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It’s a funny thing, life. It’s always changing and giving you curve balls that you just have to deal with. At times it doesn’t seem fair, more often than not in fact. But perhaps the funniest thing about life is that you can never see it coming, life often happens to you while you’re busy making plans for yourself.

I found myself sitting on my father’s living room couch, surrounded by all the dark tones decorating the room. The light spilling in from the window was a soft relief from all the darkness that seemed to be building up in the room. It was strange to think that in a room titled ‘living’ that you felt anything but. It was suffocating, the darkness, choking you and stifling your voice. I couldn’t believe that I was here, after all the times that I had vowed, practically taken a blood oath, not to return again. But here I was, sitting on the couch staring outside and longing for home.

It was then that my father brought out my new baby sister, the one that I didn’t care to get to know and the one that I certainly didn’t want. She looked silly with her bundles of hair sticking out of her head in a sort of messy Mohawk. It was then I remembered realizing that we were nothing a like. Her and I weren’t two sides of the same coin; rather I was a dollar bill and she the quarter round and smooth while I was crinkled and slightly messy. Even though she was just a few weeks old I could tell that we wouldn’t be getting along. She could do no wrong, a fleeting thought pressed through my head.

“Why don’t you hold her?” my father offered her down to me, like he was presenting a sacrifice to an ancient god, his head bowed and arms stretched forth. I tried to shrug off the feelings of obligation, that I should hold her. She was my sister, my father’s child and I should want to hold her.

“I don’t know about that. I like to look not touch.” I started to stand up, to avoid the feeling of being held captive against my will, but he forced her into my arms and I plopped back into the couch. The cushions squeezed against me, gripping onto my legs and willed me to stay.

I looked down at her, her eyes just tiny slits of sight and her lips a beautiful heart shape. She looked so innocent, guilt rolled in my stomach for not wanting her. If she ever found out what I had thought I would never be able to make it up to her, I would forever be the envious monster that claimed to be her sister. It was then that my twin sister walked into the living room from an adjacent room with the phone clutched tightly in her hand. Her face was pale, at least paler than usual, and she glanced over at me, sitting there gazing at the baby we both hated.

“Ok, thanks. Please keep us updated.” Her voice trembled and wilted away. She clasped the phone shut and walked over to where I was seated. “Grandpa’s had a stroke.” It was barely above a whisper.

My first thought was mixed with confusion as it swept through my body. I didn’t understand, this was the stuff that happened to other people, not me. Then pain and anger flushed through my system, irrational and juvenile. My arms seemed to shake, as my baby sister lay cradled in them. And suddenly she seemed so heavy, this new life resting by me. Was Grandpa the payment for her life to continue? Even as the thought occurred I knew it was stupid and illogical, but in that moment I truly believed it.

“Is he okay?” I dared ask the question that had been plaguing my tongue since the news.

“No,”

Life is funny. One second you feel as if you’re flying, dancing on the clouds and then next you’re drowning doing anything to keep your head above the water, but in the end it claims you.

“Let’s go.”





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