no end. You don’t answer.
“Hey… just trying to be nice here. How’s your homework going?” she says again. You don’t answer.
“Hey! Answer me!” she says a little more forcefully, lightly kicking you with her pointed big toe in the small of your back. You don’t respond. You hear her make a huffing noise, but keep your eyes trained on the paper you’re filling out with notes.
In your field of vision, you make out her feet stamping into view and taking residence mere inches from your paper. At her above average height for her age, her feet are pretty massive, easily coming in at a women’s size 10, making it annoying whenever she decides to kick you or stomp on your foot out of spite. Her toes are very long, and the frequent physical activity she puts her feet through have caused the slightest trace of veins to pop up around her ankles and the top of her foot. Personally to you, it’s pretty strange looking and the fact that she’s just sticking them in your field of vision is annoying.
“Carly… I’m trying to work. Get your fat feet out of my face,” you say begrudgingly, continuing to write.
“Aw c’mon, Jack, I don’t think they’re fat. They’re mostly just… big. Yeah, big. Are they bothering you or something?”
“Well, I’m sorry. Here, I’ll move them,” she says, taking a step to the side and placing her left foot squarely on top of the paper you’re writing on, brushing your hand intentionally with her toes as she does so. You don’t even have to look at her face to know she’s smiling, trying not to laugh, as she wiggles her toes gleefully, scrunching the paper up under her sole.
“Wow, you’re SO FUNNY,” you say sarcastically. “Get your stupid foot off my homework. I have to turn this in tomorrow.”
“You do, huh? Then you wouldn’t want me to do THIS, would you?” she says chuckling as she begins twisting her foot hard on the papers, causing it to wrinkle.
“That’s it!” you say, grabbing ahold of your sister’s calf and lifting her foot off the paper with relative ease considering she has her body weight bearing down on it. You shove it roughly to the side, nearly causing her to lose her balance.
“Hey! Don’t do that!” she says somewhat angrily, catching herself against the wall in the nick of time. After catching herself, she pushes off the wall for support extends her leg back into the air and quickly plants the underside of her bare foot squarely on the side of your face. Her soft sole flesh feels warm and moist with sweat residue on your cheek, and her toes curl slowly into your hair, kneading it. It’s pretty nasty to you, considering the fact that she’s been walking around all day and still hasn’t showered off yet whatever gunk she has all over those things.
“What the- get your FOOT off my FACE!” you yell out, grabbing her ankle and trying to force it off. Unfortunately, you’re not in a place of leverage, being at an awkward angle on the ground, and Carly has a wall to push off of, in addition to the fact that her legs are extremely toned, even considering the fact that you have pretty good upper body strength.
You struggle for a few seconds, but she only manages to smash her foot harder into your cheek, turning her ankle side to side, rubbing your cheek raw with the ball of her foot, wrinkling her foot by flexing in and out, smacking your chin with her heel.
“What’s the matter? Am I too strong for you, Mr. Muscles?” she pouts mockingly, giving one final hard shove with her foot against your face before removing it. “Maybe you should be careful what you wish for. You asked me to get it off your homework…” she says, smiling that evil little smile of hers. You stare at her, standing above you, wondering how a girl so bubbly and in tune with the social scene could be so incredibly devious to just one person in particular.
“Get out of my room!” you growl, grabbing her ankle and, now having leverage, yanking to the side. She easily goes down to the floor. Once there, she punches you in the side. It doesn’t hurt but you can tell she’s getting pissed.
Before she can say anything, though, your mom steps into the doorframe and raises an eyebrow at you. “What’s going on, Jack? Is there an even bigger problem going on?” she says, clearly not over your earlier transgressions. You’re about to protest when Carly butts in. Figures.
“No, nothing’s wrong, Mom, I just tripped on accident. Jack was showing me what he’s doing for homework,” she says, smiling sweetly as she returns to a standing position.
“Well… okay. Are you sure you two can be in the same room together? Jack’s in enough hot water as it is…”
“Yes, we’re okay,” says Carly kindly again, smiling that infallible smile of hers that tends to convince adults to believe whatever she’s saying. You’re legitimately surprised. This is the first time Carly has ever actually told a lie in favor of you after an argument. Maybe she’s actually going to just leave you the hell alone for once.
“Fine. Dinner will be ready in twenty,” says your mom, nodding and walking away. You look up at Carly, who begins smirking devilishly down at you. Maybe you’re not getting off the hook after all…
“Umm…” you say, still confused by what she just said.
“She’s pretty mad at you, huh?” she says quietly, still waiting for your mom to be completely out of earshot.
“Uh… yeah?” you answer uncertainly, trying to return to your homework.
“WELL…” says Carly happily, taking a deep breath as if beginning a speech. “…you’d be totally screwed if I went back and told her you tripped me just now after everything you’ve done today…” she continues.
You can already see where this is headed; she probably wants another corny apology. At this point, anything to get her out of your hair is okay. You figure you might as well cut to the chase.
“Okay, look. I’m sorry I tripped you, okay? Now can you please just leave me alone so I can work?” you say, looking back at your paper. She kicks you in the knee, causing you to look back up at her.
“I don’t think that was enough…” she says uncertainly, scratching at her chin as if in thought.
“Okay, here. I’m very sorry that I tripped you,” you say, dangerously close to sounding sarcastic, knowing anything other than a perfectly serious sounding apology could result in you being grounded for a few weeks after she reports you.
“You know, that really hurt my foot. I think I might have bent my toe backward,” she says, sounding pouty again. Big whoop, you think. She didn’t hurt a single thing and you know it.
“…so if you want to really apologize to me, I want you to smell it.”
“What?” you say, turning to look at her completely, not sure you heard right. She giggles lightly.
“I said you’re going to smell it. My foot. Right now,” she says authoritatively all of a sudden. She lifts a leg up in the air and begins extending her left foot toward your face. You don’t let it get more than a foot away, though, before you swat it out of the way with your hand.
“No way, Carly! Just get out of my room. I apologized.”
“Not yet, you didn’t. If you want me to think you’re sorry, you’re going to smell my foot for me. Do you want me to get Mom?”
“No, but I’m not just going to...”
“Fine,” you growl in a low voice, turning to face her. You might as well do this as quickly as possible and move on. Her smile returns and her foot raises back up in the air and moves toward your nose, slowly. She’s clearly enjoying how humiliating this is for you. Once again, you find yourself sickened with how much power your younger and much weaker sister has over you, but you figure it’s best to push this thought from your mind and just get it over with.
Her toes curl a few times in anticipation as your nose nears, her sole wrinkling simultaneously, then finally stops about an inch away from your face. You look up at her and she nods, so you take the quickest whiff possible. Even in that tiny amount, you get a little hint of the pungent aroma of dirt and sweat clinging to her bare foot. You begin to pull back.
“Hey, what do you think you’re doing? You didn’t even do it. You have to take a BIG sniff. Do it,” she says, wiggling her toes in indication and giggling a little. You groan. What a bitch. You exhale all remaining air to be on empty, then begin to inhale, hard. This time you feel it hit you immediately. The bitter tinge of dirt and grass sift through the air from earlier when she was running around the back yard barefoot. The old, sour scent of bath soap she used last night. And the putrid stink of her sweat, sticking like glue to every inch of her foot. It almost pains your nose to smell it, and you can’t help but cough.
“Haha, wow, they must smell bad, huh?” she says, chuckling. You nod and quickly pull away.
“Okay, I did it. Now leave me alone.”
“Nuh-uh. You’re not done yet. That was nothing.”
“Yes I am. You’re going to…”
“That’s better,” she says, recomposing herself. “Get it in there this time. Stick your nose all the way in. Deeper.”
You don’t even answer this time. You move your nose closer and stop. Before you can take a whiff, though, her toes move even closer. Gently, she walks her toes up along your nose. She latches onto your nose, using her long big and second toes as clips to easily hold your nostrils closed, forcing you to breathe through your mouth; her toes feel cold, but firm. She arches her foot, getting it as close as she can to your face without touching it. And then you go, inhaling hard through your open mouth, her large, disgusting, wrinkled sole sitting inches from your mouth. The same effect takes place, except this time it gets tracked through your mouth; it’s the non-tangible equivalent of having her entire dirty, sweaty, grimy foot jammed right down your throat and into your esophagus. After a moment of this, she releases her toes from your nose and places her foot back on the ground with a stomp. You instinctively take a deep breath of clean air, trying to wash out the smell from your nostrils and throat. It’s not working, and you feel as if her foot is still locked firmly onto your nose, infecting your face with the sheer smell of it. You swat a damp clump of toejam off the bridge of your nose.
“Good boy,” she says as if speaking to a dog. It makes you want to punch her, but you don’t want to know what you’d have to do next as a consequence. “Looks like you have some homework to do, bro,” she says playfully, sauntering out of the room.
Mentally, you swear that you’re not going to let this continue on. She can’t control you like this forever, and sooner or later it will catch up to her. You know it.