Letters to a Lost Soldier - Home from the war to war at home

Maxine Clamage 
Letters to a Lost Soldier – Home from the war to war at home
Dear Daddy,
(I originally wrote in the fall, 1945) I thought when the war was over and you were honorably discharged from the Army, I would stop writing letters to you. I hoped we could talk when you came home. But you and Mommy are busy opening your new store. You promised my sister a bike if she takes care of me after school when Mommy isn’t home. Your decision is causing more problems than we had before.
I don’t need my sister to take care of me. I can play with friends after school, go to Aunt Miriam’s house and Brownies and even be alone by myself at home. But you gave my sister the key to our flat and said she is responsible for me. That’s a big mistake. She doesn’t like me and she doesn’t want to be with me. She says her friends get bikes without having to take care of little sisters.
When we get home from school, she opens the door with the key you gave her, and turns on the lights. But as I walk to my bedroom, she turns off the lights and chases me down the hallway yelling “Boo!”
I don’t like the way she treats me. She blames me for what she calls her miserable life. She’s always been mean to me, calling me names and telling the kids in the neighborhood not to play with me. It’s getting worse.
I want to do my homework, read a book or listen to music. She acts like the guard in a POW camp. I am her prisoner. She wants to have friends over here but you won’t let her do that when Mommy isn’t home. My sister says everything is my fault.
I prayed for a happy family when you finally came home from the war, but it hasn’t happened yet. I know you are trying to build a business and recover from your war injuries. But you are my father and I want you to make things right in our home.
I’ve figured out a solution. Please buy her a bike. Now. Please don’t ask her to take care of me after school. Let her ride her bike everywhere after school so she doesn’t come home and bother me. Please give me my own key. I can open the door and take care of myself.
I’m not asking for anything more. I don’t want to be with my sister when she is mean to me. She finds things to fight about. She is angry and crabby all the time.
I’m on a diet and she pretends to know where Mommy hid a bag of candy. She talks about candy and how good it tastes. She likes to tease me and is waiting for me to ask where I can find the candy. I don’t like playing these games with her. If she wanted to play a board game, I would cooperate, but she likes to taunt me and it’s no fun being with her. She calls me “Prunella” because Mommy puts prunes in my cereal so I can go.
When I tell you what’s going on when you aren’t home, you say I am a tattletale. When I ask why you don’t protect me from her, you say it’s Mommy’s job because you are busy trying to earn a living. I know you are recovering from being a POW and don’t like coming home to two daughters who are at war. You also said your two sisters didn’t get along, and you thought it was normal for girls to fight.
Mommy never protected me from my sister, who is more than four years older and seven inches taller than I am. I waited for you to come home from the war. I thought we would be a happy, peaceful family and you would protect me from my sister. We are a country finally at peace except in our own home. Can we solve our family problems? Please listen to me and buy a bike for her now. Thank you.