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“No matter how much it hurts, is it worth losing me?”

The question hangs in the air as I think about the needles and IVs. I stare into her deep, slightly squinty chestnut eyes. I want to scream, “nothing is worth losing you,” but my stubborn side doesn’t let me.
I turn to look out the window and watch a flock of birds disappear into the hot, July sun. My stomach clenches as I think what my life would be without her— terrifying, lonely, and empty. She’s more than my big sister, she’s my best friend.
She was there when my six-year-old self was too scared of the dark to go to bed. She was there when I fell off my bike and ended up with an egg sized lump on my forehead. And she was there to hold me, as my favorite dog died.
While everybody else sees a simple, sheltered girl— she’s the only one who sees the real, hidden me.
But ten years ago, losing her almost became my reality. She was in the middle of fighting Hemolytic- Uremic Syndrome— kidney failure. My four-year-old self watched my sister lie, small and fragile in a hospital bed. Confused and blurry, I didn’t understand what was happening, but I sensed it was bad.
As she grew sicker, her chances to survive decreased. But after two long months, a miracle happened—her kidneys began working. She was able to come home and continue her role as my mentor and role model. I was able to fall into her shadow.
She taught me how to block out my parents fighting and get lost in books. I’d escape to my adventures at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I’d cry as I drove away, leaving Noah behind without a goodbye, and I’d fall in love with Mr. Darcy against my will. This not only sparked my love of reading, but helped me recognize my dream of becoming a journalist.
She taught me through hard work and lots of sweat what it felt to become a varsity sprinter. That no matter how much my body hurt, the worst thing I could do was give up.
And she taught me how to be who I am today.
She’s raised me more than my parents, showing me how to be the best person I can be. She helped me control my temper and fight my stubborn side. She never judged me when I made a mistake. She helped me grow, fix, and learn.
That’s why when her kidneys start to fail again, I’ll be there. Regardless of my hatred of needles and fear of hospitals, I’ll go through surgery and take the six-inch scar for her. I owe her more than one of my kidneys—I owe her everything that I am today.
Realizing this, I turn around and examine her face that’s almost identical to mine. Her eyebrows are raised, silently asking for my answer.
So I just shake my head and whisper, “No.”



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