“You don’t understand Sabrina, nothing is the same anymore!” I blurted. The light from her perfectly painted eyes vanished as the words left my mouth.
“I haven’t seen you in two years, and you rather do your own thing. It’s been years since everything happened, are you going to keep holding it against me? I know I messed up big time, but I’m still your sister and need you!” Sabrina cried out while breaking our eye contact trying to hide the water building in the corners of her eyes. I can still see the Sabrina I grew up with beside her cheeks are chubbier from years of not taking care of herself.
“It’s not that easy to forget that you abandon me when I needed you the most and didn’t think twice to give a crap!” I admitted feeling fresh air replacing my words.
“I can’t believe you just said that, Marissa.” Sabrina said getting up faster than I could open my mouth.
She left me to sit in the guilt of my bluntness, with San Diego under my feet.
Growing up not a thing went wrong with my five-year-older sister by my side. Our childhood roots flourished on a 100-acre ranch in California’s heart of the desert. Surrounded by fields of Joshua trees stretching from the dirt and wilds animals roaming around us with nowhere to be, sheltered from the cruel world. My sister, the girly girl who wears her heart on her shoulder for everyone to see and me, the tom boy who sucks everything up and keeps it locked away. Complete opposites, but balancing each other out ever since I can remember. With a single mom who worked full time, it was always my sister and I, she practically raised me and shaped me, being more than a sister. If only living happily ever after were true I would have lived the rest of it out in that moment with my mom and sister all together in our home, but life happens. At my sisters prime teenage years and my innocent elementary years were forced to live in a foreign land, Northern Virginia. Our eyes having to adjust to the over wheeling greens, our noses stuffing with thick humid air and our ears ringing with cicadas. I have never seen so many rows of box shaped houses painted the same color palette or overly used smiles on every face, was a strange new world. I quickly was filling up with the excitement of something new. I could see my sister overly emotional but I knew it was more complex then that she wanted to go home. Sabrina quickly got into the swing of a normal high school life, AP classes, friends, and even a boyfriend. Then senior year came around and a lot of her demons were released, maybe it was the redirected attention on the new baby sister instead of the almost graduating daughter. Or maybe the stepdad that tried being her dad when she never even got the opportunity to be a daughter to her biologically dad.
“Mom, where is Sabrina?” I repeated sounding like a sad broken record.
“I don’t know Marissa, I haven-“ my moms voice tailed off in the distance. The anger was no longer visible anymore, it was now fear written all over her forehead.
They fear for my sister begun to rub off on me, no longer in just my parents but started to live in eyes of the walls. It became better that way; because when she was home we all would be reminded of how bad it really was. Her neck no longer visible from the hickeys, her eyes lost by a red-glossy cover up and clothes that spoke volumes. The devastating silence was more suiting then the horrific sounds of my mother and sister trying to out scream each other. Even getting to the point were it ended up getting too physical that the sight of blood brought them back to reality. Soon my sister stopped coming home and showing up to school even though she had less then a semester left till graduation. She instead was consumed in an unhealthy relationship with a guy who did nothing but ugly things to her.
The sound of the phone ringing numbed my ear, but I couldn’t give up. It’s my sister and I want to see her for my birthday that’s all. So I sat on the curb and tried to be patient, but it ended with me clenching my phone and trying to fight back the tears while my mom wrapped me in her arms. I stubbornly determined I never want to put myself in that position again of being let down, and from that day on I made that be the lowest point of our relationship.
As expected, it didn’t take long for things to fall apart with her boyfriend, ending very brutally with abuse and stealing my sister’s money for Coke. Leaving my mom to clean up her wounds, she made arrangements for Sabrina to stay with my grandpa in Northern California to take some time to get on her feet. She decided to use her time differently, by diving into her mess of emotions. Soon her usage grew and broadened even stealing money from our grandpa. My mother kept a lot from me believing it was to protect me from being hurt but then it got life threating. I was given bits and pieces of the story, but all I knew was my sister is in a lot of danger. She claimed to have been speaking with god and the devil and brought us messages. Speaking so much gibberish it was all too hard to comprehend what she was even trying to get across. Thankfully a week of trying to help, she was checked into the hospital by a friend. All I was told is she had a chemical imbalance, but later found out it was caused from Heroin. After psychiatric evaluation Sabrina was diagnosed with Depression, and Bi Polar. The doctor put her on medication right away; she didn’t take them for long because the affects out weighted the good.
Sabrina begin to self medicate again with marijuana, and to this day believe it’s the only way to help her stay sane. It begun at months then grew to years that would pass of not hearing from my sister; even if I tried it became a waste of time. My mom never dared to give up on her first born, even if it took awhile to hear from her. I was told she needed to take time off life, try to worry just about herself but my sister is a lover and met a guy name Victor. I’m not convinced they are meant for each other for all eternity but all that matter is he’s good to her.
Even though Sabrina has left me with a lot and has taken away a lot, she will always be my only big sister. I have learned to forgive, but the memories have been engraved in me. Also the constant memory of the physical distance between us and the no effort from my sister to remind me of her presence, but it all makes sense know to me. She’s been through and has seen more then an average person, and I can’t hold her against the damage that has created. The growth she’s made from the fragile confused person to the, I’m not going to cover up my battle wounds but use them to remind me that I can go further. She is the most loving-caring-trustworthy person I know, and I admire her for still being that same person.
Lying there, on her bed,
A single tear dripping down her paled face
Her eyes opening and closing
Blinking away tears
She wills herself to hold it in
To not let it go
And so she holds herself up.
She fights away her sorrows,
Argues with her own mind
Only wanting to cry.
But she can’t.
Curling into a ball she thinks
“What is wrong with me?”
She wills herself to close her eyes
To take a deep breath
To hug her teddy bear close
To let it all out
She waits for just the right moment,
Positioning her racquet just the right way.
Leaning on one foot swinging forward, “dancing”.
She looks intensely: driven and focused.
Paying attention to only what’s on the court,
Ignoring her obnoxious hair falling out of her ponytail.
She smiles very subtly as she focuses on what her coach said,
“Let her make the mistake, not you,”
Easier said than done.
Her mind wanders back to her hit, her racquet extended.
She is nervous, and knows what is at stake.
She has to win.
She feels the pressure.
But won’t let her mind take control,
The negative thoughts bouncing around
With each and every hit out or in the net.
She has to stay positive
She has to win for the team, but also for herself.
She has to be perfect.
Again, easier said than done.
She readies herself once more for a hard return. A trick shot.
The ball flies forward, hits the clay floor, and bounces up perfectly
She winds up, and makes contact,
The vibrations soaring through the racquet into her,
The familiar sound of the strings standing firm against the neon ball.
It soars flying perfectly on the court, just inside the boundary line.
A Perfect shot.
She smiles slightly as sets herself up again,
Ready for anything.
In my head I never stop thinking about humanity,
The countless number of disgusted faces I see a day staring at me
Kids walking past and getting scared because I’m dirty
Adults never giving me money
They think I will spend it frivolously on drugs I guess.
But once a wealthy business man approached me,
Pointed and said, “It’s people like you that make this beautiful city dirty.”
Simply just stared back at him with no words to say,
Going to sleep at night in the sewers of New York, never envying that man,
But praying every night that he realize,
I’m the same as him.
Never once did I ask myself, Why God was this your plan for me?
Because it was, and I’m living a life that’s the same as everyone else’s.