Sisters

Leaving you two will be the hardest thing I’ve done in years.

You both bring out the best in me. My truest, most honest self is only ever in its raw form around you two, and I thank you for that. You’ve allowed me to dive in and get to know myself. You’ve let me breathe when I needed a mile to process my thoughts and you’ve curled up by my side when I needed a reminder of why my heart still beats.

Elise, I’ve watched you grow from the time you were the legendary drummer in our kitchen floor band to you now heading into your junior year of high school. We’ve really been through everything together, haven’t we? Through the mess of 2008, the loss of our world in 2013, the collapse of everything else we had left in 2014, and everything in between. We’ve survived, together. I wholeheartedly would not have made in through alive had you not been by my side. We’ve fought and bickered as sisters do but if I’m being completely honest, you’re one of the people I feel absolutely closest to in this world. I know you hate me saying all this, I know, but you’re my heart. You’ve been the one real constant in my life for the 16 years you’ve been in it. I have always been able to find your eyes when mine felt oceans coming in. Your voice has always whispered sleep induced mumbles and words of kindness too good for this world. When I’ve felt too far gone and completely helpless, just the thought of you gave me reason enough to stay. You really are everything to me, E. I’ll say it over and over until I can no longer find sense in the words, I don’t care. You are everything.

Brianna. Brianna, Brianna, Brianna. I still remember the first time we danced around to 80s classics, the first time you called me “Ardenia”, the first time you told me you loved me, too. I won’t lie, I teared up when you said that, and here I am again, tearing up about it now. You came into my life so quietly and delicately, so much so that I never expected you’d mean so damn much to me. You are every part my sister as Abbie and Elise are. From baking at 1:00 A.M. to spending way too many hours creating Sims, every moment I have with you is cherished. Life feels real and beautiful and I feel alive. That’s a really rare and special feeling lately, especially when everything is up in chaos and we end up caught in some world of digital-social paralysis. You make me feel like I’m alive again, like life is easy and beautiful and the air runs through my lungs with ease. You really give me hope.

Whether it be the ice cream flavors or fictional characters, I will find echoes of us everywhere I go. I will hear Brianna’s name echoed in the chorus of Jessie’s Girl and This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things. Elise’s freckles will become every Ashevillian constellation and her eyes will be the planets. You two are my moon and my stars. I’ll always, always have you by my side, even if I can’t see you. And I will always be your sun, just a day away.

Love always,

Arden.

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