I held out my bra to Kate without even thinking about it.
It was getting to the point where going along with whatever she wanted was the easiest option. I wanted my phone, and I wanted some peace and quiet; the quickest way to achieve both of those things was by taking the path of least resistance. Besides, the damage was already done. My barely existent chest already lost all the support and padding that was there a moment ago, and it wouldn’t make a difference whether the bra was in my possession or Kate’s. Either way, she would probably be the one making the rules about when I was allowed to wear it again.
As always, my goal was to avoid enabling her. So, trying to ignore her jab about my size, I allowed her to pull the bra from my hand. “Here,” I said. The goal was to seem casual and indifferent about it, even though I was pretty self conscious about my petite chest.
Rather than folding up the bra and tucking it into her purse, like she had done with my panties earlier, Kate took a minute to examine the undergarment. “Wow, this is a lot,” she said. Reaching into one of the cups, clearly not bothered that they were just pressed against my boobs, she pulled all the padding right out. “Really, sis? You know, you’re going to have to accept that you’re done growing. And this?” she said, cracking the back window, “It’s false advertising.”
It took me a second to connect the dots. “Kate, don’t!” I exclaimed. My attempt to lunge forward was quickly foiled by my seatbelt jerking me to a stop right away. That’s what they’re designed for; reacting to sharp movements. To my dismay, I had to watch helplessly as my inconsiderate sister dropped the padding through the small gap offered by the mini van’s back window. It was the type that only cracked for a little air, rather than being able to roll down all the way, but that was still enough space.
I whipped my head around to look out the back window, still clinging to the hope that maybe Kate used some kind of sleight of hand to freak me out. No such luck. I watched as the nice silk hit the highway, wincing as the car behind us ran it over. It’s not that the insert was particularly expensive. I went with more breathable pads that were cleverly sewn fabric, because they felt more like I was still wearing a bra instead of having silicone press into me all day. Mine were cheaper, too, and this was a short enough weekend that I hadn’t packed any spares.
While I was busy dealing with the visual of my padding being destroyed on the highway behind us, as well as the realization that I was going to be painfully flat all weekend because of it, Kate took the opportunity to remove the second insert and drop it out the window just as effortlessly as the first. “There. No more fake boobs,” she said, dusting off her hands for emphasis.
They’re not- They’re not fake! They just boost me half a cup size. The push-up bra covers the other half. I prefect ‘enhance,’ but there’s no way I’d be able to explain it to Kate without her turning my words against me. Especially not when I was dumbstruck by what she just did. “Those were mine, sis! You can’t just-”
“I can ‘just,’” she said. Now that her work was done with my bra, she haphazardly dropped it down by her feet, between her right leg and the side of the car. Short of unbuckling and going through an arduous maneuver over or under my sister’s legs, I wasn’t going to get the undergarment back without her allowing it. “Now drink your water, Annie. I’d hate for you to get dehydrated.”
But what could I do? Kate was an insensitive brat, and she hadn’t listened to any of my lectures in years. The inserts were already gone, the damage already done. I was too old to whine to our parents, and it’s not like they would believe me anyway. Kate would bat her eyes and act all innocent and clueless about the whole thing, and I’d only succeed in verbally admitting that I stuff my bras. Pretty sure our mother would side with Kate on the ‘false advertising’ front, too.
So, biting my tongue, I reached under the seat and grabbed another fresh bottle of water. My phone was more important than arguing with my sister. She was way too quick on her feet, she had a tendency to weaponize anything I said, and I was at too much of a disadvantage thanks to the bulky underwear I let her talk me into putting on. Add pigtails, freckles, and a flat chest to the mix, and there was no way she was going to take anything I said seriously.
This time around, I watched her a lot more carefully. I wasn’t about to get halfway through a second bottle, only to have her pull the same trick and then push me to drink a third and fourth because this one also ‘didn’t count.’ The good news was, she didn’t start timing me again. The bad news was, I was still really bad at chugging. While I wanted to take my sweet time just to spite her, I also knew that every minute spent drinking was another minute she could come up with something else to annoy me.
Setting the first aside, already feeling bloated from the late lunch we had in the car, as well as the one and a half bottles I just downed, I reluctantly retrieved another from the cooler. At this point, I was in too deep. This task was the very thing that led to me losing my bra, and it would be unacceptable if I ended up with nothing to show for my troubles. No pun intended.
So, after taking a short breather, I kept drinking.
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