I had never celebrated Christmas until I met Trin. My parents were never very religious in any sense. They also always believed that they brought me enough junk through out the year, so they didn’t need a special day to spoil me even more so than I already was. Yet, as soon as my mother noticed that Trin’s parents treated Christmas like an extra-special holiday, she had no problem with buying me, Trin, and Kim a mountain of gifts for the day. I know she just liked the fact that I had a best friend, an only friend actually, who came equipped with her own little sidekick.
I met Kim soon after Trin and I became friends. I liked her from the moment I met her, but I’ve come to believe that she is just impossible to hate. It is a must to like Kim, especially when she was little because she was so cute.
The Christmas break was going to be my first time spending more than a weekend with Trin and her family. We used to spend the night at each other’s houses all the time; our parents wanted us to be very close friends since we couldn’t seem to make more than the one friend. The plan at that time was for me to stay the whole week with the Possibles while my parents “handled some business.”
Even though I was a little mama’s boy, I was far from scared being parted with my mother for a whole week. The Possibles were like my second family by that point, maybe even like my first family. I eventually got around to calling them my aunt and uncle, but I’m not sure if the was at the time of my week long visit. Trin eventually started calling my parents her aunt and uncle too, but like I said, I’m not sure if it was at the time. We had known each other for a couple of years, so it might have been by that time, but I doubt it.
The point being that I was just looking forward to spending the whole week with Trin and her sidekick, getting them into all kinds of stuff. I wondered if I could talk her mother into taking us to watch some open surgery at the hospital while I was there. Trin and I had a developed a fondness for the sight of blood having seen so much of our own and by that time, actually having spilled enough to be proud.
My mother yanked me out of the car with all of the care of a doll when we got to the house. She then pulled out my suitcase and a huge bag full of gifts; like I said, she always gave me, Trin, and Kim a mountain of gifts. I charged the door and knocked like a lunatic on a sugar high, which I might have been at the time. I grinned as the door opened and slipped in right by Mr. Possible’s leg. I heard him laugh.
“That’s a really energetic boy you got there, Tashawna,” he said to my mother.
“I know. Maybe I should stop giving him coffee,” she joked. She never gave me coffee out of fear it would literally have me bouncing off the walls. “I hope he doesn’t drive all completely bonkers,” she told him.
I turned to grin at my mother as if saying I would never do such a thing and she told me to be on my best behavior the second she noticed my expression. She then turned back to Mr. Possible to tell him when she should be back and business-like things that I could give less than a damn about. I just wanted to see my best friend and Mr. Possible knew that, which explained why he called his daughters downstairs a minute after I showed up.
Trin came charging from her room, I guess anyway, with her sister hitching a ride on her back. She wasn’t so small anymore; she wasn’t so pathetic anymore. She got her weight and strength up enough to where she could easily carry her five-year-old sidekick around on her back almost all day long. Kim giggled as her big sister practically flew down the stairs and they went straight for my mother. I had been played! They didn’t even see me!
They hugged and greeted my mother with enthusiastic grins, begging her to stay for Christmas. She smiled down at them and informed them that she had business to take care of, but she really wished that she could stay. She handed my things over to Mr. Possible, kissed all of us little kids goodbye, and then went to take care of her business. For a brief moment, I wondered if my mother was going to meet up with my father while they were away and then I stopped thinking about that as the sisters, finally noticing me, dragged me off to see their baby sister.
They didn’t really have a baby sister. Their mother was pregnant and Kim swore to the high heavens that they were going to have a baby sister. I imagine that Kim really wouldn’t have wanted a baby sister, but she didn’t know it. Trin wouldn’t have been able to pay another sister and Kim the same amount of attention that she showered Kim with for her entire life.
I really think that Trin was happy with the twins, even though she seemed to want a sister just like Kim. She spoiled and continues to spoil her brothers, but it has always been in a different way from Kim, so it was possible for her to spoil all of them. Another sister would have thrown her game off.
After spending ample time watching the sisters rub their mother’s huge belly, I believe she was overdue by that time, I noticed their grandmother. Oh, that old bat hates me even to this day. Everything I have ever done with her around seemed to just rub her the wrong way. I am certain that I helped her in disliking Trin because of the way we acted together.
I actually don’t know what I did to first offend that old woman, but I don’t even think that it was me. I think my parents started her loathing of me long before she noticed my mischievous nature. I think that she disliked that my mother had me at such a young age and I don’t think she believes that my parents are really married to this day; she’s a rather old fashion coot when it comes to a lot of things. She also had the idea in her head that my father was a deadbeat dad because she had never met him. She had, of course, only seen me a few times prior to that date, so I don’t know what was up with her and meeting my father. Besides, my father’s skills as a parent are much like Jim Kelly’s fighting style in Enter the Dragon, namely “ ‘…unorthodox.’ ‘But, effective’.”
Anyway, I was accustomed to grandparents not liking me long before I met Nana Possible. Mine hate me something terrible just for being born. They still don’t approve of my parents being together and all four of them deny my very existence. My father’s parents hate my mother and my mother’s parents hate my father. They all meet in the middle and hate me.
Since my grandparents hate me, I quickly picked up on the fact that Trin’s grandmother disliked her. I remember when I first met that old bag and Trin had introduced her as Kim’s nana. It didn’t take me long to figure out why she would say that and I had only been six. But, I still hadn’t figured out why the woman hated my best friend so much. From the way that she refused to use Trin’s name or address Trin personally, it seemed to me now that she just held animosity toward Trin for being adopted. I doubt that I will ever understand how that works; maybe she didn’t see Trin as a “real Possible.” I don’t know, but I do know that the more Trin did, the more that woman got a valid reason to dislike her, so eventually things made sense. But that took years, so who the hell knows what started it.
Well, I had been in the house for fifteen minutes and hadn’t broken anything, which meant I was bored. We needed to do something fun; fun for me meant doing something against the rules in someway or just downright dangerous, like trying to do back flips off of the dining room table. Actually, that killed two birds with one stone since it was both dangerous and against the rules.
I turned to Trin and she seemed to read my mind by shaking her head, disapproving and objecting to my scheme before she even knew what it was. The little harpy! Actually, she was still something of a coward, especially when it came to her parents. I didn’t know what her problem was at the time, but I eventually grew to understand once I heard how she had come to be in her parents’ care. But, I always had a different belief in life from the one she held; while she didn’t want to bother her parents, I felt that we should never be bored.
Shin had a brilliant idea, and by brilliant I mean troublemaking. He wanted to eat the cookies on the kitchen counter that my mother had specifically said was for Santa. Now, Kim was the only one out of us that believed in Santa at the time, so Shin knew good and well that the cookies would just sit there all night. He didn’t see the point of good cookies going to waste, which I could understand, but my mother told us not to touch them. Shin eventually dressed things up to the point where he made it seem like a crime for us to leave those cookies there. Kim was all for the idea by the end of his little speech because she was pretty much all for anything Shin or I suggested when she was a kid. Shin liked to abuse that power to get her to do crazy things when I turned my head for just a second all of the time.
Shin had had plenty of bad Christmas ideas and he had only celebrated two before that one; you can imagine what the next twelve were like with him. He had talked us into opening our presents early twice already. He had gotten us to eat a gingerbread house that we “helped” our mother make; it was really hard to call what Kim and I did in the baking project help. He had us eat all of the candy canes off of the tree once; we then got sick from all the candy. He was just full of rotten ideas, but I hadn’t developed enough of a backbone yet to call him an idiot; I wasn’t too far off with the way that he liked to act though.
I did agree to be the lookout while he and Kim would carry out the actual crime. Hey, I like cookies, always have and always will. I also didn’t trust either of them to be the lookout. Kim was only five after all and Shin never was reliable.
Shin had Kim on his shoulders as they tried to find the cookies on the counter. They weren’t working very quickly, a bad habit of that best friend of mine and also the reason that we got busted the last time Shin had a great idea try some eggnog last Christmas. My parents never put much alcohol in their eggnog, but they put enough in there for us to feel it and for us to get in trouble. Shin was so close to getting a beating for that, but his mother was always more bark than bite when it came to her baby boy and eventually when it came to me and my sister.
Kim giggled as she obtained the goods; it didn’t seem to bother her at all that she was stealing Santa’s cookies. She then told Shin that he could put her down. She dropped some of the gingersnaps that were on the plate as he tried to put her safely on the floor. I yelled at him as he accidentally dropped my sister on the kitchen floor. He didn’t appreciate my hollering at him for what was clearly an accident, so he shouted back. Kim ate a cookie; she didn’t care that she had been dropped.
Our noise quickly attracted my parents to the scene and they noticed the cookie mess on the floor. My father reprimanded us while my mother went to clean up the mess to stop Kim from eating the cookies that were on the floor. I quickly moved to assist my mother pick up the cookies and quietly apologized dozens of times, hoping to get out of trouble for my poor behavior. My mother tried to assure me that it was all right and I’m certain that it was, but at the time, I didn’t think it was all right.
Nana Possible started going on about how Shin and I were spoiled little brats, always getting into trouble. She told my father that we should be punished and I froze in terror for a moment. I was scared that we would be punished and my fear always had been that my parents, despite the fact that they were very good people, would do something terrible to me because I wasn’t really a person.
My father wasn’t listening, though. He picked Kim up to get her to stop eating all of the cookies that were on the floor; she was gobbling them down like they were fresh from the oven. He told Shin and me to take Kim upstairs and play up there. Shin was always getting us sent upstairs.
We weren’t allowed back down until it was time for dinner. Shin behaved himself at the table for once. He usually spent his time trying to get Kim to spurt milk out of her nose or he made stupid faces at me, but it seemed the Christmas Eve dinner was so good that he had to focus on that. He was such a little butterball. Well, I have to admit that the food was very good.
My mother never cooked too often; she is a very busy neurosurgeon after all. But, when she does cook, the meals are, as Kim would say, spanking. She probably would have made a spectacular housewife; I am very glad that she did not travel down that road because she was the one that inspired me to go into science.
The rest of the night was normal, as normal as Shin would allow it to be anyway. My parents didn’t seem to be too upset with his monkey-like behavior. They were used to his outlandish antics, so he wasn’t really too much for them. Besides, he was always easily intimidated when it came to my parents or his own. He knew what was going too far and always seemed to avoid it.
Early Christmas morning came quickly; when I say early, I’m talking like two in the morning when kids should be dreaming about what was waiting for them under the tree. I was woken up from such a dream as Shin came into my room with Kim and had the brilliant idea of opening our gifts early yet again. I protested to the plan, recalling how vexed my parents had been the last time that we had done that. I also recollected the look of contempt that Nana gave me; it had frightened me to the very core of my tiny being. I was so scared that I thought I’d be kicked out for such dreadful behavior from that look alone; damn Shin and his brilliant ideas.
I talked them out of going to open the gifts by offering to read Kim a story. I held up one of my books on Greek mythology and Kim was hooked; for a long time, she was in love with Greek myths and I had a large collection to choose from. Shin wasn’t happy about being thwarted, but I was slowly learning that sometimes I had to save that nut from himself.
We opened our gifts at the right time that Christmas, which was when my parents wanted us to. They sat on the sofa; my mother merrily snapped pictures of us as we went through everything. We got plenty of cool things, like we did every Christmas before and after that one.
We did get plenty of great things. Trin’s dad got us both these advanced chemistry sets; the three of us later blew the garage up. I liked to think Trin and I helped prepare him for when the twins came along because we were always good for blowing something up.
Trin then delighted over one of the gifts that my mother bought her, the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe; she was always a morbid little cow. Her eyes brightened the second that she opened the book and then excitedly informed Kim that she was going to read her a story called “the Black Cat” later that night. Kim grinned; her favorite story at the time happened to be “the Tell-Tale Heart.” I could tell by the look on their grandmother’s face that she was disappointed in the gift, the idea, and the fact that Kim was all for it.
My mother knew Trin well and knew that she was a very big fan of Poe. Now, since Trin was a fan, Kim was a fan by default. Trin read to Kim every chance that she got; their mother encouraged the activity by always suggesting it when the girls were getting in the way or were bored or something. I’d like to think that it was a good to encourage for so many reasons, but I don’t think their grandmother agreed or so the look on her face suggested.
Their grandmother really didn’t approve and it was probably because the plan and the book were not “girly.” Trin never really did do “girly,” even her style of dress was always more her than girlish. The fact that she didn’t do “girly” was probably one of the reasons that her grandmother didn’t like her. I’ve always liked that Trin was not girly; in fact, she was always a bit creepy. Any eight-year-old that liked Poe and could make her little sister happy to hear any of the tales written by the man had to be creepy.
The best gifts came from my father; he always gave the best gifts because he failed to take into account that we were children. He put one of the greatest gifts for me and Trin in the same box, undoubtedly to save time; the man was good for cutting corners to move on to the next thing. We watched Kim open her gift first to get an idea as to what he got us. Kim pulled out a shinai(1) from her box; she was going to be a monster with that thing. Trin and I eagerly ripped into our box after that.
We each got a bokken(2). They were long too, like a katana. I wasted no time attacking Trin because I knew that was what my father wanted. He always said “I give you and Trin things for one of you to kill the other and save me some money.”
“Only Shin,” I heard Trin’s mom sigh while her dad stopped her counterattack.
“Shin, you know better than to hit girls,” Mr. Possible scolded me.
“My papa said it’s okay,” I replied. My father and Mr. Possible always gave out conflicting information, especially when it came to Trin. It was enough to hurt a little eight-year-old’s brain.
“Your papa was probably joking,” Mrs. Possible told me.
I scratched my head in confusion. I knew my father wasn’t joking when he told me it was okay to hit girls and he also told me to go after Trin whenever I got the chance. But, I was so weak for those Possible women that whenever one of them said something, I had to take it into consideration; now for that to happen the Possible female needs to have both blue eyes and red hair, not either/or. Anyway, I decided to stop my attack on Trin and dive back into opening gifts. Nothing topped the bokken, of course; my father is the man and that is a fact. He even proved it after the bokken gift; the phone rang.
“Shin, it’s for you,” Mr. Possible informed me and he handed me the phone.
I answered and it was my papa. I grinned from ear to ear, which alerted Trin immediately that it was my father on the phone. She charged me and stated yelling hello to him into the receiver. He laughed; I know he was picturing me struggling with Trin, trying to get her to not take the phone from me. She and I ended up both speaking into the phone in Japanese; my father used to like to pretend that he didn’t speak English to help us get better at other languages.
At the time, I was already fluent in English and Japanese, but Trin needed the practice. He taught us Cantonese too, so thanks to him, I’m trilingual. Trin, being an overachiever even by Possible standards, speaks ten languages to date, so she would be like deca-lingual or something, I suppose. I blame my mother for that monster.
Anyway, my father made casual conversation with the pair of us; it wasn’t like he had much to discuss with two eight-year-olds. He did want to know what we had done with the gifts and then he wanted to know why we hadn’t killed each other yet, of course.
Once he was done with us, he requested to speak with Kim. He obviously told her something devilish because once she got off of the phone with him, she whacked me with her shinai. I went after her with my bokken and ran right into Trin. The harpy proceeded to give me the business until her mother stopped her.
It was a good thing her mother stepped in when she did because I was just about to whip Trin’s ass. I mean it. I was about to get at her. Look, Shinichi Toriyama never gets beat up by a harpy…often anyway. Trust me, I would’ve beat her ass, so she should thank her mother for interfering.
“That boy is wild,” Nana Possible commented, referring to me of course. She thought that I was like a Tasmanian devil and she didn’t think that Trin was much better from the way the girl had come at me. Nobody messed with Kim when Trin was around, nobody.
Trin actually once attacked my father because he pushed Kim; he was just playing with her, of course. He always played rough, but Trin was always serious when it came to baby sis, especially when they were little. She bit my father in the meat of his hand; she drew blood and everything. He laughed the wound off and stated that he was “going to have to teach that kid some martial arts.” That was how we started learning all sorts of styles, all because Trin bit my father in his hand. Before that, Trin had gone to the mall for corny classes and I was content to just copy movies.
For the rest of the week, we just played with all of the stuff that we got for Christmas. Well, the good stuff anyway. A couple of the gifts were clothes and no little kid wants clothes for a gift. Kim had it the worst because that was all Nana Possible gave her. Of course, her nana didn’t give me or Trin anything. I still think that we got the better end of the deal; who wanted that shit anyway? Also, Kim spent a lot of time whacking me with her shinai; I wonder what the hell my father told her.
Our Christmas surprise wasn’t complete with the passing of the day. On the day that I was supposed to go home, my mother came to get me as expected, but she had someone with her. My father had come home with her; they were both sporting a couple of bandages. When we asked what happened, they both smiled and said “work related” and that was all they would say on the bandages. My father then offered to take everyone out for dinner to celebrate the New Year. He also wanted to know why Trin and I were still alive.
“Obviously, next year I just need to buy you two a katana each,” my father commented, speaking to me and my best friend.
“Shin, don’t you dare,” my mother and the Possibles yelled at him.
My papa only smiled. He didn’t get us those katanas next Christmas, but we eventually did get a pair. Like I said, my papa always got us the best gifts. He just never seemed to realize we were little kids.
1: A shinai is a sword made from bamboo tied together that is used when practicing kendo.
2: A bokken is a wooden Japanese sword usually used for practicing.
Next time: Kim gets into the act by adding in when she joined the pair at elementary school. They were fourth graders and she was in first grade and the best friends were starting to look something like they do when they get older, crazy.