Chapter One: Never Trust Them

"Brothers and sisters. Brother and brother. Sister and sister. In the end of it all, is safe to say that the sibling relationship is and will always be complicated. I guess it depends on what kind of sibling your stuck with. If they are aggressive or snobby, then you're in trouble. Forevermore, you'll be tortured with physical or mental torture for when your sibling hits you or when they whine about not getting what they want. On the other hand, if they are cool and easy going, maybe, just maybe, you'll be fine. In the long run I mean. For now, they are probably lecturing you on how to be "cool" and to stay away from them in school or when their friends come over.

Another thing about brothers and sisters is that we are highly unpredictable. One minute, we can be laughing together about some stupid commercial on T.V. and then, we're fighting over what radio station we should listen to.

Oh, and by the way, there will defiantly be some philosophical debates on certain important topics, such as fashion, media, music, art, and the lessons of how you lie to parents, date, and sneak out of the house. Not to exclude the blackmail, the fist fights, the door-slamming, the silent treatment, the- oh yeah- the "Shut Up! I hate you! I wish you were never born!" every once in a while. See what I mean about complicated?

Me? Well, as for me, it's not so different. My two brothers and I are hardly on good terms with one another. The oldest, Aarun, thinks he's "all that" just because went to medical school, graduated at the top of his class, and got into the best hospital of his practice. He's the serious, overly protective, authoritative, no nonsense type of brother who thinks he knows everything. Oh, and by the way, he somehow got married. I still don't understand how that happened.

My other brother, Jay, is the complete opposite of Aarun. His happy- go- lucky and laid – back personality allowed him to make his way to being a manager of a big night club chain. "I get to party for a living!" he told us. Mom and Dad never liked it but they grew to acknowledge his dream job.

In relation to me, Arun thinks I'm as irresponsible and dumb as Jay. He believes that since he is the oldest one in the family, he has the right to "watch out for me" or in other words, always tell me what to do. Jay thinks I should poke my head out of the books and live a little while I'm still young. As you can see, there tends to me fights whenever we get together."

"Wow, all I asked was what are your brothers going to do tonight." Marcy said. "I never had any idea that there was so much tension between you guys! What on earth are you going to do for the birthday party?"

Anisha turned her gaze to a photo frame on her bedside table. It was a family portrait. The last family picture right before Mom started her battle with cancer. Everyone met at a park for a picnic. No fights, no glares, no snide comments. Just smiles, laughs and a whole lot of food!

The photo was always a reminder of a happier time, or what was. Now that she is gone, it seems like the warm sunlight that radiated and sustained this world had been sucked away. All that was left was a longing coldness while dark clouds cloaked the skies. Like an endless winter.

"Nish?" Marcy said. She had been saying her name for quite sometime.

"Huh? What?" Anisha blinked back a tear. "Sorry, you were saying?"

Marcy sighed. "I was saying, what are you going to do about your dad's birthday party tonight? Is there really going to be a live Indian Super Smash Brother smackdown?"

"That was a nerd fail." Peter told her. Anisha instantly remembered that she had put her two friends on conference with her cell phone.

"Shut up Pete – squeak!"

"Hey! Not-"

"Stop it you two! Is now really the time to get into this?" Anisha snapped over the phone. Even from miles away, those two still manage to get into a fight.

"Sorry." They mumbled.

Anisha sighed. " Anyway, moving on…. Is the video done yet Peter?"

The clacking of intense computer keys and clicking of the mouse made its way through the telephone line. "Yep, just about done. I defiantly worked some magic on this one. Your dad is going to love me-"

"Us." Marcy interjected. "He is going to love us. Don't forget who got the photos and the quotes.-"

"But I did the hard part! Do you have any idea how long it took me to download the software and actually make the video? You wouldn't last one minute trying to put this baby together!"

Anisha feel a headache arriving. Her best friends were really starting to annoy her. "Ok, computer genius. We get the picture. You're Computer God. They should make a name just for you."

"You know it, babe!"

Marcy's grimace of disgust could be heard over her running faucet. "Oh, god! Did you just call her "babe?"

"So?"

"That's gross! You're her best guy friend."

Anisha groaned. Their bickering will never end. Does this follow her wherever she goes? "You two are just as bad as my brothers! You better not do this tonight or I swear bad things are going to happen!"

"Geez." Peter said. "Is our life at stake?"

A slight smile curled on Anisha's face. "Maybe."

"Then we'll make sure that doesn't happen. Besides, tonight is your dad's night."

"Yep! Leave it to us!" Marcy added.

Anisha laughed. Her friends could be bothersome but they are, without a doubt, the best people to count on.

"Thanks, Peter. Seriously, both of you. Thank you so much. You have no idea of how much this means to me and my family. You guys are awesome."

Marcy said "No problem! We're happy to help. "

"Once again, thanks. See you at school, Peter."

"Wait, how come she gets to stay?"

"What? On the phone?"

"Yeah."

Marcy answered before Anisha could. "This is chick – talk. Well, unless you want to join to. However, I don't know what that would make you…"

It got silent on Peter side. Anisha waited for a nasty response from him but heard, "Um… No thanks. See ya!"

Marcy heaved a sigh heavily at the sound of the call ending. "Finally! Now we can talk!"

"About what?"

"The party, of course, silly! Now, should I be prepared for a fight or no?"

Anisha aimlessly wandered to her opened closet. "No." she replied.

She picked out a random top from the line. It had white with purple sparkles. Good? Nah, she didn't feel like it.

"What do you mean "no?""

"We all promised not to pick on each other and not to start anything. Then again, brothers don't tend to keep their promises, do they?"

"That's rule Numero Uno, amiga!"

"Isn't it don't trust them?"

"I guess that counts too but it's also the same thing."

There was a slight pause. "Hey, Anisha?"

"Yeah?"

"I can ask you anything, right?"

Anisha stopped picking out her jewelry. "Um, sure. Of course, you can. What is it?"

"Well… it might sound stupid, but … what do I wear, again?"

Anisha groaned for the second time that day. Just when she thought her friend had something thoughtful to say. "Marcy! I thought we've already discussed this!"

"I know but I don't want to- How do you put it….? Disrespect your family and culture."

At that moment, her eyes caught glimpse of four red numbers on her digital clock. They read 6:02. Oh no. She should have been downstairs by now!

"Look, I gotta go." Her hand flew to swipe a lock of hair out of her face. Great, her hair wasn't even combed yet! "Just don't wear a provactive dress and my family will adore you. Okay?"

Marcy still wasn't convinced. "Okay… If you say so. See you." The line went silent.