What are you doing?
The question startled my 9 year old brother who was struggling to get the receiver of our telephone back on the wall. Quickly, with a tiny *ring* as it connected back on its hook, my brother bolted to the opposite side of the kitchen and very poorly lied:
I’m trying to get a paper towel, but I can’t reach!
If this was present day I would have called him stupid for thinking I’d actually believe that – maybe punch him in the arm? …ya know, now that we’re grownups and all.
That morning however, I didn’t; I stood there with a confused look on my 7 year old face. Before anymore lies could escape my brother’s mouth that same old-school house phone started ringing.
Like clockwork, my sister who is older than both of us comes strolling down the stairs and answers it.
It’s the police.
Making sure everything is A-OK because they just received a hang up call from our number.
I wasn’t worried. My brother will fess up & we can all go on with our morning. My mother picks up the phone, all sleepy like:
Yes officer, everything is just fine here. I’ll make sure to talk to the kids about it.
For hours on end we sat at the kitchen table.
It’s important for you to know that I am not exaggerating; I couldn’t take it anymore. Liar McLiar-Pants wasn’t budging from his paper towel story and eventually these words escaped my mouth:
I DID IT.
I made the decision that the lecture had already happened (a few times) & the talking was completed in the hours spent at the table. I mean, what could really happen if I just innocently fess up to make it all end? …Go to my room? Okay. Anything would be better than where I was.
Well, let me tell you what can happen:
You ma’am are going to make a home-made Christmas Ornament and march it down the police station & apologize for wasting their time!
– My Mother
……I DIDN’T DO IT.
It was entirely too late. Not only did my mother not believe me… even if she did, she was done sitting at that table. I’m not sure whose face of relief was bigger…hers, or my lying brothers. Jerk.
The ornament was a reindeer; handmade with fleece. I attempted to Google Image Search these festive-amazing things…but I’m sorry to report that my mother might have made them up. 7 pages into the search & not a single picture looked even similar to the Christmas decor we made growing up.
I already touched mildly regarding my dear brother’s face when I announced it was I…who called 9-1-1…
but let’s take it one tiny step further.
The smugness throughout the rest of the process was something he should win an award for.
The ride to the police station was much worse than where I was earlier that morning, at least then I was comfy in my PJ’s. Now, I was being chauffeured to apologize for something 2/3s of the people in the car knew I didn’t do.
HAVE THEM GIVE ME A LIE DETECTOR TEST!
To think I thought they’d actually use the time and resources to give a 7 year old girl a lie detector test is a bit ridiculous – But at that point, anything was game. Our car takes the slow turn into the police station and I swing my door open, my eyes never leaving my brothers face…
This was me…
And, this was him…
I meander through the doors of the big bad police station, not positive if I’m more mad at myself for saying I did it, my brother for not fessing up at all, at any point…or my mom for making me do this.
As I slid the magnet on the counter…slowly and awkwardly I muttered:
I’m sorry I called 9-1-1 this morning.
I won’t do it again.
…………..I made this reindeer magnet for you…………..
[If there was no snide, I-Hate-My-7-Year-Old-Life-Tone in your head while reading that quote…please try again…I’ll wait.]
Ya know, here’s the thing…Ultimately, it was my own fault for taking the blame. Ultimately, my brother did exactly what I would have done in his position & so did my mother.
I can take that all in, as a grown woman. I’m happy to inform you also that my brother & I get along much better these days.
…But I’ll never stop telling this story.