Seasons

 

Fall.

When you laughed freely. “Look at me!” You pulled the ponytail of your long plain, black hair around your neck like a wool scarf all the way to the door. I know you didn’t want to be here. Neither did I. But the doctor said we had to. Or at least you did. I could tell you were nervous. You’d push the rim of your glasses higher onto the bridge of your long nose out of habit. The black of the metal chipping away from all of the times you’ve lost them only to find them miraculously salvaged at the bottom of your Star Wars book bag. You remember the time you told me that you don’t wear them at school. You in your shirt too big and your bra too tight. You said that friend Lacy looked at you funny when you wore them and would only give you long hugs and cheek kisses if you weren’t wearing them. I never realized why you cared so much about her. I’m sorry I didn’t see. 

Winter.

When I shouted at you. “You’re gonna die, Sinn!” I didn’t mean it. I did. I didn’t mean to shout. You’re fragile form drained me as you sat there sipping the tea that you hated and that I hated and that everyone else in the house hated. But the doctor said it soothes pain. So you drank it voluntarily with a scowl. The three green quilts are always on rotation, because you keep throwing up on them. I never really knew how much detergent to put in the washer, but your disease taught me how to use a measuring cup. Measuring soup, medicine, water, bath bubbles, tears, alcohol for a week’s ration, decibels of a scream. They’re low; they always were. I never realized how deafening your silence was supposed to me to my ears. I’m sorry I didn’t hear. 

 

Spring.

When you agreed with me. “I’m going to die.” We sat in the backyard until three am staring at the stars. There were bees circling our popsicle sticks, but you said you didn’t care. “What’s one more endjury?” I remind you, “Injury.” You nodded but didn’t repeat it. The next morning you’d wake up to a sting reddening on your pale thigh. You’d let me take the blame without a word. Mother would yell at me for the next five years because of it. The chains of the rusty swing set that had been 

there since before we moved in clinked softly as I pointed out the different constellations. You sighed three times before telling me you didn’t like stars. “They’re just hanging up there. They’ve already burned out but you can still see them. Aren’t they suffering? Just burning slowly until you can’t see them anymore. Until you forget about them.” We fell asleep under you. Under the children in the hospital just like you. All of them sad stars just waiting to finally extinguish. You were so sad. Even so, I didn’t realize it would happen because of a stupid insect. I’m sorry I didn’t carry you in after you fell asleep. 

 

Summer.

When you lived. I remember when we took a girls trip. Just you and me. You blasted your latest cartoon theme songs through the speakers of my blue 2003 Toyota Corolla. I secretly wished you’d turn it off or that my phone would die. But I’m older, so instead I sang louder than you. You were fine. Honor roll, finally comfortable in your skin, one streak of green dye in your hair. Cancer dying your body. You were normal, until you fell from the stool and hit your nose. You wouldn’t stop bleeding and the man beside us with the bushy eye brows and the barbecue sauce on his pancakes spoke your death sentence. “That’s not normal. You should get that checked out.” Your blood is my blood. We share it. So, how did I not know? I’m sorry I still don’t know.