Rosalie's Yellow Throne...

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When I was younger, about the age of 13, my sister and I did everything together. I was eight years her senior, but the large age gap in our relationship didn’t matter. We were best friends. Many people thought it odd, how well Rosalie and I got along. I suppose they thought that if siblings were forced to share everything, as Rosalie and I were, then rivalry was the most common outcome. But not for Rosalie and I. We did everything together.
We didn’t hang out because we had to. We hung out because we wanted to. I loved Rosalie. Every day during the summer, we’d run down to the park by our house. The park was perfect for the two of us. There were two swings, one slightly higher than the other, on the edge of the park. They overlooked the entire valley. We would spend hours swinging, so that when we reached the peak of our height, we could overlook the whole city, or so it appeared to our childish eyes. As we sat in those yellow thrones, the sun set behind us. Only then would we finally let our feet touch solid ground, and I helped Rosalie back home in the dusk.
So our summers went; silent and content on the yellow plastic seats that may as well have been royal thrones. Rosalie and I felt like princesses on those summer days. We never missed out on a moment.
School started up again, and it was my job to pick Rosalie up. On a normal day, I would get out of school and immediately rush to the elementary school, usually arriving before Rosalie was dismissed. We were so eager to revive the feeling that we had on those summer days that we would race each other to the park. I always let her win.
But one day, I’d had a really terrible day at school. I dragged my feet through the gravel as I slowly made my way to Rose’s school, but before I was truly aware of how upset I was silent tears began pouring down my face. I didn’t want Rosalie to see me like that, so I stopped at the park and sat down in the higher swing. The swing next to mine was empty, for the first time since I’d had a sister. It swung back and forth slightly, mocking my state of loneliness. I could only stand to sit next to it for a moment before I wiped the tears away and raced to Rosalie’s side. It was that day when I realized we can never know how much someone means to us unless we first realize their absence.
Rosalie was smart for her age. She was only five years old, but could hold a more decent conversation than most of the children my age. She was intelligent, and I was convinced she knew as much as I did. The fact that she taught me as much as I taught her led me to believe that she was mature enough to care for herself.
My family’s never had a lot of money. Rosalie and I had to share a room, and toys, and everything else. We learned to content ourselves with the little things that we had. My parents didn’t have much time to play with us; they were too busy trying to get food on the table.
It was a freezing cold day in the middle of winter. The 11th of February. It was a Saturday. I was left at home to babysit Rosalie, but I had been invited to a friend’s party. My parents told me I couldn’t go because they both had to work. But Rosalie was almost six years old. I thought she was old enough to take care of herself. So I left her to alone and went to the party.
I was thirteen years old. I should have been old enough; smart enough; to realize that Rosalie was too young to be left alone. But I didn’t ever think that I had to babysit her to keep her safe, I just thought she’d get bored if she was alone. I never imagined that I was preventing devastation.
All we did at the party was watch movies. Halfway through the party, I got a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. My gut was twisting with guilt, but I ignored it!
I came home around ten. The house seemed so dark and empty. I’d hardly ever been home alone, and I was never one to revel in solitude. The dark rooms were reminiscent of the feeling that I had when the empty swing was beside me. I cried out for her.
“Rosalie?” My voice echoed throughout the small house. Unlike the one day with the empty swing, I couldn’t just run to Rosalie. My loneliness and fear wouldn’t dissipate, because I didn’t know where my comfort was.
I raced to the bedroom. The light was on. I let out a small sigh of relief and opened the door into our room.
“Rosalie, call when I-” In our room, clothes were scattered across the floor. The carpet was barely visible under toys, food, and everything else imaginable. But my sister wasn’t there.
“ROSALIE?!” I choked out, listening desperately for her answer. I was too scared, too terrified, to cry. I raced around the house, screaming her name, but my cries were never answered. She wasn’t in the house. Again, the empty swing came to my mind. At a loss for where else to look, I ran to the park.
At first glance, I didn’t see her. The slides interrupted my view of the swings, and the park seemed deserted. But as I passed the tower of slides, I noticed a peculiar lump of snow in front of the shorter swing. I raced to what I desperately hoped wasn’t my sister’s side, too horrified to make any sort of sound.
Rosalie was partially covered by a thin layer of snow that had been dyed red by her own blood. Her breathing was neither paced nor shallow. It was just gone. I was too late. I stretched out my bare hand and lightly touched my sister’s skinny leg, which was bent into a strange, abnormal “z” shape. Broken.
Rosalie’s skin was bright purple: completely frozen. Tears finally began to pour down my cheeks, and they wouldn’t stop. I struggled to pick up her feeble, limp body. There I sat, beneath my sister’s royal throne, holding the angel in my arms. I wished that I, too, would freeze. But the thought of my parents forced me to my feet.
By the time I reached home, they were searching frantically for my sister and me. When I walked in carrying Rosalie’s cold, unmoving body, my mother let out a shriek of pure terror and my father simple couldn’t say anything at all.
My parents never blamed me for Rose’s death. Maybe, if they had, I would feel less guilty. I got away with killing the most beautiful, precious angel without one single consequence except my own guilt that sat in the forever empty swing beside me. The swing beside me is slowly swinging, mocking my state of complete and utter isolation. And Rosalie? She never got to fly high.





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