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Sofia

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“You don’t have to do this Sofia!” I said, looking at my twin sister longingly.
“Yes, Jason, I do.” She said, looking at me with sorrow in her eyes. “You don’t know what I know.” And she turned around and fell out of the window, falling from life, falling from me.

It is a week later, and I am still missing her. I can’t believe she fell. Why? What did she know? She died as soon as she hit the ground, because we lived on the third floor of the apartment, next to my parents. My parents aren’t taking it easily either. They won’t let Kylie out of their sight. Kylie is our, I mean, my five year old sister. I offered to babysit her and before I finished the word babysit, my parents both shot their heads up and said no almost as instantly. I guess it is because I was supposed to be watching her. I don’t really want to talk about it though.
Life without her is so different. By accident I still make her a cup of tea in the morning, I still open the door for her, I still say in my mind that she is ok and alive. Just away on a vacation and that she might be coming home any day now. But she doesn’t. She doesn’t drink the tea, she doesn’t walk through the doors I open for her, she isn’t ok and alive. And she won’t be coming home. But I can’t stop hoping that she will.
As I leave my house for school, I hold the door open, remember that she is dead, and close it, wiping a tear from my eye. We had all of our classes together, and we sat together in every class, so every so often, I forget that she isn’t there, and I talk to the empty seat next to me. My best friend thinks I’m crazy, but he understands that I’m just not used to being alone. My girlfriend broke up with me, she says that after my sister’s death that I’ve been to depressed to talk, emote, or be alive myself. Doesn’t she know that I’ve considered it? I just cannot live without my sister by my side the entire way! What did she know that caused her to die? What could possibly be that horrific? Why did she leave me forever?
My friend Michael and I were walking to my house and I opened the door for three seconds too long. He realized it and said “She isn’t coming, Jason. Let it go.”
“I can’t! Her last words ever were ‘You don’t know what I know.’ What did she know?! How could it possibly be that bad?! If that happened to your sister, how would you feel?!” I screamed at my friend.
“I don’t have a sister, dude.” He said, laughing. I looked at him with a look of hatred.
“Get out.” I say, my voice wavering. He doesn’t move and I scream at him “Get out!” That scares him and he jumps up and runs out of the room. I start sobbing and I hate how my life is. I don’t need people like him making it worse. I get up and lock the door.
Joey, my best friend, calls and says “Dude, quiet down. You are going to wake Kylie. Want me to bring over some soda and my GameBox?”
I nod and even though he can’t see me, he says “Be right over.” I smile because he knows me so well, even though I still have tears flowing like rivers.
Five minutes later, he climbs through my window. His family’s fire escape connects to mine. He has a 2-liter bottle of soda, his GameBox, a bottle of cola, and a pack of mints. I have to say, if it weren’t for Joey, I would end up like So- sorry, I still can’t say her name. We dried the bottle of soda in about 30 minutes, played Race Mania for about two hours and then went to the park. Joey made me change out of my soda-and-tear stained tee shirt, so I just pulled a sweatshirt on. We dropped the mints into the coke bottle and closed the cap. Then we shook it as we walked down three flights of stairs and about five blocks later, it was rock hard and almost about to explode. Joey found the perfect cola bomb spot a year ago, and yesterday we found a group of campers there. Today they were gone, but all of our bomb remains were gone. Time to start over, I guess. I climbed up into a tree and Joey tossed the bottle up to me. He ran and ducked for cover underneath the picnic table and called up to me “Hey! I found a marshmallow!”
“Don’t eat it!” I yell back down at him.
“Dude, that’s gross. I am not eating a raw marshmallow!” He says, laughing.
I chuckle at his stupidity and chuck the bomb at the ground. I get splashed with cola and he gets drenched. I did aim for him. I laugh and almost fall out of the tree. He walks up and pushes me off the rest of the way. The tree isn’t that tall. I fall and land on my back, and I am laughing so hard, that I start hacking like crazy. He laughs at me and helps me up. I notice a mud pit behind him and I push him into it. He pulls me with him. Pretty soon we are both covered in mud and crying with laughter.
I walk home with Joey, flicking mud at him, and him flicking mud at me. I haven’t felt this good since, well, before she died. With that, I become sad again, and I cry for a different reason. Joey realizes it, and he hurries up into our building. We don’t use the stairs and we part with a silent good bye. I head into my bathroom and take off my shirt. I wash off my face, and I realize that I just ruined a white washcloth. I wash my change my clothes and wash the mud off of my arms and legs. Then I put my clothes into the washing machine and I realize that I never took out her clothes from the dryer.
I call my mom and ask her to do it, because I just can’t bear to see anything she left me with. Mom comes over and folds her clothes silently. The whole time I’m sitting on my couch, staring at the wall, and the tears keep on flowing. When mom is done, she walks over to me and sits down. We cry together, and I need to go buy some more tissues, to make it worse. I have used about 20 boxes since that day, and the cashier now thinks that I’m crazy. I say that we had a recent death, and she asks who. I tell her that it was my twin, and she is silent every time I walk into the store. She has given me coupons for buy one get one free on tissue boxes.
My dad doesn’t look at me much anymore, and mom says that he says it’s because I remind him too much of her. My eyes, my hair, my smile. But I haven’t smiled much.
The next day I walk to school, and I pass the cashier. I didn’t know she went to my school. I see her again in math. Sitting where she sat. Cashier-girl must be new. But why that spot? She notices me staring at her and she says “Hey, have you used that coupon yet?”
“No.” I reply. “Would you mind not sitting there?”
“Why?” Cashier-girl asks. Then I guess she remembered why I needed those coupons. “I’ll move.”
“Actually, it’s ok. That’s just, where my twin sat.” I say, looking down. She gathers her stuff anyway and moves into the seat in front of me. Later in class, we have to have partners, and cashier-girl and I get paired.
“The answer to number…” I say, using my old habit of twin-talk.
“Number what? Oh by the way, I’m Sofia.” She says, not looking up from her paper. Everyone else looks at her and looks at my reaction.
My heart starts pounding and I start crying. “I have… I have to go.” I get up and walk out of the room. The teacher catches my eye and says nothing.
Joey leans back in his chair and says “You shouldn’t have said that.”
“Why?” A look of horror spreads across her face. “His twin… was a girl? I thought it was a brother. Her name was Sofia, isn’t it?”
“Yep.” Joey says, nodding his head. Cashier-girl gets up and runs after me.
She finds me in the hallway sobbing. “I am so sorry! I didn’t know. I swear. Please, don’t be mad. I’m really sorry.” She is shaking and looks really sad.
“I’m not mad. I just miss her so much.” I say. She opens her arms and I accept her hug. We stand there, me crying for her, and cashier-girl crying for me. I know her name, but I don’t want to say it. “She… she was unstable.” I say quietly.
“What?” Cashier-girl says. She looks up at me and she realizes who I am talking about.
“She was born way smaller than me. Her head was not at the right angle. It must have affected a nerve or whatever, because she grew up being a little mentally unstable. She would make up stories in her mind, and she typed them so the doctors could see them. I read them all. They were all normal. Until our 15th birthday. Then they became darker. I guess her last story was too much. She never finished writing it. I just don’t understand it! I have read it countless times; I know it word for word. I know the whole story. It ends so soon! Was it just her mind, or real life? I was in it. In her place, almost. I was close to death. I am just, really scared. What if she killed herself because I am about to die?” I say.
Cashier-girl says nothing and just looks at me. “I won’t let that happen.”
“I haven’t told that story to anyone. My parents don’t know about her last mind story. Joey just knows that she was a little unstable. He didn’t even know that she wrote those. I think I want to tell you the whole story of before she died.” I say.

“You don’t have to do this Sofia!” I said, looking at my twin sister longingly.
“Yes, Jason, I do.” She said, looking at me with sorrow in her eyes. “You don’t know what I know.” Sofia says. “Read my last story. It will give you all the clues. I love you.”
“It doesn’t have to be like this! Please!” I say, running up to her. I grab her wrist and pull her inside. Her force of pulling away from me while she was sitting on the window is what caused her to fall. It’s all my fault. If I hadn’t pulled her in, she would have given me more clues about why she died. On her way down she said ‘Third paragraph!’ and she hit the ground.” I say, shaking. “If I hadn’t pulled her in, she wouldn’t have died, too. She has done this before! She has gotten upset and tried to drown herself, but never did. She almost cut herself on an important vein, but I persuaded her not to. I have been the one keeping her safe, and I killed her. I killed Sofia.”
Cashier-girl looked at me with sorrow. “I’m sure you didn’t.”
“I did! It’s all my fault!” I say. I run away, and I storm out of school. Cashier girl follows me. I run all the way to my house. I climb up the stairs to my apartment, and slam the door open. Cashier-girl called 911 and was yelling into the phone where we were and to get here fast because I was suicidal at the moment. And I am. I am going to jump. I can’t live with killing my sister.
“Please! Think of how you feel, imagine your mom and dad and little sister, and Joey and me feeling like that.” She yells at me. She knows that I don’t want anyone to feel the way I do right now. “Your parents feel bad enough. They don’t want another death.”
My mom comes out of her apartment and sees me in the hallway, sobbing and breathing heavily. “Please, help me!” Cashier-girl says to my mom.
“Jason, honey, please, don’t do this.” My mom begs me. I run over to the window and throw it open. I see policemen below me, and they are setting up nets at all accessible windows, so I don’t die. I hear many feet running up the stairs, and they are screaming at me and the people in their way. The first cop shows up and realizes that my friends are all keeping me up on the third floor apartment, in the living room, breathing and moving. He holds back the rest of the cops and tells them to just go downstairs. My mom calls the school and tells them that we need Joey. Now.
“Please. Sofia may have fallen, but it isn’t your fault. You were trying to keep her safe.” Cashier-girl says, calmly. I am vaguely aware that she is trying to help, but I am not registering it. I have gone completely blank.
My mind is numb, my hands are numb, and I am numb. I was sitting on the window sill when I became numb all over. My mom realized that I am going to fall. She screams and rushes forward, but it is too late. I am already falling. I look down and I see the ground rushing up towards me. I see the net meant to catch me and I turn and look up at my mom and cashier-girl one last time.
Cashier-girl is screaming, and I feel a tear fall onto my face. It is hers. I wake up just in time for me to feel the impact of the net on my back and head. I know that I am alive, but since I am not moving, no one else knows. Cashier-girl pulls her head through the window and so does my mom. I try to get up, but my legs and one arm aren’t responding. I move the arm I can move, and pain shoots throughout my body. I croak out “Help.”
The cops hear and pull my limp body off of the net. It hurts like crazy, but I say nothing as they strap me onto the stretcher. Cashier-girl is wailing and so is my mom as they drive away with me in the ambulance.
“I’m ok. Trust me.” I say as the doctors do tests on me. They ask me to move the fingers on my right hand, and I can, but I can’t move my left hand at all. Same with both my legs. We arrive at the hospital and I get pulled into the x-ray room. I get a couple body shots, head shots, and just about everything shots.
What seemed like forever later, the doctor comes in and says that I broke my back in the fall, and that there is no hope for my legs, but my left arm will heal within a year. With that news, my mom cries louder and cashier-girl, I mean, Sofia, holds my left hand and squeezes it. I can see that, but not feel it. I smile at her, and try to squeeze back, but I can tell, she feels nothing. But the look on her face tells me that she knows I tried, because I squeezed my right hand.
A year has passed now, and my left hand works, and I am in a wheel chair. Joey and Sofia still treat me like I was, and my parents have moved me and my apartment to the first floor. So I could actually get to my apartment, and so that I can’t jump again. They let Kylie live with me, also. I drive her to school, and then I swing around and drive to high school. Sofia and I are still going out and we are happy together. I still miss my sister, but I will just have to live with the pain. What is done is done. It can’t be undone.
Cashier-girl/Sofia
It started that first day he came into the store. He just walked in, picked up a couple boxes of tissues, paid for them, and left. That happened more and more, every day for about a week. Each day, he became more and more sunk and depressed.
“Hello, again.” I say.
“Hey.” He says back, putting the boxes on the conveyer belt.
“That is the usual $5.98. Why do you need all of these tissues?” I ask, putting the tissues into the bag.
“Recent death.”
“Oh. Who?” I ask, realizing that what I said might be a little rude.
“My twin.” He says, and I see him wipe a tear from his eye. He grabs the bag from my hand and leaves.
“Oh.” And he was the only customer to come into my lane.
I leave work an hour later, still thinking about the mysterious boy who lost his twin. I never got his name, but I am pretty sure that by his reaction, it was a brother. I get into my car and drive home.
In my room I lie on my back and think about the boy. My little brother comes pounding in with my little sister, and my older younger brother and my older younger sister. I’m basically the oldest of five. There is Kelly, the youngest, then Liam, then Hailee, then Michael, then me. Nice, right?
And of course, my room is the one that gets trampled the most. I have given up on keeping it neat.
“SOFIA!! SOFIA IS BASE!” Liam screams. Kelly, Liam, and Michael all tackle me.
“Not fair! I’m always it! Sofia! Make it stop!” Hailee says, and she starts crying, but I know it’s fake.
“Get out of my room! Ow! Hair, hair! Let go!” I say, pushing little kids and hands away from my body. Michael gets tagged before he has a chance to touch my arm and Hailee runs screaming from me and my room. Michael follows her, and so do Kelly and Liam. I close and lock my door, but since the lock is broken, Michael and Hailee can still get in. I hear Liam cry because he got tagged and I shove a chair under my door.
“No bases!” I yell.
The next day, I am driving everyone to school. I drop off Kelly and Liam at their elementary school, then Hailee at her middle school, and Liam comes with me to high school, He gets dropped off at the freshman door, and I continue to the junior door. I walk down the hallways, and bump into mystery boy. He looks surprised; I guess he didn’t know that I was going to this school. He looks at me, and walks away.
In math class, I see him and sit next to him in the empty seat.
“Hey, have you used that coupon yet?” I say
“No.” he replies. “Would you mind not sitting there?”
“Why?” I ask. Then I realize that this must be where his twin sat. “I’ll move.”
“Actually, it’s ok. That’s just, where my twin sat,” he says, looking down. I pick up mu stuff and move into the seat in front of him. Later, I get paired to him.
“The answer to number…” He says, quietly.
“Number what?” I ask. “By the way, I’m Sofia.” I say, trying to figure out what he meant by the answer to number…
I feel every eye on me and he gets up and mutters under his breath “I have to go.” A boy leans over to me and says “You shouldn’t have said that.”
“Why?” and then I realize why. “His twin… was a girl? I thought it was a brother. Her name was Sofia, isn’t it?”
“Yep.” The boy says to me, and I run out of the room.
I find him in the hallway crying quietly. “I am so sorry! I didn’t know. I swear. Please, don’t be mad. I’m really sorry.” I say, shaking with fear that he will be really mad at me.
“I’m not mad. I just miss her so much.” Jason says. I learned his name in math. I open my arms for a hug and he accepts it. We stand there, and he is crying for his sister, and I am crying for him.
“She… she was unstable.” Jason says, through tears.
“What?” I say. I look up at him and realize he is talking about his sister.
“She was born way smaller than me. Her head was not at the right angle. It must have affected a nerve or whatever, because she grew up being a little mentally unstable. She would make up stories in her mind, and she typed them so the doctors could see them. I read them all. They were all normal. Until our 15th birthday. Then they became darker. I guess her last story was too much. She never finished writing it. I just don’t understand it! I have read it countless times; I know it word for word. I know the whole story. It ends so soon! Was it just her mind, or real life? I was in it. In her place, almost. I was close to death. I am just, really scared. What if she killed herself because I am about to die?” Jason says.
I am quiet for a little bit and then say “I won’t let that happen.”
“I haven’t told that story to anyone. My parents don’t know about her last mind story. Joey just knows that she was a little unstable. He didn’t even know that she wrote those. I think I want to tell you the whole story of before she died.” He says.
He then tells me what he said to his sister. This is all what he says:
“You don’t have to do this Sofia!” I said, looking at my twin sister longingly.
“Yes, Jason, I do.” She said, looking at me with sorrow in her eyes. “You don’t know what I know.” Sofia says. “Read my last story. It will give you all the clues. I love you.”
“It doesn’t have to be like this! Please!” I say, running up to her. I grab her wrist and pull her inside. Her force of pulling away from me while she was sitting on the window is what caused her to fall. It’s all my fault. If I hadn’t pulled her in, she would have given me more clues about why she died. On her way down she said ‘Third paragraph!’ and she hit the ground.” I say, shaking. “If I hadn’t pulled her in, she wouldn’t have died, too. She has done this before! She has gotten upset and tried to drown herself, but never did. She almost cut herself on an important vein, but I persuaded her not to. I have been the one keeping her safe, and I killed her. I killed Sofia.”
I look at him again. “I’m sure you didn’t.”
“I did! It’s all my fault!” he says. He pushes past me and runs out of the school. I follow him and we get to an apartment building. He climbs up to the first floor, and I realize it is his home. I pull out my phone and call the cops.
“Please! He- He is being suicidal! Come fast!” I scream at the person I’m talking to. I hang up, realizing that he is going to jump.
“Please! Think of how you feel, imagine your mom and dad and little sister, and Joey and me feeling like that.” I yell at him. I know he doesn’t want anyone to feel like he is. “Your parents feel bad enough. They don’t want another death.”
A woman comes out of the apartment next door with a little girl on her hip. I realize that this must be his mom and little sister. “Jason, honey, please, don’t do this.” She says.
Jason runs over to the window and I hear cops coming up the stairs. A cop comes into the room and holds off the other cops, realizing that we are what is keeping Jason alive right now.
“Please. Sofia may have fallen, but it isn’t your fault. You were trying to keep her safe.” I say calmly, trying to get Jason away from the window. Then I realize that he has gone limp. Very limp. And then he falls. I rush forward and so is his mom. We put our heads through the window, and I feel a tear fall from my face. Jason’s little sister is wailing behind us and it is matching out sound. Right before Jason hits the net, his face lights up a little bit, and he hits the net, hard. I run down the stairs three at a time and Jason’s mom is right behind me. His little sister is being carried on the hip of the police officer who is a couple steps ahead of us.
By the time we get down to the bottom, Jason’s limp body is getting pulled off of the net. He gets strapped to a stretcher, and his mom, sister, and I get into the truck with him.
“I’m ok. Trust me.” He says, but he can’t move his left hand or either of his legs. I squeeze his left hand, and he tries to squeeze back, but he squeezes his right hand instead. I laugh a little and don’t let go of him until I have to. Even then, I am still right by his side.
A year has passed from his incident, and Jason is in a wheel chair. He still gets sad about Sofia, his sister, but Jason has learned to cope with it a little better than he had. Joey, the boy who whispered to me the day of the incident, and I treat Jason like we did before he was in his wheelchair, but a little more careful, after the doctors told us that he is still traumatized with watching his sister die when he could have stopped it.

Jason and Sofia, now
We are both out of college and are very happy together. Jason proposed a month ago, and we are planning for our wedding which is in July. He is still coping with the incident and his sister, but she knows what to do so I don’t over react again. Kylie is now in middle school, and Michael is a junior in college, Hailee is a freshman in high school, Liam is in middle school with Kylie and Kelly in in her first year of middle school herself. We have chosen a good life, and we thank everyone for reading our story. Oh and one more thing. Huh? There is a little one coming soon. What? Yep! We are… adopting a baby! We are? Since when? Oops, forgot to tell you. See you soon with more info on our lives, and possibly our son or daughter’s stories. Bye! See you all soon!




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