This one time I got really mad at my cousin and before storming off to my house I tried to pop my balloon on her stomach.
That damn thing wouldn’t pop though so I just kept pushing it and punching at it and grabbing at her and then gave up and turned to run home.
But before leaving I happened to glimpse my Uncle Brian standing at their doorway watching the whole thing go down. Me beating up on his daughter, her crying at me to stop, and him just standing there watching.
He had a soft spot for me and probably always felt a sense of obligation to look over me and my siblings since our Dad died. One of his best friends. Which is why instead of running to protect his daughter or yelling at me to stop, he stood there looking disappointed.
And because I had a soft spot for him, being the only consistent male father figure in my life by default, I couldn’t get his disappointed face out of my head. If that stupid balloon had popped the first time like I had intended than I wouldn’t have had to keep on punching it on her.
Who pops balloons on people anyway??
So I grabbed a baggie of candy and ran back to my cousins house. I wish apologies were still that simple. She took it and happily forgave me as she often did when I didn’t deserve it and my Uncle gave me his nod of approval.
I don’t pop balloons on people anymore.