Sara, the little sister
This is another post which comes to us anonymously, for reasons which are rather obvious. The masochist in me would love to spend some time at Sara and Jake’s family reunions. I can imagine them being something like Dupree family gatherings – that is, if I ever went to them.
I first heard Sara’s voice around 2:00pm on January 1, 2000. I had finally fallen asleep after a Y2K New Year’s party that was all too played out – 99 lines of coke, 99 shots of Wild Turkey, and 99 of our favorite songs until well past the countdown, seeing as the world didn’t implode on itself.
Sleep had been a distant wet dream. When it finally fell upon me in the afternoon I heard the shrills of my boyfriend’s little sister and her friends. They came like a bee sting to the brain. For an hour I contemplated getting up and closing the door two feet from Jake’s bed or cutting off my ears with the pocket knife he had on his belt. When the decision came to close the door Sara was showing her friends out.
I laid in bed and listened as Sara unsuccessfully tip-toed around beer cans and plastic cups. Listened to her sit on what had to have been the spot on the couch where our friend Mike had puked the night before. Listened to her curse Jake for being a dick. I laid there missing my own brother, and it may have been that unconditional love I knew she possessed, or that she turned on my favorite Howard Hawk’s movie, but Jake’s snores and dank breath became everything I needed to leave and Sara’s face became everything I needed to see.
She looked nothing like Jake. And I was convinced by the first sight of her innocent beauty that I needed her to be a better person. And once she opened her mouth to say hello, pushing out a puff of smoke, her green eyes glazed and smooth olive legs crossed, I knew she was the one who would love me. She would be the one to move me out of my truck and into a home. She would be the reason to stop snorting drugs and getting drunk.
“I’m going to leave your brother.” They were the first words I spoke to her.
“So you can run away with me?”
I kept quiet, convincing myself I was high and that my statement hadn’t took her mind from the movie.
“It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve heard such a thing,” she pulled hard on the cigarette, puckering her full lips in an air of confidence. “You’re sitting on puke.”
She got up and grabbed a carton of orange juice from the fridge and sat back down on the couch. She popped the carton open. “So where do you want to go?”
Jake had told me he had a sister. Told me her name, how he rarely saw her, how she was the shortest in the family at 5’1, and that her inheritance from their dad never went to the college it was supposed to go to and instead went to seeing the world. What he failed to tell me was that she broke every heart she held. Every single one.
I wanted to stay on the couch, really.
The next 12 months were a whirlwind I have yet to piece together. While the first three months were spent in blissful harmony, finding a regular coke dealer in our neighbor’s flat changed it all. I saw all of Europe and every emotion of the spectrum with it. I was loved passionately until four in the morning and kicked out of the flat violently at five. I was brought breakfast in bed and woken with maple syrup kisses one morning only to be left stranded on top of the Eiffel Tower that afternoon. Her emotions ran wild while I stayed at the same pace of heart-aching love. Like a puppy who enjoys the cruel game of keep-away – everyday the game was in play and I was right there to bite the slightest taste of the ball, the slightest taste of her unconditional love.
On our year anniversary she hired a chef to cook my favorite meals on the roof of our flat. And when we finished our second bottle of champagne she handed me a card, sealed with a kiss and addressed to her love. Inside there was a one-way ticket to the states and a post-it note on it that said “Happy Birthday!”
“It’s our anniversary,” I trembled.
“Your taxi is out front.”
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