Lives lost

March 14, 2017

 

A life is a precious, precious thing.  Sometimes we take it for granted, more often than not. More than taking life itself for granted however, we take the people in it for granted. We think to ourselves that they will always be there- waiting for us at home. They could never actually leave, right? Or worse…  

 

You know, me and my sister were always very close.  We called ourselves ‘The Super Silly Sisters’. We had our own logo and everything. It was great; most of my favorite memories are shared with her.  We would fight all the time, yes, but afterwards when we were sent to our rooms, we would slip apology letters under each other’s door. Some nights we would have a sleep over, well it was more like ‘pretend-like-we-are-sleeping-when-mom-and-dad-come-in-night’.  Every night I would tell her I didn’t want her to go to college, how I didn’t want anything to change. Every night she would look at me and promise that she would never go then she would sing “Jesus take the wheel” to me.  Then, we grew up.

 

I wrote while she painted. I was crazy and she was calm. I decided I would rather muck out stalls than be around human beings, while she became a stunning dancer. We could not possibly be more different, but still I saw her as perfection. She was my Queen. Every dance recital we ever went to I just wanted to jump up and scream to the audience that THAT, That beautiful dancer us peasants were graced with, was MY sister. But, I decided that would be a little distracting, so I didn’t. Instead I sat: captivated. Her dance practices ran later and later as the years progressed. Usually we only ever saw each other a few minutes in the morning, and a few minutes at night. Needless to say, we were together much less than we used to be. However, I never ever forgot her promises from when we were kids.  

 

My sister and I shared a bathroom. Whoever came up with that idea, was not the brightest person in the room, let me tell you. She cleaned her paint supplies in there, I left clothes all over the place, and I was always the one cleaning it. One morning while we were both getting ready, I asked her to hand me the face wash. She did. I went to school. She went to dance.

That was all.

 

It was a late night of practice even for her. She had been given the main part in the next performance, which required extra practice time. At home, I was writing an essay and listening to music, my parents were cleaning the kitchen, my brother slept upstairs. Around 9:30, my sister began to drive home. So we thought. The call came, the world stopped.  

From my place in the office I could hear my mom’s voice rising in a panic. I could hear my dad rush to the car. In an instant he was gone. I was confused, what had happened? I knew it had to do with my sister… but what was it? My mom told me she had been in an accident. It sounded serious.  Not just a fender bender; she was going to the hospital. I sat back down feeling sick; on my Spotify, Jesus Take The Wheel began to play.  All I could think of in that moment was how she used to sing that to me. I could hear her voice clearly in my mind saying “I won't leave. I promise.” She promised. She PROMISED she would not leave me here. What if now- she was gone. No-not gone to college… but GONE…. Forever.

 

I imagined what it would be like without her… Suddenly sharing a bathroom? Yeah. That sounded pretty good. My last words to her… What were they?  “Can you hand me the face wash?” That was all I said. No 'I love you'…. No 'thank you'… I just took it. She could have DIED and that would be it. I would never have been able to say anything to her ever again. In that moment, I realized that every conversation I have ever had with a person, could easily be the last. It got me to wondering, what if I were to succeed in an attempt?  Would my sister, my brother, my mom, my dad, my friends, my grandparents, regret their last conversation with me? Could I REALLY condemn them to a life of regret?          

      

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