Monday, May 07, 2007

GBA(s)FC (Growth) Entry #22

All my life, I have felt her presence. Waking in the morning, last thing at night, I feel her with me. Her breath, her warmth, her cries.

Missing her feels like amputation, like the other half of my soul is gone.

I loved her with all my heart, and she loved me with hers. We dwelled in perfect happiness together. Until we didn't.

I tried to tell Mother about it once, and she said that everyone feels like that, that life is lonely and I'd better get used to it.

But I don't think other people feel as if they have been cut in two or are missing a major organ.

Last summer I was 12, swimming at the lake. The cutest boy in school smiled at me and held my hand as we swam beneath the surface, diving for pennies.

He asked me what the scar was from, the long scar on my back that I had never seen. I couldn't tell him. He traced it with his fingers. It felt so good.

I asked Mother about the scar. Her face got stiff, the way it does when I ask her things she doesn't want to answer, like questions about sex. She doesn't think I'm old enough to know about babies, but I'm too old to believe in storks. I know my questions scare her.

She cleared her throat a bunch of times and took my hand. She said I had a sister, a twin, who was attached to me when we were born. She said that we were conjoined. We were back to back, exactly alike in every way.

She had my eyes, my nose, my hair and ears, exactly. She was my other half.

The doctors said we both would die if they didn't separate us. Mother and Daddy didn't want us to die. Only one of us could live, and I was the stronger baby.

They all agreed to kill my sister to save my life.

We were eleven months old. My sister, my twin with my eyes, my nose, my hair and ears, died so I could live.

I murdered my own sister.

It isn't fair that I got to live instead of her.

Sometimes I wonder if she hates me, but I don't think so. I think she's waiting for me to live my life and die so we can be together again. She must be so lonely.

Mother says that I must live for both of us now, that my sister would want me to be happy. She is sure that my happiness will make my sister happy, too.

But I am not so sure that she is right.

How can I live my life when she didn't get to have hers?

It would be so easy. I could swim in the lake until l was too tired to swim anymore, and then I would be with my sister again. The other half of my soul.

I would feel her with me forever. Her breath, her warmth, her cries.


Unknown said...

It takes a couple of paragraphs before the voice of your narrator really shines through, revealing youth and naivety. The short paragraphs and sentences really create a sense of moving from one understanding to another. Well done.

Beth said...

Wow, what an original take on "growth." I've never much thought anything about conjoined twins ... until now.

briliantdonkey said...

VEry interesting take on the whole idea of 'survivor's guilt'. Taken to a whole new level in fact.

:::Missing her feels like amputation, like the other half of my soul is gone::::

I really like the way this comes off as a figure of speech in the beginning, and turns more or less literal by the end.

Great job.


Anonymous said...

simple and poignant to the soul. very well-written.

Wisewebwoman said...

the missing piece of the soul always calling, finally answered.
Well done.

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

I liked the figurative becoming the literal as well. Great job!

Anonymous said...

You described this cutting, haunting pain very well! The character is nicely constructed.

Anonymous said...

This is lovely, really beautiful. Something attractive within loss and the cutting away. I loved the factual telling of the story with the deep sense of loss, deep sense of being.

Absolutely adored the boy tracing the scar with his fingers when they were 12 - "It felt so good."

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

Just wanted you to know that this got one of my votes; I adored it.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Thank you all for your kind remarks. I really appreciate them.

Congratulations to Sognatrice and Jason on your excellent stories, which I enjoyed so much.

And thank you, Sognatrice, for your vote. It means a great deal.