Let Me Go First

February 18, 2012
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A Letter to my Twin Sister

Dear Hale,
My mom once told me that all anyone ever wants in life is to be known. She said that if even one person truly knows you, down to the core of your being, you have lived. Some people spend their entire lives looking for that one person who will understand and accept them, but I was born with mine. Being a twin is my identity, and I know you could say the exact same thing.
I know you hear me when I cry myself to sleep. I know you lie there in your bed, annoyed because I won't tell you why I'm crying. Maybe you think I'm being dramatic. Maybe you think it is about Mom and Dad or the divorce or being practically homeless or not being good enough, but you are wrong. Sometimes when I lie in bed at night in the darkness, my mind travels to the 'what-if’s. What if we live with mom, what if we live with dad, what if we are stuck living four in one room for even longer than we expect? Somehow, no matter what I'm thinking about, my mind lands on 'what if I died'?
That is why I'm crying, because in order to imagine what would happen if I died, I have to think about what would happen if you died. What if I had to go to school and feel everyone's eyes on me, hear their apologies, see their sympathy? What if I had no one to sit up late with talking about little things? What would it be like to see you lying in a coffin, smelling like flowers that remind me of funerals and death? What if you were no longer there to laugh with, to cry with, to harmonize with, and to live every day with? What would I do? Every time I think about it, I come up with the same answer: I would want to die too. I cry because if I was gone, I know how you would feel. If I died, you would want to die too. We were born 14 minutes apart, but that's the longest we've spent away from each other. To think of what it would be like is unbearable. If I can't spend the rest of my life with you, I won't spend it at all. I write this because I know you are stronger than me, so I want to ask you, selfishly and absurdly, to please let me go first. I would not be able to live without you. You're stronger than me, and I need you too much. Please never leave me alone; I can't face the world without you by my side. It is all I can ask of you.
Love your twin sister and best friend,

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