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Today, Lydia feels like a devil in a scratchy wool skirt and white blouse.

Her hair is stuck to her face, with wisps pasted to the moisture that beads her top lip and drips down the back of her neck. Summer is too hot for her. It puts her in a bad mood.

What happened is this:

She took her brother Ricky’s hairbrush because she thought it would make her hair look as neat as his. She hates him for having neater hair than she does and for having a brush that makes it neater.

Her mother said “Give Ricky back his brush.”

So Lydia threw it at him.

Now Ricky has a cut above his eyebrow. Lydia was sent to her room.

Lydia never meant for the hairbrush to actually hit him. She is a better thrower than she thought.

Now she doesn’t have a brush, her hair is still a mess, and everybody is mad at her. She has a stupid family and she is the stupidest person in the stupid family.

She wishes she had not thrown the brush at her brother.

She wants to tell him she’s sorry. But saying sorry is so hard!

Lydia practices in a mirror: I’m sah…sah….aaargh! It doesn’t come out right.

A note would be better. She works on it very hard, and even decorates it.

But when she shows it to her mother, her mother says “That’s very nice but a note is not the same. You have to say it to your brother.”

Lydia is sorry she showed the stupid note to her stupid mother.

Lydia’s brother is watching tv.

Lydia would rather be boiled in oil than say sorry. She’d rather eat broccoli for breakfast . Aaaargh!
She wishes she’d never heard of hairbrushes. Or of hair.

Lydia decides she will march right up to him and say “Sorry!”

But she has to practice first.

“I’m sorry,” she says to the plant. And the dog. Then everything will go back to normal.

She’ll just do it.

Tomorrow. First thing.

The morning comes and she hears Ricky coming out of the bathroom. Lydia pushes out of bed, peeks out into the hall to make sure no one else is around. Then she runs up to her brother before he has a chance to get back into his room.

“I’m sorry, Ricky! I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry” It felt so good to say she just kept on going.

Much to her surprise, she started to cry, and the taste of her salty tears mixed with the smells of her just-awakened brother. The smell of airplane glue, toothpaste and soap. His smell.

Ricky put his skinny arms around his shorter sister and hugged her.

Lydia loved her brother so much, she vowed to herself to never be a brat to him again.

Of course, there was always tomorrow.

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