Olivia and I by Eric Passarelli  Olivia knows at 10:00 pm, it’s time to go to bed; she’ll crawl into bed without saying goodnight. I stay up past midnight, always aiming for a 12:20 bedtime, even when I’m tired and my eyelids struggle to stay open. I always say goodnight. She sleeps with an eye mask, shielding her eyes from any light. I still sleep with a night-light. It’s green and it’s on the other side of my bedroom. While she’s fine with waking up in complete blackness, I need the faintest light at all times. She’s quiet around strangers, only shedding a quick smile and a nod as her way of introducing herself. I extend my hand for a firm shake and keep my smile plastered on my face throughout the entire conversation. It takes her a good amount of time to warm up to people; it only takes me a couple minutes. We both have lots of friends. She is more well liked than I am, though. She keeps her opinions to herself, I usually put mine out in the open to be judged. We both have thick skin, but mine is thicker. We both make ugly faces in Snapchat selfies, but hers are uglier. My grandma tells her to not make ugly faces because she is so pretty. She’s comfortable singing in the shower. I don’t sing even when I’m alone. She’s never taken voice lessons, so I always wonder where she got her angelic voice from. I have taken voice lessons, so I always wonder why my voice is flat. While doing homework, she listens to loud music and sits criss-cross-applesauce on the floor. I sit in silence at our dining room table on a chair. It takes her a few long hours to complete an assignment. Occasionally, she reaches a point where her eyes well up with tears and her fair skin turns into a violent red. She stops humming to music and starts lashing out insults and yells. It takes me an hour at most to complete assignments. I never lash out. We’re both usually calm, gentle people but I’m the more passive one when my parents get into an argument. She’ll argue her two cents before being told to mind her own business. I just resort to the safety of my bed. She drinks Newman’s Own Lemonade. I drink Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry. She eats Milanos. I eat Oreos. She dresses her hamburger with ketchup. I dress mine with a fried egg. She goes for runs a few days a week. I can’t get myself to do a push-up. She has more willpower for sure. I have more confidence. Our dog Stella sits on her lap and nibbles on her fingers as a sign of love. Stella growls at me when I try to grab the stuffed animal from her mouth. I take Stella for walks. Olivia never does. She talks to my parents about her problems. I keep my problems to myself, preferring to solve them alone. She is more compassionate than I am, but I was always the more affectionate one. I gave my mom juicy kisses and warm hugs when I was younger. Olivia gave dry kisses and quick hugs. I’m good at math. She struggles. She’s good at folding her clothes. I struggle. She spends three nights at a time at a friend’s house. I always hesitate before saying yes to sleeping out. She comes home after the weekend. I come home as soon as possible. She takes my toothbrush thinking it’s hers. I know mine is green and hers is blue. She gets along better with our younger sister, Simone. They’re only eighteen months apart, where Simone and I are five years and four days apart. Olivia is patient and understanding when Simone is difficult; I break easily and ignore her. I guess that’s why Olivia is closer with Simone than I am. She had her first boyfriend. I’ve never had my first girlfriend. She got dumped and cried about it. I, luckily, have not. She’s oblivious, sometimes sort of slow. My family jokes and calls her Oblivious Olivious. I’m not as oblivious as her, except I think I’m becoming more oblivious by being with her so much. We both make mistakes. I don’t know whose are worse, though. She yells at me when I accidentally drive through red lights or when I am not braking quickly enough. I yell at her when she is snobby about whom she hangs out with or when she comes across as unfriendly. She tells me when I have food in my teeth. I tell her when her hair is greasy. She keeps me company when I pick up Simone from ballet. I sit to her right every night at dinner. At these times, I wonder if she and I are really that different.