The Beginning This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.


It was a very scary place. A place where life is set to begin and end; a place of elation, sadness, intrepidity, and fear. Both patriotism and anarchy burst in through tubes and out of veins.
... This is where I was born.
My mother went into labor during the late evening.
All of that pain, all of that carrying, all of that work, all for fifty percent of her expected prize: me.
My identical twin didn't make it. For the longest time, it was my fault.
I, weighing five pounds four ounces, twenty-one inches long, was born on a Wednesday, "a girl!" I am taken home a few weeks later.
For the longest time, it was my fault. Only "a girl!"
For the first and only time in her life, my sister uses a baby doll simply since my mother is holding a baby. She was so excited about me and was never jealous.
My father wasn't in any of the hospital pictures like my grandparents and sister. Aside from my mother's insisting, I have no plausible evidence that he was even present. He may have been busy building my crib out of beer cans. (That's probably how I got here. Beer cans, not my dad.)
For the longest time, it was my fault.
I'm sorry, brother.





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