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Always and Forever
“Johnny, I actually hope you die! You’re the worst and you have zero consideration for anybody other than yourself, if that!”
“Right back atcha, sis. I hope you fall in a well and never make it out.”
Sometimes, when Johnny thought about it, he wondered. He wondered what he had done to deserve a sister who, although she doesn’t mean a word she says, can’t control her words. A sister that didn’t understand the depth of her words. Yes, she was only 14, but he really, really thought she’d been around long enough to learn.
But other times, John gave it right back to her and didn’t think anything of it. She’s just a teenager. She cares just as much as he could’ve.
On the other hand, when Nicole thought about it, she wondered how on earth she could’ve been graced by God with such an infuriating, stupid, idiotic brother. But that, he wasn’t. He was so saccharine, so winsome. And she hated it with a passion. Being known as the bull in a china shop didn’t help her esteem, and neither did her family’s favorite quote, “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” where they associated the first half with her brother and the second half with herself. He didn’t deserve all he got. And why was he so special and not her? It wasn’t fair.
The pair grew up in a wonderful household. The Weasley parents were amazing, they lived in a beautiful yellow house with a picket fence in the suburbs. They went to private school. Rode the bus there together, rode the bus home together. They were so close. Until their parents started arguing. This drew them apart, for some reason. They didn’t know why. The subject of argument varied, but it stayed strictly verbal. Until it didn’t.
Soon enough, the pair and their mom were living in a small urban condo going to PS-67. To Nicole, this was the end of the world. She had to say goodbye to her bedroom at home, fit for a princess, and move to a dingy apartment, that, for what it was worth, smelled like a mix of mold and a gym locker room. The walls were painted a dismal, pale yellow and the floors were basically worn through. She never in her wildest dreams imagined living some place like this.
Although John was also used to his privileged life before, and missed it, he had an easier time adapting. He made new friends, he joined the football team, and he wasn’t having trouble academically. All things Nicole was having trouble with.
“Nic, wanna run track? Forms are due tomorrow.”
“Yeah never in a million years would I do anything with you, nevermind track!” Nicole showed no interest in her relationship with her brother and wanted nothing to do with him.
She ended up running in hopes of finally making new friends, but wouldn’t admit it was because she wanted to do something with John. She knew undoubtedly that he would be 100x better at it than her, and even if she was good he would be better.
After their first meet, where John placed first in the first varsity heat for the 200 meter sprint, and Nicole placed 3rd in the second freshman heat for the same sprint, Nicole’s hatred was just fueled even more. She couldn’t stand him. John came off the track and immediately collapsed like all the other guys, but he didn’t get up for a little while. It was unlike him. Nicole came and asked him what he was doing, and he got up right away.
When their mom picked them up from the meet, she asked how it was. John replied very nonchalantly and humbly, saying he came in first, but only by a little bit. He proceeded to tell her about Nicole’s results, and he expressed how proud he was of her. He didn’t feel the need to mention that he passed out after only running 200 meters. This didn’t make Nicole happy at all. “John, why are you like this? You lie so much and keep everything from mom just to make yourself look better. I hate you!” Nicole pouted in the car the whole way home and stomped to her room when she got home.
Later that night, John and his mother heard Nicole in her bedroom having a meltdown. She had been failing bio and had a huge quarterly project due the next day that she hadn’t started, and she didn’t have a poster. John, being the virtuous person he was, volunteered to go out and get her one, despite how late it was.
He left, but didn’t return for a while. His mom received a call, but thought nothing of it. When Nicole watched the shift in her mother’s attitude and emotion, she knew something was wrong. She ran out to the car, and told Nicole to go with her. “There was an accident. They think it was John. We need to go now.”
A man in a faded white lab coat carrying charts that looked like a stack of school books came out, and locked eyes with John’s mother. He approached closer and closer, until he was sure of the familiar relation. “Are you the family of John Weasley?”
“Yes,” she incessantly replied. “Is he okay? Where is my baby?” The man’s face dropped. He didn’t know that she was unaware. Immediately following, she collapsed, breaking down in tears. “No, no, no! Not my son! Where is he?”
“We did everything we could do. The blunt force trauma was too intense and by the time he arrived here his organs were already failing. As soon as we got into surgery, he hemorrhaged. We did everything we could. I’m so sorry.”
Devastated, Nicole and her mother went home. Drowning in guilt, Nicole went into John’s room to be reminded of her amazing brother. She pulled out his desk chair. When she did, a drawer opened. On top, was an envelope labeled: “To Nicole, on the day of her high school graduation.” It read,
Congratulations! I’m so proud of you and all you have accomplished. Whether or not you have fully developed yet into who you’re going to be, I know it’s going to be great. I’ve always envied your ability to adapt and grow, and all ease that comes with everything you do.
She couldn’t continue. Her tears overwhelmed her. She skipped to the end:
Your independence is going to take you places. You have grown into such a skilled and mature young lady, but you’ll always be my little sister in my eyes.
I love you always and forever,