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Losing Little Sister

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A man once told me that he didn’t understand love until he held his baby girl in his arms. He said that his daughter running up to the car to jump in his lap after he came home from work was the best part of his day, and that he prayed for her while she was sleeping. The only reason I have any idea about love is because of my little sister. All throughout high school, if you messed with her, you messed with me. People knew it, and I liked it that way. I was the protector, and nothing could touch her.

I had to hear about her kidnapping in the local newspaper in the middle of December. The day she went missing, my already unstable family broke. The only information we received was from the police who knocked on our door to tell up they found an empty old Toyota at the park and ride with some strands of her blonde hair in the trunk, or that her small body was found lying cold in the quarry near the river. Whenever I pictured her burled up in the dark trunk of that rusty car, I remembered the book I used to read to her every night when she was six. Winnie-the-Pooh was always her favorite, and this book was special because it included a lion, her favorite animal because of its bravery. She carried that book with her everywhere until she decided she was too old for something so stupid. Now it rests, dust-covered and unopened, at the top of her bookshelf.

Sometimes I lie awake at night desperately wishing she still had that book with her when she was taken. Something to provide her with some kind of courage or some kind of strength when she really needed it. I know it’s stupid. What’s a picture of a lion going to do in the real world? But in a time when I could no longer be the protector, I needed something to stand in between my little sister and hear death. I knew it couldn’t be me anymore.





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