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Stranger's Funeral

My sister must have gotten up at an ungodly hour to drive through desert, forest, mountains, and even snow, to eventually arrive at my house. All because she cared enough to haul me out of bed and make me look presentable when I couldn't even do it myself. If it wasn't for her I might have shown to his funeral in black pajamas. This was only the second time I had seen her after the accident, although it was the first time for us to be alone. Underneath it all, I appreciated what she was doing. I could still call on her, like I had when we were girls. She would still be there. Even if they... my family... Everything I had done for them.

My sister's thumb deftly swept away the tear before it could carve canyons though the makeup painted below my eyes to hid my lack of sleep. She looked into my face, imploring me to meet her gaze. I she held my gaze with that same caring, loving expression she had always reserved just for me. The only other person who shared that same expression had been him. I fixed my eyes on the tiles, thick, heavy tears threatening to well over. She sighed quietly, that kind of understanding sigh when someone really knows what you're going through. I heard the click of the eyeliner as she dropped it on the floor, choosing to hold me instead.

Everything I had built up around myself, the calluses and the iron walls, all shattered in an instant. I felt utterly helpless as I wept heavily against her shoulder, her arms pulling me close, her fingers running though my hair. I slid from the counter to kneel on the bathroom floor, every pent up thought tearing though my mind and bursting out my eyes. My sister just held me, rocking me gently back and forth like we used to.

I would still have her but things would be as they were before I had made my family. I loved her dearly as I always had but my heart had grown a new place for loving my husband and son. Now that that had been torn out, there was nothing that had been there before that could replace it. Nothing but the blackness.





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