It wasn’t supposed to be like that.
She was supposed to celebrate graduation in a few months. She was supposed to go to her dream college. She was supposed to get a successful career and make our parents proud. She was supposed to fulfil her dream of finally saving enough money to go to the place she had always yearned to go, France, and adopt the pet she always wanted.
My sister was supposed to have a beautiful, perfect life. A life that was all planned out for her, the moment she opened her eyes for the first time.
Not to be found on Tuesday, unmoving, silent, and dead.
When the police told us about her suicide, my parents immediately broke into a sobbing, weeping mess. But I couldn’t. I felt numb. My mind was blank. I couldn’t even remember where I was. All I could think of was how I came home crying on the first day of school because I didn’t know how to make friends and she comforted me for hours, telling me that it was okay. That I’ll definitely make friends soon. That she’ll be always there for me, forever.
She lied, didn’t she?
Her suicide was all anyone could talk about then, but it changed drastically when I showed up dry-eyed and emotionless to her funeral, beside my parents, who were too wrapped up in their sorrow of losing their star child. The look of sympathy turned to doubt, tinged with disgust.
Did they think that I was happy over her death, because all my life, she had shone so brightly that a shadow was casted on me? That I didn’t even want to waste a tear on her?
I wanted to tell them that they were wrong. That, despite outshining me in everything and winning all our parents’ affection, she was still my best friend, my partner in crime, and the best sister anyone could ask for.
I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t.
Each day I struggled to stay afloat among the sea of gossips and snide remarks thrown my way, all hoping that I’d drown. Each day, I put on a mask of indifference the moment I stepped out of the door. But each day, I leaned against my sister’s room door, defeated and drained. It hasn’teen opened since her death. Itelt sacred, somehow. Like I wasn’t allowed to touch them anymore.
But on one particularly bad day, I couldn’t take it anymore. The door creaked open reluctantly, letting me into her little world, where her blue walls stared back at me, her overflowing bookshelf spilled onto the floor, her bad unmade, table messy, and bobby pins lay on the floor, forgotten. I froze. Everything about it screamed her, screamed normal, screamed comforting.
Like she went for a walk and was about to come back with her favourite food.
And sitting cross-legged on the carpet, hugging the blue cushion that I had once loved so much, I finally let the tears fall.
Chen Yu Yang