Years of wishing that older sibling will move out, then it comes true.
|The beginning to the end and back to a beginning. The dread of the dress to the dread of the ring. From saying three simple words to saying the first hello. From Saturday nights to her graduation. From playing softball together to riding the bumpy school bus. From playing
dress up to strolling me around in my stroller. Now the new beginning, when it all falls down.
Struck by her words, I ignored the tug of awkward feelings. A boyfriend? Already? How long will they last? Questions in my head would stop and then just drive right by. Hours ago, we were playing in the tree house and throwing food on the ceiling. Does she not know
that having a boyfriend will take away our fun? Days go by and there we were, looking face to face, realizing that I am the younger mirror of her. The tension was there, she had words struggling to escape out of her mouth and rip into my heart. There it was. Out on the
table and in my face. Was this a battle she planned for years. To destroy us. To let go of everything we ever had. Is she purposely throwing it all away? She is getting married.
Yes, I get her room. Yes, I get her parking spot in the driveway. Yes, I get more time to relax instead of doing her half of the chores. Now I get to wonder if she will ever stop by to just say hello. She is now in complete control of this battle. Order this. Order that. Get her this.
Get her that. She is registered here. She is registered there. Will she ever put my mind at ease for once? She is leaving the house we learned how to love in and disagreed to agree in.
Finally the day is here. I go to the church. I listen to the people and I wait for the word to take my first step down the aisle. I am ice cold and frozen. Nothing will move me from this spot. I stand at the door, looking at the people on stage with flowers. "Go on." They tell me.
"Start walking." I take my step. People smile. If I knew just one step would make her happy, I would have done that a long time ago. Maybe then there wouldn't be a wedding. I make my way up to the platform, praying I dont fall. Then she appears.
My best friend, my blood, and my leader. Why is Mom walking her so fast? Does mom want her to leave? If she walks slower then she is still with us. She cant just get up and go like this. Pastor nods. She walks up to the platform and holds the hand of a complete stranger. A life ruiner. A takeaway. They talk a while. Finished. Time to go home.
I sat in my bed, thinking. She is still just down the hall. Last day. I wait for a few minutes. I creak open the door, and sneak down the hallway. Her door is cracked open a little bit. She lies there and whispers for me to come in. Standing beside her bed, she reaches out. Holding my hand, I climb in bed with her like we were kids again. Our last night. Good night.
Ringing bells sound like tornado sirens. Getting dressed up in a nice little blue dress. Helping her get her fluffy white one. Can't we just say we forgot the dress at home and call if off for next weekend. That
would give us at least another week to be together until she practically let go of her life altogether. Running to the car, driving down the road and ignoring speed limits as if we were going out for the night. We arrive. Put the make up on and fix the hair. Yep, got the nerves going.
It is early and the show is just about to start. People start to arrive. We go to the back room with five other
ladies. Just 10 more minutes. Sit in the floor. All the chairs are out in the sanctuary. Time to go. People all looking forward at the platform. Strangers, family and friends. I stand in between the double doors as I
did the night before. People look at me. Waiting for the go sign. There it is. Start walking. Just go. Just like we rehearsed. I did it then, and I can do it again. Think of the empty pews, the empty halls. Nobody else is there. Just my sister and I..oh and the stranger at the end.
First step. They are watching you. Second step. They are smiling. Third step. There go the flashes. The tears are just in my head, but my eyes are burning with pain from the fight. Finally the platform. Don't trip. Stand still. Music starts to change. What is happening? Why is everyone standing? What is at the door that I don't see?
Suddenly, mom and my sister. Red faces. Walk slower
mom. Hold onto her. Dont let her slip away from us. As she takes each step slowly, flashes of our childhood came back to me. Jamming into the wall of the shed. Having our first bike wreck. Throwing each other against the wall and laugh. Talking through the floor vents when we were sent to our rooms. My friend. My hero. My idle. Walk slower. No, faster down the isle. The tears kicked like they were prisoners removed from their freedom. She crossed the carpet as a ghostly figure. No, like an angel really. I stood there wondering if the white tint around her was from her dress, or the pale look on her face. Did that small diamond rolling down her cheek come from happiness or fear?
Standing there in a silent room. Full pews. Full hallways. Sister in front of me stuck with only two words to escape this old life. Why isn't she looking at me requesting to be rescued? Will she back out and stay one more night with us? Will she come home?
After it was over, after all the fret, she walked up to me as her face studied mine. With the saddest and happiest expression she asked me, "Do you still have the love we had before?" Without hesitation I replied, "I do."