It only took a few short moments, a brief silence. Suddenly my world was turned sideways, oxygen never existed, and I had a few seconds to comprehend what had just happened. A insufficient amount of time to go back and think about all the coincidences that lead to this moment. A minute bombarded by seconds to think to myself of how I changed all due to my sister’s plans. Her description of that night left me feeling misshapen and bare. I could not stand to hear anything from her, my sister, because it felt as though these words had coiled around my throat, squeezing, leaving bruises. The words squeezed so tight that a black haze covered my mind. The whirring of a car engine fast forwarding us onto our favorite driving routes had faded into the background; bringing back the cold chill of concrete, the violent pounding of my mind trying to keep up with all the things that kept racing past me. In that time I felt as though I was on a mountain, in the distance, watching all those around me continue on. And I was at a stand still, a witness to everything shifting and crumbling down around me, I could do nothing but watch the horror unfold; space and time where no longer a factor. I had lead myself to believe that I always understood others. That I was accepting of others, and somehow I never gave much thought to my sister. I am not sure where it all started, but you could say I should have realised something was wrong when she shut us out, unwelcoming was her nature, and isolation was her bliss. She forged a wall between us and herself, and yet I was ignorant and blamed her volatile behavior on her age. As time went on and I became older, I began to realize just how distant my sister was to society. It had occurred to me what we had all done to her mind; tearing it apart, ravaging its foundation and crushing its structure. Leaving only her to pick it all up and put it back together, with nothing but small frail hands. Imagine the mind as a sanctuary meant to house our desires, and safely hold our hopes and dreams, to protect us from the harsh reality that is a world shattering existence. Over time her mind became a mangled shelter, consumed by anxiety and depression; turning her once tranquil sanctuary into a shelter left to rot and crumble.
We had formed a bond like any other within a length of time, I felt I knew who my sister was and didn’t entertain the idea that she was only showing me a facade. Wearing a mask of joy and composure. There was always something my sister had a talent for; writing. Word after word, sentence after sentence, stories filling the pages pouring off the paper and flooding the room. However, her strong words on paper were always unsettling, giving me strong shivers of worry and concern. You could taste her pain when she wrote. Feel it inching it’s way up your body, sticking to you like a cape that had an extra love for gravity. Slightly choking you as it clung to your neck. Still no one, but me, seemed perplexed by the strong emotions in her writing. Then gradually I began to notice the dullness in her tone, her weary smile starting to fall apart. I looked past her artillery of jokes and forced laughter, and knew I had been wrong about everything. I looked past all of it and could see stains covering the walls, and broken windows painted the floor with jagged shadows. The door was made of a heavy muffled material that silenced even the loudest of knocks. Each room was cold and empty, she survived alone. I was to naive to think that she would be okay, to benighted to know what to do to help her, so I should not have been surprised when I received a text message with one sentence, nineteen words, and my mind was sent flying out somewhere into space, with no ability to give my body direction. “ I love you and I am so sorry that I couldn’t be better, tell mom and dad I’m sorry”, I was up and running before I knew it, my feet leaking blood and confusion onto the cold pavement as I ran from my house to my sister’s apartment. My mind still a blank as my feet propelled me forward, leaving behind any rationality. With pieces of memory gone and my mind to over flowed with adrenaline to focus, I pounded and screamed, any regard for others left my consciousness, yet no response. My heartbeat spiked and I was trying to break down the only thing protecting me from the horrendous monster that had taken over my bestfriend, my sister, my soulmate. Someone I didn’t know was on the other side of the door and said “It’s too late”, and in that moment my feet went cold, and I forgot how to breath. My feet still had their own agenda, back tracking home, my body was a hundred and thirty-two pounds of disbelief. I was unsure if my brain had any useful amount of oxygen to use or not, because I thought I was dreaming a nightmare that my body forgot to wake me from. I didn’t know that my sister was fighting an unseen war, she was fighting to keep her mind from falling apart, and in this instance she was losing, and I was sinking in a dark hole of unfathomable truth, with no one to pull me back up. Before I realise it, I’m on my bed and trying to understand how I can not wake up from this horrific hell my mind had decided to make up.
Twenty moments of dead silence pass, my dad walks in with a face I will never forget and a tone that only the devil could have made himself, describing to me all the things that had gone wrong. I feel his words slice through every vertebrae in my body and my mind tumbled down a mountain, crashing into me. Feeling pins and needles in my limbs I realize that this was very much not a dream. I felt like someone was robbing her of her sanity; I handed them a gun and walked away. The truth was swallowing me whole and I was abandoned, left alone to think about my absolute hopelessness. How my sister’s mind was a constant terrorizer to herself. While my parents sped to the hospital, I sat in disbelief, frozen in place, holding my breath waiting for the immense pressure that squeezed my body to release me, but it never happened. Not until my oldest sister walked in with tear soaked clothes and a voice that sounded unsure of what tone to carry, asking if I was okay, and I could tell by her face that she already had her answer. She held me as if my limbs had been sewn on and finally after so many years of neglect did the stitches begin to become undone. It was as if she wanted to carry all of me, hold everything together for me. As we get to the hospital I wanted so desperately to cry, my body had gone through all the motions of crying, but no tears. I had been taken in by the truth, but it had not yet filled my pores or concave my body and bones into themselves, not until I found my family, at the mercy of the words coming from a man in a white coat. She was sick and there was nothing we could do. Within a span of seconds my legs shattered, the truth had made its way into my lungs and like black tar hardened my air way, a waterfall had found its way out of my head, violent tears burried my eyelashes and distorted the light. My spine felt flimsy, my elbows and knees felt hollow and my stomach was a knot of disgust. I cried until my body was dehydrated, and all I could do was sit there and think, about all the things I would have done differently, will do differently.
I felt a change spark within me, I never knew what it was like to be in pain they way she was, but I never wanted to let someone else go through that either. I wanted to be understanding of others, to be someone they could confide in. Spilling emotions with words, I wanted people to feel safe to trust me with heavy burdens, their utmost private thoughts, and to never feel judged or scrutinized. This memory of mine, as sad as it may be, is my keepsake of who I have become.