Another thing that brought things home was that she had to go to bed so much earlier than Jill did. The family was eating dinner. "Do you want me to read to you tonight?" her father, Arthur asked.
"No," Kris replied, "I don't want a story tonight. I'm getting too old for bedtime stories."
Jill smiled at her. "Really? That's too bad. I myself would still like them," she grinned at her parents who smiled back.
Kris could tell they were making fun of her and it infuriated her, but she didn't let it show. "I'm going to go to my room now. Good night." She exited the dining room with all the eight-year-old dignity she could muster.
"What's up with Kris?" Jill wondered. "She seemed upset."
"She misses you," her mother told her.
Jill whirled around to face mom. "What do you mean? I'm right here."
"But you don't play with her like you used to. You're gone more often now."
"But mom, I have my own friends to hang out with. Kris has friends too."
"Yes, but she's too young to have the kind of freedom with her friends that you do. She gets lonely for you."
"Aw, darn. I never meant to make her feel bad. She's still my baby sister."
"I know. I don't expect you to give up your friends and spend all your time with Kris. Just don't completely forget her either."
"As if I could ever do that."
"That's our girl," her father praised.
Jill went to Kris's room and knocked on her door. "Can I come in?"
"Sure." Kris was sitting on her bed, surrounded by various dolls and stuffed animals. "What do you want?"
Jill came and sat down next to her. "I want to know what's wrong with you. You're upset about something and I'd like to help if I can."
"I'm okay. There's nothing wrong."
"Whatever you say, but mom already told me."
"What? What did she tell you?"
"That maybe I've been spending a little too much time with my friends and not enough with you. I'm sorry. I didn't think. You know I love you."
"Yea, but all you want to do now is hang out with boys, yuck."
Jill threw back her head and laughed. "Don't worry, Kris. You feel that way now, but you'll change your mind. Trust me." She kissed her sister. "I always have time for you. Remember that." She left the room.
Kris felt a little better. Maybe it really was okay to be different. She went to sleep.