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27 January 2006 @ 10:58 pm
teddy bears on a moonbeam  
~




Most of the time I feel like I fit in here. Then there are glimpses of the life that I ran away from. And these come when people look at me a little strangely, like I don't quite belong.

Everyone here knows that I'm not really her sister. They don't know exactly why but they know that we are not related by blood, only in that magical legal way. As if a piece of paper can make you part of the family. Derek knows I'm not a real sister, not like her. It doesn't really matter because I've never seen him as my brother. He's been the little kid that lives in his room down the hall, spoiled with video games and remote control helicopters. I've never paid much attention to him to be honest. And for some reason that doesn't bother me because he's not really my brother after all.

We still share a room, her and I. A bed even. It's a big bed, and it really makes no sense why we sleep in the same bed. It's not like this big house is lacking for space. Any number of rooms could be converted in the blink of an eye with the $50,000 blessing of this year's hottest interior designer. So, I stay with her; everyday trampling over the same teddy bear rug that I saw the very first time I ran into this room. The two bears are still cuddled together in the spoon of the crescent moon. She ignores it now. She used to sit awake and tell me stories about the bears. But that was back when we felt like twins, ripped apart from birth, finally meeting again. We acted like twins. We bonded that day I ran away, screaming and terrified, and she took me to her own hideaway, packed full of granola bars, juice boxes and other supplies for when she ran away.

She never did run away. Eventually we became too big to fit through the small opening. We couldn't squeeze into that hidden realm anymore. The supplies must have become food for the raccoons, squirrels and mice. When I came along, I guess she didn't feel like she had to run away anymore because it was never really running away from something. Just towards. We used to giggle about how were really were blood twins, separated in the hospital and given to different homes. We ignored the fact we looked nothing alike and that there was a home video of her birth that the person I now call "Dad" made us watch once. We could only watch it once. It was too painfully real to watch again - just one of us being born. Just one. It made my heart ache. He only did it because he was tired of seeing us so giddy about the possibilities and listening to her gush during dinnertime conversation. I remember glancing over at her face while we watched. She had the same painful expression etched on her young skin that I felt carved into my heart. She cried until Dad turned it off. I didn't cry.

We still pretended after that, but it never was the same. When you're 11 you know that something like a dream has no more basis in reality no matter how much you believe it.

I don't remember why I ran away. I just remember running as fast as I could. I could feel them behind me, chasing, breathing heavily, screaming at me to stop as my mother's voice breaks. I felt as if I was prey, still their child, but hunted all the same. Choking and terrified, I remember stumbling into this house, blindly running upstairs, as far away from the pain as I could. Then I met her and she showed me were she hid. I followed and cowered beside her. Her blue dress crinkled as she pulled her legs up underneath her. She offered me a granola bar and we ate in silence, ever alert for the thumping footfalls of my enraged parents.

I don't remember the in-between. How suddenly I was living there. It didn't make sense at the time. It still doesn't now. It is almost as if I left that other life like a snake sheds its skin in the sunlight.

I don't remember how I came to be sitting at this basketball game, trying to pay attention to Derek fumbling the ball in his awkward 14-year-old hands. She sits beside me, her parents - my parents - on her other side. They all seem entranced by the play. I glance around, catching my attention on familiar faces peering down at the same game. I recognize them right away even though they're much older, and much sadder. They sit with a young girl around Derek's age. I realize I have a sister; a blood sister. I can't tell who they're watching, whether they're here for their own son or another daughter. Even when my real father looks directly at me, I can't rip my stare away from his gray eyes. I study the weathered wrinkles adorning his face. He looks through me; I am a stranger. He seems sad. My mother looks around, glancing at the fellow sports fans, but she doesn't look like she really cares. She's searching. Her gaze, devasted and hollow, sweeps across me without a moment's hesitation. I am invisible to them. She returns her focus to the game; a dull aches rumbles in my chest as I wonder if they are looking for me and never see me.

A whisper floats above the din of the highschool crowd. "We were never angry with you."

I look quickly around, trying to figure out who said it. It had to be near me. They, my real parents, are looking over again in my direction, their expressions blank. Still they don't see me. They see my fake Dad put his arm around my fake sister for a moment. A flicker passes and dies in their eyes. I want to stand and announce that they are looking for me, and that they've found me but my voice dies in my throat, a constricting pain tightening more and more. It hurts to speak now. My chest heaves with the effort as mud fills my lungs, earthy and rotten-smelling. My coughing is overwhelmed by applause.

The game continues. The ball slaps against polished wooden floorboards, rythmically in time with the furious pumping of the blood in my veins. A gasp is lost somewhere between my lungs and my lips as the ball swishes perfectly through the hoop. I attempt to scream for help but I am drowned out by the roar of the pleased and excited crowd. The players crush into each other in celebration as my heart clenches, excruciatingly painful. The scoreboard siren sings.

And still, above all this, I can only hear, "We were never angry with you."





confused? go down the rabbit hole.
 
 
tunes: death cab for cutie - brothers on a hotel bed
 
 
 
an idea is bulletproof: know it all VMelizalavelle on January 28th, 2006 06:06 am (UTC)
ummmmm

clearly you are an awesome writer.

:)
Béibhinn Mór-Ríoghain: [alona] *squee!*doreah on January 29th, 2006 07:03 am (UTC)
Aw. Thank you :) It means a lot.
Lu: msangellu on January 28th, 2006 10:02 am (UTC)
This is amazing Jo. You write so beautifully.
Béibhinn Mór-Ríoghain: [meg] kinda blushingdoreah on January 29th, 2006 07:04 am (UTC)
Thank you very much. It was a test of my ability to write original stuff instead of fanfic all the time ;)
kit_kat85kit_kat85 on January 28th, 2006 05:06 pm (UTC)
that was really good, i really enjoyed it =)
Béibhinn Mór-Ríoghaindoreah on January 29th, 2006 07:05 am (UTC)
Aw! Thanks so much :)