Always Sisters This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 13, 2012
By
Sisters have a bond that lasts their entire lives. They share every moment, from the most trivial to the most defining, of a lifetime. My sister Tessa will always hold a special place in my heart, and nothing that may come our way can change that.

My first memory of her sitting in a corner and drawing intently will never fade from my mind. My family had driven hours to the small, crowded orphanage to visit her. I can still see her chubby little face, concentrating on the masterpiece she was working on while other children raced around her. Adopting the three-year-old when I was seven was one of the best things that has happened to me.

Our first outing with her was on a sultry day in monsoon season in Seoul, South Korea. The scents of fresh rain and humid air are still in my mind. Sitting across from the tiny girl in a cramped restaurant and watching her relish the Coke in front of her was uncomfortable at first. Worries of her not fitting into our family raced through my mind. What if she didn’t like me? What if she was unhappy in her new home? When would she learn to speak English? These thoughts seemed to be answered when, after polishing off two sodas, the little girl began to hold her stomach and whimper. My mother swooned over her and patted her back while my father frantically tried to find someone who could translate her rushed words. I knew at that moment everything would somehow work out in our new family.

Since that sticky afternoon, my sister and I have come to have a very close relationship. Our days of living overseas were filled with memories that only Tessa can understand. She reminisces with me about the business dinners with our dad aboard floating restaurants at dusk in Hong Kong. If I forget where it was that we rode the baby elephants around the hotel, she reminds me that it was Thiamin. We laugh about the time I was bitten by a poisonous ant in Singapore; she had to hold my hand while the ancient doctor gave me a shot. We share the memories of the extensive traveling we have been fortunate to experience.

We have also shared the bitter times that many teenagers endure. If one of us makes a wrong choice, the other is there to give advice or help out. Tess and I have counted on each other many times to explain why one was suspiciously late coming home from the movies. The secrets we’ve shared have to do with growing into women, and sometimes parents cannot know the exact path we take. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my sister, and I know she feels the same. We used to make secret pacts, but we now have an unspoken loyalty that neither dares betray. Sometimes secrets and experiences create an unshakable bond that nothing else can.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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