I left for my foreign studies when my sister was about 4 years old. Even though we did not spend a lot of time together, our relationship has always remained very close. Janet, being our youngest and only sister, meant that she was always being extra protected, and at the same time, being spoiled a little too much by the three brothers.
Janet was a child who grew up too early, too soon, acquiring the good, bad and ugly from all three of us, not to mention mum, dad and our aunt, Cik-E (more on that later). If you know her well, you would be able to get a sense of the three brothers’ characteristics through her.
Janet is immensely organised; better known as Kiasu in this part of the world. She plans everything 6 months in advance, holding a diary on her hand at all time. It is impossible to make an appointment with her without a 2 weeks notice. More, if you’re not any of her brothers (I’d love to think).
She is also very good with money; probably the most loaded amongst all of us, despite being the youngest. A trait that is so unlike me and my mum – all these, perfectly identical to her third and closest brother, CY, thanks to the disciplinary upbringing of my Cik E.
Don’t be fooled. My sister does have a wild side as well. She works hard, but she parties even harder. If you want to know about the best wine and dine spots in Perth, Hong Kong, Singapore, KK, Brunei, Paris, Sydney and Melbourne, she is the go-to girl. While it is not in her DNA to mistreat anyone, do not try to mess with her. She is a fighter both metaphorically and literally. A deadly combination- if you fuse her temper. That’s Janet in my second brother, Stellen.
Lastly, Janet is fiercely determined, persistent and disciplined. I often joked that she has the right quality for being a manager for video rental, as she’d be able to chase down to the last person to return the videotapes. I digress.
Like mum, she works like a cow, a stellar work ethic well admired by all the bosses that she ever told me about (she rarely shares bad news with the family). At the tiny age of 18, she’s already a veteran part-time worker in restaurants, boutiques and shoe shops.
When Janet sets herself a goal, she’d find all kind of ways to achieve it. On the flip side, she is also equally stubborn as a cow too. I remember once we had a fight, she refused to talk to me for two months. Ruthless! She was probably the only woman that I had shed the most tears for.
As annoying as it is, this is where Janet and I are most a like.
In all fairness, Janet did acquire some good traits from me, i.e the striking good look; people often say that she is the long hair version of me. I’d leave it for you to decide.
Behind the brave faces Janet put forward, she does have a soft side, which is only revealed to the closest of the closest.
Like dad, Janet has a good heart and is deeply loyal. While she makes many friends everywhere she goes, she keeps a select few friends whom she would fly 10,000 miles to see every couple of years. Sometimes I wish I had friends like my sister. Friends with Janet are friends for life.
When Janet was little, she always told me her dream was to live in the big city one day. Today, she’s pursuing her dream with the man of her life in one of the most beautiful city in the world, Sydney.
When Janet and Larry first got together, she always told me that Larry & I looked alike.
“The taller and better looking version, of course!”
When I first met Larry, I told him bluntly that “I’m not too used to seeing a guy holding on to my sister’s hand so tight.”
Frightened, Larry hesitated a bit. Only that Janet wouldn’t let go.
I realised that today I can no longer tell Larry bluntly anything, anymore (did I mention about the deadly combo?).
Today, I plead to you, Larry please-don’t you ever release my sister’s hand. EVER.
There’s a ‘no-return-policy’ in our household!