While on a visit to see my mother and little brother and sister I happened to walk past my brothers room and notice the door open. This was a rare thing as he had begun locking his door anytime I came to visit around the time he was sixteen.
You see during his early teens I had decided he was a great target for pranks that typically centered around his bed. Such as sprinkling cornflakes or rice under the bottom sheet, short sheeting the bed or once I even soaked his pillow case in garlic juice. He was seventeen and was bound and determined not to let me get the upper hand.
Seeing his door open of course I had to go inside, it was after all an invitation. I went in and glanced around, noticing a new cartoon drawing on his wall. Then I turned around and left his room undisturbed. As we got ready to leave I turned to my little brother and told him I really liked his new drawing.
Jumping up from his comfortable seat on the couch he ran to his room. He quickly reemerged begging my mom to make me fix it. He was sure that I had again done something to his bed. I promised him that I had done nothing, but he was not satisfied. He continued to beg my mom to make me fix it, even after she told him that we must work it out ourselves.
Once again I told him I had done nothing to his bed, but he didn't believe me so I said "ok, if I can prove I did nothing to your bed then I don't have to fix it right?" he agreed and in front of my mom we shook hands.
We went into his room and I pulled back the covers saying "see I didn't short sheet your bed." Next the sheets were pulled off, "see I didn't put anything under your sheets." Then I removed the mattress "see nothing under the mattress." He still wasn't totally convinced. I pulled off and turned over the box springs "see no alarm clock in the box springs." Finally he was convinced I had done nothing to his bed. As I turned to walk out of the room he called out 'Hey come put my bed back together'. My reply was 'but you said if I proved I didn't do anything to your bed I didn't have to fix it, I proved it so now you get to fix it'.
After driving away I began to feel guilty for having tricked my little brother so horribly. I drove to the nearest grocery store and bought him a big box of Valentine Chocolates and a very nice and loving birthday card.
No it wasn't his birthday but they don't really make mushy cards for a sister to give her brother just because she wants to give him a card so I had to settle for a birthday card. Returning to their home I slipped the signed birthday card with the words written on the envelop "Do Not Open Till Nov. 14th" yes that is his birthday into the grocery bag with the box of candy. Placing the bag on the door step I rang the bell and quickly left.
As my mother tells it, my poor little brother refused to open the door for fear it was me. Then when she opened it and found the bag with his name on it he refused to touch the bag and wouldn't even eat the candy when she opened it and showed him.
From that day on I have left his bed alone and have called or sent him a nice card on Valentines Day. Sure I still kid around and tease him but only in ways that he will also laugh. You see although my pranks were always carefully planned so there would be no chance that they would physically harm my little brother, unlike the bullying I received from our older brother, I never thought of the emotional harm they might be doing.
That was the day that I realized the fine line between practical joker and bully.
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