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A Significant Influence This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Indicate a person who had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.



She kicked me before I knew pain, took my nourishment before I knew hunger, and crammed me before I knew space. But she also touched me before I could feel, taught me the rhythm of two beating hearts before I could hear, and was there before I knew loneliness. Our lives started here, eight months before our first breath, in the darkness of our mother's womb.

Seventeen years have since passed, and she still has an immeasurable influence on me. It is now my attention, not my nourishment she inadvertently takes. She still unknowingly infringes on my space and the once physical bruises have now become emotional. I have never been able to be the "only child" or to have a birthday that was uniquely mine.

But the goodness of her influence far outweighs any negative. She shares her laughter with me during midnight gossip sessions and inside jokes. Most memorable, however, were the feelings she shared after my grandfather's death. When my eyes were red from tears and my heart heavy from pain, she extended her arms to me. Through her tender embrace, like her baby touches of old, she said more to me than words ever could. She pressed herself to me and once again exposed me to the rhythm of our two hearts beating, telling me I wasn't alone. She has given me the best of what she has, her presence, and her love, for which I'll be forever grateful.

She has from the very beginning, through the good and the bad, the laughter and the tears, molded me into the person I am today. Her influence started before birth, and will continue forever. She is my twin, Amanda. -


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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